About Just Believe Fit
Our new home down the side laneway at 4 Gooch St is the next stage of a dream to create a place where people can exercise without pressure or fear of judgement. Originally running out of a ballet studio in Gadd St, Northcote we knew that to reach more people with our unique offerings we had find a space that had the scope to truly reflect our vision. In January 2018, we found the Back Room of the old Camelia Reception Centre and with the support of our neighbours AWF set about creating a real 'home' for our JBFit family. In December 2018 we took over the lease on the rear of 4 Gooch St and with our new neighbours, Pointe Nation Adult Ballet School have set about consolidating our identity in Thornbury.
This beautiful historic building which dates back to early 1900 s has many stories to tell. We love its quirkiness and embrace the cracks and uneven surfaces. Like us, as it ages, it gathers experience and if you are willing to take the time to be still and quiet it will whisper wisdom into your soul. Its high domed ceilings and freshly painted walls create the perfect backdrop for a stunning art installation by local artist. Liliana Barbieri. 155 handcrafted butterflies adorn the walls sweeping upwards and flying individually and as a group to embody the title 'They believed they could ... and so they did".
Accepting all that this unique building has to offer marries perfectly with our vision is to provide a warm welcoming environment where you can let go of the outside world. We invite you to come and take time to do just that; to nurture the best version of you, whatever that might be on any given day.
Read on to find out more about our talented and dedicated staff and what skills they bring to our shared table.
Founder and Director Marisa Lawlor
Marisa loves to draw upon all disciplines in helping people understand the way their bodies move and empowering them to take control of their personal wellbeing. A very experienced secondary school teacher and fitness instructor, Marisa has a passion for helping others delight in moving with freedom and awareness, understanding their bodies and simply feeling good! With over 30 years of experience facilitating dance and fitness classes for a vast range of participants, Marisa’s teaching is now focused on the multiple health benefits of Pilates, Stretching, Barre and Yoga.
From an early age, Marisa trained in classical ballet to Advanced level and has her Associate teaching certificate with ISTD (Cecchetti method). After a move into Contemporary dance in her early 20’s, she gained a Graduate Diploma in Dance and Movement in Education to add scope to her B Arts and Dip Ed in English and Humanities (Melbourne University). This opened up the opportunity to teach senior school level dance in both London and Australia. As an adjunct to her dance training, Marisa also holds certification as a Group Fitness and Gym Instructor, Pilates Mat 1&2 and Pre & Post Natal Pilates Instructor, Barre Attack, Strechfit, Les Mills Body Balance, Body Jam and Body Pump Instructor, .
Cat's teaching style is compassionate and inclusive with a central focus on anatomically informed movement practices that inspire curiosity, and are emotionally supportive.
Dimi has been formally teaching Pilates since 2003. Trained in Pilates Mat level 1&2, Pilates Props, Pilates Reformer, Pilates on the Swiss Ball
As a trained dancer Dimi understands the desire to be strong, flexible and enjoy the way your body and mind respond to each other. Teaching Pilates at 3 gyms across Melbourne as well as running a successful Pilates Personal Training Business Dimi loves to create interesting, fun, challenging sequences that keep her clients motivated for more. Movement, Technique and Breath are the 3 cornerstones to her Pilates Philosophy.
Abby grew up in Detroit, Michigan, USA where she fell in love with dance. Abby started dancing from the young age of two years old, and continued dancing competitively all through high school. Abby attended The University of the Arts, in Philadelphia, on scholarship for dance, then later transferred to Western Michigan University where she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Dance. While at Western Michigan, Abby was a part of the Western Michigan Dance Team where she was a two-time All-American Dancer, 2017 ‘Top Bronco Dancer’, and part of the WMU nationals’ team. After University Abby decided to continue her passion for fitness and dance by receiving her barre certification. Abby fell in love with teaching barre and developed a true passion with providing clients an overall body workout. Since recently relocating to Australia, Abby wants to continue spreading her knowledge of dance, fitness, and barre training while here. Abby is so excited to be joining the Just Believe Fit team and ready to share her passion with you al
Nancy is trained in Hatha and Vinyasa yoga. With her background as a physiotherapist, she is an advocate on the importance of health and wellbeing. Nancy’s classes have a focus on correct alignment and providing modifications to suit individual needs in a safe environment. It was during her travels that she found a love for Yoga and Meditation, through a deeper connection between her mind and body that she had never experienced before.
