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Our Family

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Principal Faculty Member and Owner

Globally recognised Pilates aficionado and Principal BASI Faculty Presenter. Co-founder of Body Mechanix Wellness Centre.

With 23 years of Royal Academy of Dance ballet training and having studied the New York Method of Pilates previously, Ashley met her mentor Rael Isacowitz in 2000 and immediately fell in love with the BASI Pilates Method. She re-did her Pilates training under Rael and started teaching as a BASI Pilates instructor in 2001. Ashley is also qualified to teach Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis. 

In 2004 Body Mechanix Wellness Centre - now BASI Pilates Academy Johannesburg - became a host studio for BASI Comprehensive and Mat Teacher Training Courses.

Ashley’s’ speciality is in Advanced and Continued Education.  She developed “Pilates Through Pregnancy and Beyond”, and many other specialised programs which she teaches around the globe - in person or online.

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Kim is the go-to girl for any queries or bookings. She joined the BASI Pilates Academy Johannesburg (formally Body Mechanix) as the Studio Manager and Ashley’s PA

in June 2015.

No stranger to the health and fitness world, Kim has been teaching Aquacise for over nine years and fits right in with the studio family. Her warm and welcoming attitude plays an integral role in assisting both clients and instructors. Kim’s presence adds an extra dimension to the smooth running of the studio.

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Senior Trainer

Mel is a devoted instructor whose commitment to her clients’ progress is focused on helping them achieve their potential through movement and exercise. She concentrates specifically on improving posture, spinal flexibility and muscle strength.

Mel attained her American Council Certification in 1990, while studying Microbiology, Zoology and PR. After graduating from the BASI Comprehensive Teacher Training Course, she achieved further accreditation in Pilates Through Pregnancy and Beyond, Movement Anatomy, Pilates for Pathologies and Injuries, Low-Pressure Fitness and Introduction to Anatomy with Raphael Bender.

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Senior Trainer

Coming from a strong athletic background, Hilde became a certified BASI Pilates Instructor in 2005. She joined Ashley in 2007 and is one of the Senior Trainers at the studio.

Her clients range from athletes to mothers-to-be, from men and women wanting to improved muscle tone, to sportspeople working through injuries. Hilde is renowned for her ability to read a body. Her expertise encompasses the art of muscle activation, as well as pre- and post-pregnancy training.

Hilde also offers Ozone therapy at the Body Mechanix Wellness Centre.  A deeply relaxing, detoxing and healing therapy that has become a must-do all over the world.

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Dynamic and energetic Chelsea-Ann, better known as Chi (pronounced like chai tea), graduated with a BA Honours in psychology, drama and education. While at Rhodes University she qualified as a BASI Pilates and Gyrokinesis instructor.  And she never stops learning, doing the Mentor Program with both Rael Isacowitz and Theo van der Riet and participating in “Learn for the Leaders” in America and in South Arica.

Chi shares all she has learnt for the benefit of clients from here to Dubai, California, Italy and France, applying her passion for movement to all their different needs.

And that is only the beginning of her story.  Chi is also an enthusiastic triathlete, who has  represented South Africa twice in Ironman World Championships.  Adventure Racing is her latest passion.  As both a competitive athlete and Sports Coach, it is her knowledge of the inter-relationship of body and mind that allows her to incorporate the ideal exercises to enhance your physical capabilities. 

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Junior Trainer

During her years as a ballet dancer, Melissa often found herself working through injuries. It was then that she began to learn the benefits of Pilates in posture, movement, flexibility and, most important of all, injury prevention. She began her teaching career with BASI Pilates Academy Johannesburg (formerly Body Mechanix) in July 2017 after completing her Comprehensive Teacher Training Course at the studio that same year.


Combined with her love of dance and love of people she finds Pilates the perfect platform to combine her passion with her career for the benefit of her clients.  Especially when those clients are children with special needs.  Melissa also has a dedicated following of her much-loved Barre class. 

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Junior Trainer

Having a competitive and athletic background in sports, Kate soon found the benefits of strength, performance and rehabilitation by integrating Pilates into sporting and exercise programmes. In 2019, Kate completed the BASI Pilates Comprehensive Teacher Training Course under the tutelage of her internationally renowned mentor, Ashley Ritchie, and is today a Junior Trainer at BASI Pilates Academy Johannesburg (formally Body Mechanix)

Having studied Psychology, Nursing and Teaching, Kate has a broad knowledge of both physical wellness and mental health and how to better your lifestyle by finding a balance between the two. This makes the BASI Pilates method, which incorporates a mind, body, spirit connection, an ideal discipline for her.

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Junior Trainer

After graduating with her BA Honours in Strategic Brand Communications, Kristie-Kim realised her true purpose lay elsewhere.  She chose to change her career to teaching about the body and how it moves.  Following her passion resulted in her qualifying as a BASI Mat Pilates Instructor in 2015. 


Having had a competitive background in Modern and Contemporary Dance from a young age, Kristie has a good understanding of movement and the relationship between mind and body.  Kristie-Kim has completed the BASI Comprehensive Training Course. While qualifying as a BASI trainer, she discovered a keen interest in rehabilitation through Pilates.


She has been with the BASI Pilates Academy Johannesburg since 2019 and continues to expand her knowledge under the mentorship of internationally renowned Ashley Ritchie.

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