Princes Pilates Studio

Fully Equipped

Princes Pilates, which is based in Dornoch, is Sutherland’s first fully equipped Pilates studio offering
one-to-one or two-to-one classes on Balanced Body Pilates equipment.

princes pilates

Hi, I’m Sue

I trained as a nurse and midwife before opening a Pelvic Floor Clinic dealing with all issues concerning a weak pelvic floor in the University Hospital in Munich, Germany. After moving to California for my husband’s job, I worked as a nutritional counsellor and trained as a Personal Trainer working at a local gym before discovering Pilates when a friend was training.

I studied Pilates with Balanced Body University in California and after passing both a practical and written exam.  I then worked in Pilates studios and a gym, teaching the fabulous Pilates method to private clients and groups.  I am certified to teach pre- and post-natal Pilates and Diastasis-recti recovery through the Centre for Women’s Fitness ( and have studied Pilates with arthritis issues and scoliosis as well as following regular continuing education. I am a full member of the Pilates Teacher Association.

I grew up in Dornoch and my husband and I were delighted to have had the opportunity to move back in 2017.  I really am looking forward to demonstrating to anyone of any age or fitness level the joys of Pilates and how wonderful it can make you feel.  Look forward to seeing at Princes Pilates.

princes pilates   

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a safe and controlled method of exercise designed to lengthen and strengthen your muscles. It can also improve your concentration (one of the Pilates Principles), feeling of wellbeing and is proven to help with back and joint issues, as well as chronic pain.  Pilates is for anyone of any age looking for more flexibility and ease of movement in their everyday lives. The equipment offers support if needed or a challenge if desired!

Princes Pilates Dornoch Sutherland

Who Invented Pilates?

Joseph Pilates was born near Düsseldorf, Germany in 1883. Little is known about his early life, but he appears to have been a frail child, suffering from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. His drive and determination to overcome these ailments led him to become a competent gymnast, diver and skier.

Princes PilatesIn 1912 Pilates lived in England working as a circus performer, boxer and self-defence instructor. During the First World War, he was interned with other German nationals. During this time he developed his technique of physical fitness further, by teaching his fellow internees. During the latter part of the War, he served as an orderly in a hospital on the Isle of Man where he worked with patients unable to walk. He attached bed springs to the hospital beds to help support the patients’ limbs, leading to the development of his famous piece of equipment known as the ‘Cadillac’. Much of his equipment, although slightly adapted, is still in use today in many Pilates Studios.

Pilates emigrated to the USA in the early 1920s with his wife Clara, and together they developed and taught the method in their ‘body-conditioning gym’ in New York in 1926.

The studio featured much of the Apparatus designed to enhance his rehabilitation work. It soon became very popular, particularly with the dance community, as it offered a chance to improve technique or recover from injury. Word spread quickly and many celebrities of the day visited his studio. These included dance legends such as Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn, Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine and Martha Graham, as well as the actor Jose Ferrer and the author Christopher Isherwood. Originally 60% of the clientele were men.

In 1932 Pilates published a booklet called ‘Your Health’ and followed this with another called ‘Return to Life Through Contrology’ in 1945. Through these writings and his students, his method was passed on after his death in 1967 at the age of 83. During his lifetime this method of exercise was called Contrology. It was only after his death that it became known as the Pilates Method.

princes pilatesWhile Joe is the man behind the method, it was his wife Clara that became the real teacher in the studio and allowed the method to be passed on to apprentices. The ‘Pilates Elders’ (the handful of people who trained directly in the first NY Studio) talk of Clara being the nurturing force behind the man; Clara established the tradition of evolving and adapting the Pilates method to suit the individual needs of clients. This is a tradition Pilates Foundation Teachers are proud to continue.

Not much was spoken in the original studio (English was not Joe’s first language), so Joe and Clara relied heavily on hands-on corrections to teach the method. “They wouldn’t talk, they would sculpt you” is how Pilates Elder Mary Bowen describes being in the studio. The Pilates Foundation is proud to promote the tradition of hands-on teaching skills in our Teachers.


Sue has a good a way of making you do what you really don’t like doing but need to do. And we all have those exercises that we know we need to do as our body needs them but we try and avoid doing them. As an example, I could not do a plank when I first met Sue, over a short amount of time I was holding a plank position. I grumbled and moaned every time we did it but was so pleased that she persuaded me to keep at it and just do a little more. She has a great way of getting you motivated to keep going. Thanks, Sue. We miss you. X

Dawn Hooper

Sue took my body from being stiff and rickety to agile and strong! She has a kind, understanding and gentle way of pushing you just enough, so you achieve results that you never thought possible… Highly recommend sue if your just getting started or if you need that extra challenge to get yourself back in shape and beyond.

Carol campbell

Sue is an amazing instructor. I have worked with her for three years. When I first started with Sue I hah just been diagnosed with RH. I had very little use on my hands and could barely get on and off the reformer. Sue gave me back my life. Her patience and tender care in instructing me gave me back the use of my hands and strength in my body. She knew when to push me and when I needed to take it easy. Best of all Sue made the workouts fun! Thank your Sue. You are my hero! Marlene

Marlene Ferrigno

Princes Pilates Classes

princes pilates

One-to-one private session – customised to your individual requirements and using all the equipment. £30 for one hour.

£130 for 5 sessions (£26 per hour)

£225 for 10 sessions. ( £22.50 per hour)

Two-to-one session – bring a friend – required one private session before a two-to-one.  A two-to-one session is designed for two people who have more or less the same Pilates experience and ability and is really best for those with no existing issues with back, joint, neck or balance. The instructor has it at her/his discretion to decline a 2 person group if she/he feels it not to be in the client’s best interest).

£25 each for one hour.

£200 each for 10 sessions (£20 per session)

Gift certificates are available for any combination.

Princes Pilates has a 24-hour cancellation policy for any sessions booked. Sessions will be charged at full price if cancelled or no show for the booked session.

For More Information
Contact Me

Or Phone Me On 07584 020185