Lauren Jimmieson is a professional dancer, theatre performer and qualified barre fitness instructor. Lauren attained her Fitness Australia certification by training with Aleenta Barre’s master trainer. As a passionate instructor, Lauren is inspired by her hardworking clients to combine her love of dance with barre to produce fun, high energy and motivational classes and atmosphere. Lauren has a Bachelor of Musical Theatre and her flair and vivaciousness shines through in her approach. When Lauren isn’t getting your booty burning in the studio, she works as a Captain Starlight for the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Sometimes, she also works in educational theatre and entertainment for kids. She’s also an experienced choreographer and dance captain. When she lands the big gigs, she gets to tour nationally and internationally in musicals! Lauren has a passion for wellness, fitness and artistry of movement. She’ll guide and support you and be sure to work you hard and make you laugh along the way too!
Phoebe Thomson completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training certification at Radiantly Alive in Bali with Daniel Aaron in 2016 and has been teaching at Just Believe Fit since that time.
Phoebe sees yoga as a training ground to practice life in. It is a safe place for grounding and nurturing and ultimately for self enquiry.
For 12 years she has been a Prosthetist and Orthotist and her passion for anatomy, alignment and biomechanics is illustrated through her love of yoga. She is excited to share her passion of yoga with others and to assist them to find inner peace, balance and harmony.
Suze Male believes yoga is key to mind and body wellness, allowing us to discover our true selves and connect to everyone else in a positive way. She discovered yoga’s power to provide a pervading sense of calm in life in 2000, but it was only when dealing with the death of her mum a few years ago that it became more central to her life. A search for a healing retreat led to teacher training with iFlow Yoga. She now feels privileged to be a conduit for others to discover the life-enhancing benefits.
Margarita has been a student of yoga for some 15 years but admits falling out of the practice at times of compounded stress or injuries in the past. What she loves about yoga is that it always brings her back to her strength, on so many levels. She acknowledges the mind body connection. In 2014, Margarita suffered a debilitating attack of MS. She slowly recovered her mobility through a combination of physiotherapy and pilates then weight training and yoga. Every detail of her previous lifestyle was rearranged into one of wellness. With gratitude for her illness and much new found knowledge of the human body, Margarita embraced a commitment to yoga. Now a Les Leventhal trained teacher of Vinyasa Yoga she comes to us with the experience of having led classes of all levels in Dubai and Bali. “I love opening people up to the possibilities of magic on the mat. Sometimes it’s physical and other times it’s emotional or spiritual. Sometimes it’s ever so subtle – but there’s a shift in a blockage of energy and it is always magical!”
Paul Bourke is a certified Fitness coach and Qigong Instructor with a strong background as a physical theatre performer teacher and director, Paul specialises in coaching and researching movement and fitness practice’s which are sustainable and improve each clients strength, flexibility, functionality, fitness and quality of life.
Paul has a certificate 4 in fitness a Master Functional Trainer Certification, level 2 Qigong instructor certification as well as trainer certificates in GMB, Animal Flow, Metafit and Original Strength
Michael completed his 200 hour teacher training at Western Wellness, where he developed a deep love of the calmness of mind and stillness that comes with being truly present on the mat.
Michael is a gentle teacher, passionate about creating safe spaces, and accessible classes for everybody. Michael aims to provide a sense of belonging and self worth for each participant in his classes.
When he’s not teaching yoga, Michael is a keen motor sport fan, and you’re likely to find him at a race meeting, doing volunteer work for a number of good causes, listening to a podcast, or out and about spending time with his wife.
After many years of personal practice, Jess completed her Level 1 Vinyasa Flow teacher training at Radiantly Alive Ubud in 2017. In addition to teaching at Just Believe Fit, Jess also runs her own online and private teaching business Plant Powered Yoga www.plantpoweredyoga.com and is the co-founder of Vegan Tours.
She believes that yoga is so much more than being flexible on a mat, it’s about stretching your mind open to new opportunities, and of course, remembering to breathe when things seem to hard.
Rhianna has recently finished her Certificate 4 in Mat and Reformer Pilates through Breathe Education and is now starting her teaching journey at Just Believe Fit. She is passionate about using Pilates and strength based exercise together to help people realise the
necessity of Pilates to everyday living. Her teaching is focussed on bringing energy and care to helping create healthy and resilient bodies