Meet the Body Intellect Team

Our highly skilled teachers come from rich and diverse backgrounds and are dedicated to assist you in any way possible to achieve your goals. Instructors are trained through BASI Pilates® an international education company. It is a requirement that all Body Intellect staff continue their education to stay on the cutting edge of developments in the industry.


Theo Van der Riet

Founder and owner of Body Intellect
Principle BASI instructor

Theo van der Riet/Botha has been on the faculty of Body Arts and Science International™ since 2002 and is currently one of only three principal instructors for BASI Pilates™. Theo is also the proud owner of Body Intellect, a Pilates studio in Pretoria, South Africa, and the head quarters for the BASI Pilates™ franchise in South Africa.

Her teaching career includes teaching at On Center Conditioning Studio in southern California under her mentor, Rael Isacowitz. Since then Theo has been teaching Pilates for BASI Pilates™ around the world, from the United States, New Zealand, Brazil, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, China, Japan, Italy, Spain and Namibia. Theo is also a Performance Stability Instructor Trainee and works in conjunction with medical professionals to assist clients in retraining strategies.

Her firm belief in continued education has led to the hosting of three International BASI Pilates™ Symposiums and numerous presentations and workshops.

Theo earned her Bachelor of Education degree in Dance at the Pretoria Technikon. Her rich background in movement assists with offering BASI Pilates™ students the tuition needed to pursue a successful career. Theo enjoys instructing the general public and has developed a large following among Pilates enthusiasts, sports professionals, dancers and athletes.

Marinda Pretorius


My journey started when I was introduced to Theo in 2009 when I enrolled for the TUKS Pilates Mat Course as part of my Human Movement studies at the University of Pretoria.

Being injured myself at the time, I discovered the great spectrum of exercises that not only helps to regain previous strength and mobility, but also helps build on a good foundation to further your wellbeing.

Being an outdoor person I was grateful to have found such a diverse style of exercise to insure that I can keep on doing the activities that are so dear to me: karate, bow hunting, hiking, swimming and the occasional portrait sketching.

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2008. In 2010 I enrolled with BASI once more to complete the Comprehensive course. This is where I admired the presenters’ precise manner of teaching the work to students and realized how little we pay attention to our body and its amazing ability to move.

In 2011 I did the Performance Matrix course where I discovered a different way of looking at body mechanics that could prevent injury and locate precise problems. It is a privilege to teach others about their bodies and be a part of a journey of discovery. Pilates is a never-ending learning curve.

Thelia Houston - McMillan

Admin & Studio co-ordinator

I have been the right hand woman to the studio owner, Theo van der Riet, since June 2006. I am privileged to work with a fantastic group of ladies who instruct Pilates with ease and grace. I am married and have two wonderful teenage children who help keep me young. I have been a full time mother for most of my children’s lives, and it is only recently that I have spread my wings into the business world again.

Shona Goss-Ross


I have always enjoyed traveling and meeting new people. While I studied Human Movement Science and Sport Psychology, I was introduced to Body Intellect and did my BASI Mat Pilates course. During my studies I took a particular liking to the management of sport and recreation facilities.

Elize Botha


I grew up on a farm climbing trees, riding horses, and having open spaces to run and be free, which has been fundamental to my love for nature, and being active. I have enjoyed many different forms of exercise and have found Pilates stimulating, balancing, versatile and essential for everybody. It is a journey I hope to continue, enjoy and share. Pilates affords us the opportunity to discover, celebrate and enjoy the fact that… “We have been wonderfully made!”

Elizma Groothof


I have a degree in BA Human Movement Science. I received my training through Body Arts and Science International and qualified in both Mat and Comprehensive work.

I think the human body is one of the most impressive creations and find it very interesting to learn about all the ways in which the body, as a whole, works to maintain optimal physical function. I have always loved the feeling of “pushing yourself to new limits” – and this can be achieved with every Pilates class. I enjoy seeing people discover what their bodies are capable of and how they learn more about their bodies through Pilates.

I believe that everyone can benefit from doing Pilates and would like to introduce more teenagers to the wonderful world of Pilates.

Kendra Houston - McMillan


I have been exposed to Pilates since an early age and have had the great privilege of watching it grow into the Pilates method we have come to love today. It is this growth that enticed me, along with the idea that I could help others better themselves and watch them improve.

My passion for teaching and my need to stay active were the driving forces behind my decision to become an instructor. I have a friendly demeanor and a personal mission to put a smile on everyone’s face. “I May be young but what I lack in experience I make up for in enthusiasm.”

Janie Papendorf


The mechanics of the human body have always fascinated me. Through my Human Movement studies at the University of Pretoria I was introduced to Pilates and realized that this is one of the most innovative ways to improve balance, coordination and improve movement patterns to create efficient movement.

