What was it that first interested you about pilates?
It was definitely a dancer’s secret for a long time – we did it as part of our daily body conditioning, and its only really been in the last 15–20 years that it’s become more mainstream.
Where did you train?
Once I finished dancing, I went on to do a pilates apprenticeship in the centre of London at Pilates International.
What makes Pure Pilates unique?
Pure Pilates is unique because we are based primarily on the equipment. My teachers are all fully qualified, and when I say fully qualified, I mean comprehensively trained on all pieces of equipment, in all abilities, injuries, and aspects of the body. That is the standard you get on a general basis in places like New York and London.
There seems to be a real sense of community in pilates. Do you think there is a demand for that in the fitness industry?
I think there should be. Pilates is all about being the best that you can be, the strongest, the healthiest and the community is really brilliant at supporting each other through that journey, and celebrating people’s achievements.
Why is it so important to go to London to train?
When I did my training, it was through an apprenticeship. I was in the studio 12 hours a day, physically doing the work so that I understood it and could break it down and teach it. I learnt to develop my eye through the support of another teacher next to me, ready to catch me when I fell. There is more opportunity to do this in London, with a fully qualified teacher who holds your hand through the process of learning.
Are there many opportunities for studio training nowadays?
No, there aren’t many and that is showing in the standard. Any career that you do, you’ve got to really practise your craft and understand how it feels to be able to teach it. I’m currently doing my third apprenticeship.
How do you identify if someone has the appropriate training?
Ask questions. You need to ask where this person trained, and how long it took them to do their training. Somebody generally should have taken at least between a year to two years to do their training. Was it in a studio? If somebody has learnt online, that’s not good. Questions are really important because the answers show a teacher’s level of understanding.
What are the risks of being taught by someone without studio training?
If you are going to a pilates class, you have to take responsibility for asking the teacher what their knowledge and experience is. If you have an injury, this gives the teacher the opportunity to say ‘I don’t know what to do with you’, avoiding further pain if a class or exercise isn’t appropriate. No teacher should be annoyed if you ask questions. I love it when I have a new client and they grill me.
The Old Armoury
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