Deborah Lessen is an acknowledged leader in the Pilates field. Ms. Lessen is a founding member and Immediate-Past President of the Pilates Method Alliance, serving on the Board of Directors since its inception.
She was instrumental in the creation and implementation of the PMA Pilates Certification Exam, the only 3rd party credentialing exam for Pilates professionals, facilitating a broad spectrum of tenured Pilates teachers to work together toward a common goal. She is also the editor and a contributor to the PMA Pilates Certification Exam Study Guide, and Chairperson of the PMA Certification Commission.
A former professional dancer and teacher, she was trained to teach the Pilates method by Joseph Pilates' first protégé, Carola Trier. Ms. Lessen founded the Greene Street Studio in 1983, which nurtures a broad base of clients in the Pilates method for general conditioning, performance specific training, injury prevention, and post-rehabilitation. She offered on-site comprehensive teacher training from 1994 to 2004. As co-defendant in the federal trademark infringement action for use of the name "Pilates," she rallied the community to oppose the action. The Pilates name was made generic in a sweeping victory in November, 1999. The victory party in New York City was the launch of the Pilates Method Alliance.