Susan Pepper Arena

Second Generation International Master Pilates Teacher

Member of the Pilates Method alliance

Founder and CEO Swissbody® Group Sàrl and Director of the Swissbody Pilates Academy


Susan Pepper ArenaSusan Pepper Arena was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and educated in South Africa. She studied Dance and Movement at the University of Cape Town and after graduating, became a professional ballet dancer, rising to soloist status. While dancing professionally, she continued her studies, majoring in psychology at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and later at the University of Geneva. Her early fascination with applying correct body alignment and strengthening as a means to reducing dance (and also sport) related injuries led her to study, in-depth, a range of related body conditioning methods. She soon discovered Pilates, which led to her training in the United Kingdom (Body Control Pilates®), New York and with First Generation Pilates Master, Lolita San Miguel in Germany.


Over the years Susan has trained with many other devotees including instructors and physiotherapists from Australia, Hong Kong, England, Canada, South Africa and the U.S.A. She has evolved her own highly personalized correctional techniques based on her rich family heritage (she is the fourth generation to dance and work with movement as a perfect tool for rehabilitation) and in collaboration with medical doctors, physiotherapists and osteopaths. She has owned and successfully run the Swissbody® Pilates Centres since 1998 and is a member of the Pilates Method Alliance® (PMA®). Susan believes strongly in the importance of continual training and in recent years has followed courses with other well known teachers such as Rebecca Leone, Pat Guyton, Brent Anderson and Eric Franklin. She has also completed a two year Master Mentor Certification course with Lolita San Miguel, one of the only two teachers certified by Joseph Pilates. Master Instructor, Susan Pepper Arena oversees the training and continuing education programme of the Swissbody® Pilates Academy and ensures its high standards and quality is rigorously maintained. Considered as a Pilates and movement specialist, Susan has often been interviewed for the Swiss newspapers Le Matin, La Tribune de Genève and Le Temps. She has also been interviewed by World Radio Switzerland and Radio Lac and has featured or appeared in Elle, Eidelweiss, L’Illustré, Chic and Exclusif Magazine. Susan was also the subject of a television programme featuring Pilates on Swiss television, “TSR”.


In November 2009, Susan presented the importance of the Pilates method for strengthening the lumber pelvic region at the 16th Symposium Romand in Lausanne for continued training and Physiotherapy. In October 2010, she was invited to present her studies of the pelvic floor and Pilates at an international conference for physical re-education, at the “Parc Floral” in Paris for “ORREK” and in December 2010 she started Pilates teacher training for the Swissbody Pilates Academy in South Africa. In May 2011 Susan presented two conferences:“The Pelvic Floor” and “Scoliosis” and gave a specialised Pilates class: “ The Pelvic floor, what to do and what not to do” at the International Pilates Day Memorial Conference in Munchenblad, Germany (Joseph Pilate’s town of birth). In the same year, Susan started giving courses to certified mid-wives for the continuing education section of the “Fédération Suisse des Sages-Femmes, FSSF”.


In 2012 Susan was highly honoured by Lolita San Miguel as she is one of a small group of Lolita San Miguel’s Pilates Master students who demonstrated the exercises photographed for her Pilates matwork and equipment teacher training manuels.


Susan continues to regularly present her work at international conferences. In early 2014 she taught her “Standing Workout” and presented “The Serratus Anterior and the External Obliques: The synergy” at the “FORUMPILATES CONVENTION 2014, Fiera di Bologna”. Later that year, Susan and her husband, Cav. Giuseppe Arena, began working for the Russian Olympic Committee preparing artistic ice-skaters for the next Winter Olympics. Susan regularly trains Russian World and Olympic artistic ice-skating Medallists as well as members of the junior artistic ice-skating team. Susan speaks fluent French and English.


The Swissbody® Pilates Academy

Whether you are a passionate Pilates student interested in mastering the art of teaching, or already a Pilates or movement science instructor, dance teacher, sports coach or physiotherapist seeking to advance and perfect your knowledge and fine tune your teaching skills, Swissbody® can provide you with a programme encompassing beginner through to advanced level teacher training as well as a broad range of continuing education courses to help you become an inspiring, accomplished and responsible instructor.