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The making of a pilates teacher

So for my first blog post I thought I’d bring you up to date with how I became the teacher I am today.

New Beginnings

Early on in my professional dance training (I went to the Legat School of Classical Ballet at 12 years old) I was given the responsibility of leading a ballet class for my peers. With the support of a fantastic pianist, I really enjoyed the experience.

Being a late developer in full time dance training – I suffered a few injuries including shin splints which I self diagnosed and my GP took my word for it: Sending me straight to a physio for treatment.

Hurrah for anatomy research and the wonderful NHS!

Many years later, after completing my BA Hons degree in Contemporary Dance Studies at London Contemporary Dance School, I was keen to teach again.

Life After Full Time Education

Between performing jobs I started teaching an adults Ballet Fitness class from my local gym. It was a learning curve and a steep one at that. Trying to get the word out about my class was hard!

This was before the current social media phenomenon really took off. I have such fond memories of the people who attended, family and friends who had two left feet joining in. They were determined to support me.

I spent many years afterwards teaching children and adults. Children in special needs schools and teaching adults in inclusive environments and in various community centres. I travelled across Kent, Sussex, Surrey and London, happily bringing my joy for dance with me wherever I went.

Silver Lining

One winter there was unexpected heavy snow fall in Kent. While driving back to Essex (my new home county) I was in a motorway pile-up. Not my favourite experience certainly! But, it did bring me to practising and eventually teaching pilates. So…

Recovery from whiplash injury was slow and added to this I suffered with PTSD. Not that I knew what was making me an insomniac, angry and tearful at the time. Once I had a diagnosis and started treatment, the fog cleared and I was able to focus more clearly on effective physical rehabilitation. Attending pilates classes twice a week saw my neck, shoulder and back pain diminish. My physical confidence returned and my boyfriend (now husband) suggested I train as a pilates teacher since I was dedicating so much time to it.

Time To Hit The Books

After much research into pilates teacher courses: I settled on the STOTT PILATES method of mindful movement. It is an internationally recognised qualification, level 3 and supported by YMCA-FIT. The course was held at YMCA-FIT in Tottenham Court Road, London. I had a wonderful time surrounded by fellow pilates devotees.

I studied my anatomy and physiology from home. Completing both the level 2 and 3 course work and exams despite having a sleep thief of a super cute baby and being utterly exhausted. I LOVED using my brain in such a way again, 10 years after completing my degree at LCDS. The case study was an enormous amount of work! I possibly went into more detail than was needed as the assessor said it was fantastically detailed and she was impressed with all of the modifications I managed to use and describe.

Continuing Professional Development

Since then I have attended STOTT PILATES training courses in the use of various small equipment. This included the Fitness Circle, Flex-Band, Mini-stability Ball, Foam Roller and pre/post natal pilates matwork. Also,┬áTotal Barre (also from the Merrithew method of mindful movement) is still a new class to me. I am really enjoying how I can get cardio and strength into this workout which brings dance and pilates together for an hour of feel good fun. Or least I think it’s fun!!!

This isn’t the end of my training as a teacher that’s for sure. I am already eyeing up the STOTT PILATES fascia release course…

I hope that I bring my life experience (I’ve packed it in so far), joy of movement and care for the wonderful people who come to class to every session that I teach.

Watch this space for more pilates and dance movement based musings…