Discussion #1592

The Pilates Center Training

2 hr 15 min - Discussion
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This is part of a series of discussions that profile Pilates teacher training programs. For the most up to date information about The Pilates Center please visit their website.

Amy Taylor Alpers and Rachel Taylor Segel
Chapter 1 Becoming Pilates Teachers 10m 32s
Chapter 2 Starting The Pilates Center 4m 20s
Chapter 3 Trademark Lawsuit 2m 01s
Chapter 4 Starting a Training Program 11m 38s
Chapter 5 What Makes The Pilates Center Unique? 10m 39s
Chapter 6 How Many Graduates are There? 1m 35s
Chapter 7 The Everything Pilates Book 2m 03s
Chapter 8 Training Program vs Certification 5m 26s
Amy Taylor Alpers and Kelli Burkhalter-Hutchins
Chapter 9 Director of Education Introduction 1m 45s
Chapter 10 The Intermediate Program 6m 03s
Chapter 11 Bridge Program 0m 57s
Chapter 12 Taking a Course in Boulder, Colorado 7m 02s
Chapter 13 Advanced Program 1m 36s
Chapter 14 Licensed Studios 3m 13s
Chapter 15 Case Studies 3m 41s
Chapter 16 Graduate Level Programs 11m 34s
Chapter 17 Continuing Education 2m 45s
Background Information
Chapter 18 The Pilates Center Studio Tour 17m 15s


What You'll Need: No props needed

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Apr 23, 2014
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Chapter 1

Becoming Pilates Teachers

We got into plots. It was really because Rachel was moving to New York. I had moved to New York in 1976 to go to college to go to Julliard. She was living in boulder. And, um, she just kinda needed a break. She came to New York for a little while and she had read these articles that were in dance magazine. You want to say with those? Yeah. Corolla tree heir wrote a share. Yeah. Shares, Corolla shares.

And there was a series of articles in dance magazine way back when, probably when I was 18 or 19, um, about PyLadies. And that was the first time I'd ever heard of them. Yeah. And I, Amy and I were ballet dancers all of our childhood and into, um, our teenage and college years and all the way up really through our thirties and forties even. Cause that's about when I was in New York. And, um, I think dancers always gravitated to [inaudible] because of the grace and the precision and the form of it that you could trust. And, and we were always injured and searching for a better way of, of moving. And Joe, of course, didn't care for dancers all that much. He thought that they were very extreme and he thought that they weren't natural at all and he didn't like them sacrificing their natural movement for their art. But the answers were always attracted to it. And so when I moved to New York, um, uh, at the end of 1986, um, Amy got me a job, the dance collection at Lincoln Center, we became library. I became a library and type and one of the women there introduced me to the Alvin Ailey school and I started teaching ballet at the Alvin Ailey school.

And meanwhile, the most, one of the most important reasons I went to New York was to start studying polarities. So I'd been a ballet dancer, a ballet teacher, director of a ballet school. Amy had been in dancer professional as well as a ballet teacher throughout New York City. And um, so when I came to New York, I was determined to study and then at a certain place, and at a certain point there was articles in dance magazine, again from Romana. And so we determined that Romana was who we were going to go see. She was the heir to Joseph [inaudible] as far as we knew. And she was a classical ballet dancer.

We understood that and she was right downtown and she who, she's a very, um, dynamic, charismatic figure and adorable. And so you went one time she came back because you told me that sort of standard thing like, oh my gosh, the equipment looks like torture chambers. They put you in all these strange things that's on that, gosh, everything was duct tape together. And then between that one time or one or two times that you went to that one studio before I jumped in, they moved. So Rachel saw this one location that was sort of on West 56th street or something? Yes, yes. And then they moved to this other location, which was on east 53rd or something like that, close by like Lexington and 53rd. I can't quite remember. But, um, that was where I started and that's where they were for the next two and a half years until the moment of the, um, the moment that changed everything was, I always think of it as April fool's day, 1989. That's how I think of it.

So for that stretch of time, they were in that particular location, which was, um, just a brief place. And I had years before, like in Knights 1975, I'd been in New York for two months and staying in a, um, a women's, uh, housing place, like a dorm almost, or like a, what do you call those places? Women's boarding house, basically that was called the Webster. And, um, coincidentally, a lot of dancers from dance theater of Harlem lived there. And one of my best friends had moved from, we're from Ohio originally had moved to New York and was with dance theatre of Harlem. And they would come back and we would sit around chatting after their day and they would talk about this crazy woman who was making them do all these very odd things. And little did we know until later that that was Kathy grant.