I have also learned that muscle imbalances and poor posture are some of the main causes why people suffer from pain, whether it is back, neck or joint pain. This feeds my passion for helping people and to let them share in the joy that Pilates has brought me.


Elmé Vercueil


I started with Pilates when I was in the third year of my Human Movement Science degree at Tuks.

I completed the Mat course and decided to do the Comprehensive course the following year. From the beginning I loved the way Pilates challenges your muscles and how good you can feel after getting your limbs to move.

It is a form of exercise that brings balance to your body and aids in the wealth of your mind. I want to help people see the undeniably positive change it can have on one’s day-to-day life. I plan on doing my Honours in the future and use Pilates as a tool to improve the functionality of the human body.



Liesel Terblanche


After matric I worked as an Au-pair for two years for a family in Waterkloof. During that time, I came to know Body Intellect and started the BASI pilates course. I started teaching pilates full time the year thereafter. I also completed an Osteopathic massage course with Therapeuo Training Institute. I am currently still doing pilates full time and occasionally do employee wellness massage sessions at corporate companies. In my free time I’m an artist, taking on contracts for mural paintings.

Jennelize Potgieter


I have a degree in Human Movement Science and am a BASI qualified instructor.

I saw what pilates has done for me and decided to get more involved so that I could be able to help people improve the way that I had, through Pilates. Helping others and seeing progress due to my hard work and effort awakens a great feeling of satisfaction. Not only injury based but also goal focused, when seeing results, it makes me just as happy as my clients.

Dorette Kasselman


I discovered my passion for the science of movement shortly after leaving school.

I spent hours in the gym training and attending every possible class presented. Subsequently I completed a cardio instructor’s course at Cathy Yale’s in Durban and went on to aquire a diploma in Fitness and Nutrition. By age 20 I had my own little cardio studio.

However, life happened and I found myself in the corporate business environment for most of my adult life. I remained active and tried out almost every activity you can think of: from playing squash, road running to kickboxing and self defence.

Some people spend their entire lives searching for their true purpose. I am priviledged enough to have found mine in a Pilates studio.

I am currently in the process of completing my BASI Comprehensive Teacher’s qualification and am excited at the prospect of continuous learning and improving.

Although I now spend most of my time in the studio, I still enjoy the occasional moderate distance run or trail race.

I am fascinated by the science and study of movement and I am passionate about teaching. Seeing my clients reaching their goals and gaining confidence as they do so is what motivates and energizes me.

Anna-Marie Esterhuizen


I was introduced to Pilates in the Western Cape and after doing Pilates for a year, decided to become an instructor.  I trained with the well-known Renee Watson, Director and Founder of Conscious Movement Education, South-Africa,  where I obtained the mat certificate in 2010.

My teaching experience began at the Exhale Pilates Studio in Table View, whilst giving class at the physiotherapist studio, Back to Basic. At the same time I did some rehabilitation work at Sea Park Old age Home, where I gained a lot of experience in the field of more passive movement with older people. In Melkbosstrand  I co-owned a studio and completed the Equipment Course in 2013.  I gained experience with children’s Pilates and regularly attended Workshops and Conferences with local and international instructors.  In Still Bay, I taught Pilates at the NAMO Studio and did some movement exercises with fragile care patients at the Care well Hospital.

Recently I completed the BASI Pilates Comprehensive Teacher Training Program and with that I’m delighted to say that it has deepen my knowledge and appreciation for Pilates. Pilates changed my way of thinking about exercise and health completely and I therefore adopted the Pilates principles into my lifestyle.

Melody Heath


I am an experienced dancer, dance instructor, choreographer with over 30 years of experience in various genres of dance, and qualified with a dance teachers diploma with DESA. I also have more than 10 years of experience as a fitness instructor and am currently completing my BASI Comprehensive Pilates Diploma.

I completed my Fitness Instructor Diploma through Reebok Instructor Alliance in 2000 where I gave various classes at Virgin Active clubs across Johannesburg and later joined Supersport Health and Adventure Club to open their new Fitness club in Bloemfontein. From 2003 until 2015 I remained active in dance, writing dance syllabi, choreography, and training dance lecturers, while exploring business in the hospitality industry.

In 2015, I was given the opportunity to work alongside a Biokeneticist in Bloemfontein, giving Pilates classes to clients of various ages. And in 2016 I joined the team of Pilates on Atterbury (now Body Intellect Mooikloof, Pretoria).

Even with all my years of dance and fitness experience, I have never come across such an amazing discipline as the BASI Pilates method. I would love to see this method incorporated in the Dance world, as I believe this would truly enhance each dancer’s performance, prevent injury and assist with rehabilitation.

Lenie Alexander

I started working at Pilates on Wekker in December 2014.  I enjoy working with people.

I join Pilates classes where I can, and love to feel the difference in my body.

The love of my life is my husband, two children and the cutest little grandson.

I am a keen gardener and love knitting to relax.