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Sharon's Bio

Sharon Gallagher-Rivera is the Owner of Internal Fire Pilates and is also Co-Owner of Pilates Education Lab, a training program for aspiring Pilates teachers in San Francisco and Marin. Sharon is a seasoned instructor, and bodywork and rehabilitation specialist committed to enhancing the well-being and resilience of her clients across all physical states and abilities.

Sharon started as a young gymnast and a multi-sport athlete, earned her BA in Politics and Performing Arts from USF in 1992, and then spent decades performing, both commercially and with contemporary dance companies including Printz Dance Project for many years. Initially trained by Ellie Herman, she began teaching Pilates in 1999 and taught at various studios in San Francisco and Marin, including Sanchez Street Studios, owned by Carol LeMaitre (now her teaching partner and co creator of Pilates Education Lab).

Today she is deeply proud of Internal Fire Pilates’ success and delighted with its growing community of loyal students. Her clients have always included other Pilates teachers, athletes and dancers, teens and elders, office workers and those living with physical challenges or chronic pain.

Sharon’s mastery of Classical Pilates and complementary approaches comes from working with many talented teachers over the years. Aside from years of study with Jennifter Stacey, M.S., she earned a Master’s Certificate with the renowned Pilates Center of Boulder, whose leaders learned directly from Pilates elder, Romana Kryzanowska, (taught directly by Joseph Pilates). Sharon enriches her Pilates practice with continued movement study through a regular Pilates practice, dance training in many styles including Modern/Contemporary, West African and Brazilian, Yoga and weekly sessions with Jean Claude-West. Her students are her greatest teachers and she continues to gain experience through teaching with a range of methods. Aside from Pilates, these include: bodywork and massage techniques learned from her studies with Stephen Coleman, L.Ac., (blending the work of Lauren Berry, Swedish Massage, Rolfing and Feldenkrais), Jayne Edwards (Neuromuscular Rehabilitation work of Vladimir Janda, M.D.), and Sue Hitzman (creator of the M.E.L.T. method).

After Lululemon Athletica selected her as a Global Ambassador for 2010-11, she was honored to be selected by as their "Next Pilates Anytime Instructor 2012", winning a feature story in Pilates Style magazine. Sharon is a PMA Certified instructor and has modeled for Ellie Herman’s books, ‘Pilates for Dummies’ and ‘Pilates Wunda Chair’ as well as Ellie’s DVD of Advanced Mat. She appears in Jordan Matter’s book, ‘Dancer’s Among Us’ as well as Lois Greenfield’s ‘Moving Still’.