Instructor Spotlight: Denise Samuel

Denise Samuel is an ACE-certified Personal Trainer and Stott Pilates Certified instructor with over 20 years of experience helping people feel strong and centered in their bodies. Her focus on increasing deep core strength, joint stability, and overall flexibility have helped empower her clients to enjoy better posture, a greater range of motion and functional agility.

denise samuel

Denise has lived all over the country throughout the years -- from Michigan and Seattle to Los Angeles to Napa -- but she’s happily settled in New Hampshire these days. With an incredible variety of interests, Denise definitely knows how to keep busy. Whether she’s sewing re-purposed clothing with recycled fabric or tending to her flower gardens for bees, she’s always ready to lend a helping hand to Mother Nature. Having spent years in the wine industry, Denise is a self-proclaimed foodie who also loves spending time in the kitchen. And when she’s not teaching Pilates classes or indulging in one of her hobbies, Denise uses her background in marketing and advertising to consult small companies on branding and marketing strategy.

How were you introduced to Pilates?

When I was in the wine industry, the gym I was at was looking for instructors to teach kickboxing, so I started there and with other group fitness classes. I started to get certified in yoga and I went to a conference with one of my girlfriends who was a Pilates instructor. She said I had to try out a class; I went and I hated it. The breathing is very different from yoga and I kept thinking, “This sucks. This isn’t right. I don’t like this.”

I kept heading in the yoga direction, but when I moved to the coast of California, I met a woman who taught instructors how to teach Pilates. She said I should try a Pilates class with her, and I absolutely fell in love.

What made you decide to become a group fitness instructor?

I love connecting with people and I think it’s really important to keep your body functional. You only have one body and if it’s not functional, what are you going to do?

What we’re trying to do [in a group fitness class] is create an experience. It’s the music, it’s the interaction, it’s looking at the people in the classroom and teaching what works with their bodies. With personal training, one-on-one instruction is much easier, but when you have a group of people, you’re trying to choreograph a class for different levels and capacities. It’s like painting a picture; it’s very creative.

What do you love about pilates?

Pilates changed my life because it’s so functional. Pilates is really good for people who do other things like bike and golf and race horses. It’s all about being able to control your body. It’s about being able to feel your muscles, and then being able to control and use them when you need them. Plus, it builds great posture because we’re all hunched over our cell phones all day. I just love watching people’s bodies change.

Sign up for one of Denise’s Pilates classes in Merrimack, NH, to experience her expert instruction and see how your own body can change!


Christine Hayes