PMA Townhall - Moving Towards Change

John Marston and I recently spoke to two board members of the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) about the new PMA committee, the Diversity, Equity and Community Committee. We asked Tabatha Koylass and Nicky Taylor Steward the following questions and below are their answers. This new committee will be holding a Townhall on Tuesday, December 29, 2020. This will be an opportunity for all in the community to address concerns about what is happening in the industry. A link to sign up is included at the end of the article to register to attend.

1. What is the DECC? Why was it formed and who is involved?

The Diversity, Equity and Community Committee (DECC) of the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) are committed to cultivating and supporting all of the diverse groups of Pilates professionals that exist within our community. We are dedicated to creating a space where Pilates professionals of different races and cultural backgrounds, shapes and sizes, gender identities, and sexual orientations, as well as lineages and methodologies, can have open and honest discussions and interactions. We aim to build a true legacy of camaraderie and a sanctuary that supports our whole community. The DECC was created to guide the way for the PMA to rectify past missteps and to move forward with greater intention, establishing a strong and welcoming platform for everyone in our community to speak and be heard.

The formation of the DECC is currently being conducted by volunteers from the PMA Board of Directors including - Alisa Wyatt, NCPT; Emily Mokwunye, NCPT; Eurona Tilley, NCPT; Katie Santos, NCPT; Nicky Taylor Steward, NCPT; Stella Hull-Lampkin; and, Tabatha Koylass, NCPT. We welcome input from the Pilates community as we undertake this endeavor.

2. What is the mission of the DECC?

We recognize that so many of us have been misunderstood, ignored, and hurt; and, we stand steadfast with those who have been unseen and unheard for far too long. If an organization only represents teachers and clients that look like a specific homogeneous group, a true sense of community cannot and will not be attained. As such, the primary goal of the DECC is to develop a community filled with teachers, students, and Pilates enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and we are committed to doing the work involved to build a true home for everyone in our industry. The DECC’s mission and goals are being finalized and will be publicized soon.

3. How did the decision to have a Townhall come to fruition?

Our Townhall, Moving Towards Change, was created in response to concerns expressed by PMA members and other Pilates professionals to events that occurred on social media, both recently and in the past.

4. What will be addressed at the Townhall?

We will discuss the committee’s work and plans for transforming the PMA. We will take questions from the audience to address any concerns that members of the Pilates community might have regarding the PMA’s approach to diversity, equity, and community.

5. Is the Townhall only for PMA members or can anyone join? Why should people attend?

The Townhall is free of charge and open to anyone interested, not just PMA members. As we work to create and support diverse Pilates communities, we actively seek input from Pilates professionals from all walks of life, so everyone’s attendance and active participation is welcomed.

6. What do you hope to accomplish with this meeting?

We seek to be transparent about our intentions, processes, and commitment to diversity, equity, and community and to engage others toward positive change. We wish to give people a space to voice their concerns, express their opinions, and encourage them to ask the hard questions.

7. Will this be the only chance to attend or will you have more Townhall meetings?

There is a second Townhall meeting scheduled for Saturday, January 23, 2021.

8. What do you want the Pilates community to know about the PMA?

The PMA was originally designed to bring Pilates teachers together; however, it has become increasingly clear that the organization has fallen short of this mission. The trademark lawsuit established the pathway for the type of community that we desire but the lack of intention created the circumstances that allowed the PMA, like many organizations, to fall prey to both the perils of systemic racism and the burgeoning of explicit and implicit biases that continue to plague our industry today. The PMA is cognizant of its past mistakes and is actively working to change for the better and to support all of the diverse groups of Pilates professionals that exist within our community.

9. When will the first Townhall be and how can I sign up?

The first Townhall meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 29th at 4 pm PST; 6 pm CST; 7 pm EST.

Gia Calhoun
About the Author

Gia Calhoun

Gia Calhoun is a Pilates teacher based in Los Angeles, California, who has been teaching Pilates since 2007. In addition to being an employee for Pilates Anytime, she is also a ballet dancer who has danced with companies all over the United States.


No comments yet. Be the first!

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Pilates Anytime Logo

Move With Us

Experience Pilates. Experience life.

Let's Begin