So she was kind of the first person that I'd heard of as a [inaudible] person, you know, and I later met some people who had been clients of hers and became teachers for her. And I almost started with Kathy because I was having really bad shin splints and I kept thinking, oh, I have to do this, I have to do this. And I, I called her one time, but she was so, um, New York, east New York. He on the phone that I, you could tell she was in the middle of stuff. And I mean, after I got to know her later, I understood completely, but she was just a little too gruff for me. So I was like, okay, I can't do that. I'm not doing that. So, but so then when we did start at the studio in New York, it felt like with Vermont, I just felt so at home because it really was just almost like a different dance school. Cause Ramana was so much like any other grand dom ballet teacher you'd had.

And so, you know, it felt absolutely natural to us. She was just that person who represented our, our world. And um, we took three times a week every week for, and it was really, really inexpensive if you were a dancer, Gosh, I don't even really remember. I think you get your first five sessions, you had to take five sessions, you know, that were sort of like privates, but they never really were. You just came in, you did your workout and $25, I was even gonna say a hundred maybe for the five cheap, $20 a piece. And then after that it was even less.

And if you were a dancer it was even cheaper. So it was, it was great. I mean we could come in, you came in whenever you wanted, you worked out, you know, there were just teachers on the floor who would kind of guide you but not like, like Joe's helpers. Yeah, I think it was still really run very similarly to the way that Joe had run the studio classes. You know, every now and again serendipitously, a group might form and an end over on the mat and somebody would take you through a mat. But really otherwise you were on your own. We studied there that way until that shocking day of, of, of April's in 1989 and that was the day I went to the studio to take a lesson and I remembered as a Monday. I don't know if that's true or not, but I, you know, went up in the elevator and the doors wouldn't open. And I was like, what? What's going on? You know, and I go back down, there was a door man, so I said, where, where are they? So, oh they moved out over this weekend. Panic. I remember going to out onto the street, I found a payphone cause it's 1989 and I called Rachel, I'm like, oh my God, it's gone. What are we going to do? You know?

And I always laughed cause I went like right across the street to Ann Taylor and just had shopping therapy and I was like, what we did. So then we went back to the dance collection since we were working there, because I had also, I, after I went to Julliard for a year, then I went to NYU and got a degree in dance and then a master's in dance history. And so then I got a job at the dance collection, the New York public library. So when Rachel came, I was able to get her job there as well. And so we went to the dance collection, we looked Ramana's name up so we would know how to spell it. And then we found her in the phone book, cause you could still find people in the phone book. And we called her up and she said, oh honey, don't worry, we'll reopen. And, and they did, they reopened then at Dragos gym and at this other place that was called body arts or something like that, a small place on the, on the east side near Bloomingdale's. And, um, and so, so we started to go to both of those locations, but we kind of felt like, oh my gosh, this is a little fly by night and we're thinking of moving now. Because the grant we were working on at the library was coming up and Rachel was getting married and it was like, Eh, by the summer of 89, we were thinking it was time to start, you know, our next lives we went up to, we tie home.

Who was the guy who owned the studio at the Times? Male partners had a male part. Yeah. She was, had somebody who owned the studio for her. So she didn't really have to be the studio owner. She could just be the teacher. And um, and I, and I said two things to him. One was Rachel and I really want to learn how to teach this. How do we do that?

We just been students, we were obviously teachers and had been dancers for many years and we're kind of, you know, the standard category of people who would become teachers, you know? And so they were like, oh, okay. So they created this $500 two week teacher training program for us, which really essentially was, we gave them $500 and then we had access to Hermana for two weeks. We could just sit next to her and ask her, follow her, ran around and take notes. And at the same time I said, and I also want to buy a reformer cause we're going to be moving to Colorado. And we, you know, the whole thing was a big secret back then.

Like you didn't know how you got equipment. It was a big secret. So he said, okay, and it'll be $3,000. So I said, okay, I don't, I have no idea. So, okay. Um, so I, I gave him, we, we paid for our teacher training program when we did that. And then, um, I gave him the money for this reformer and then we moved. So we'll you, ty never delivered that reformer. So I was talking back and forth with him for, for months and months and months, and I'm not getting this reformer. And, but finally he said, well, you know, I can get you to other reformers that are half the price of the, of the growths. One, um, and very coincidentally happened to be made by man Herron in boulder, whose name was Barry Butler. And so he got me one of those who's only able to get me one of those. So then I was like, okay, well you still owe me $1,500.

So I wrote him a letter and I said, well, you know, look for my $1,500, Rachel and I have decided we want to open a studio and we want to call it the Pilati Center. Can we do that? And for that $1,500, he wrote back and said, yes, we could do that. Can you use that name that you can use? The name Pilati is the word [inaudible] in your studio's name, which nobody at the time was, was able to do or felt they could do. We tie was trying very weakly to, um, grow and in control the trademarks that he thought he had. And, um, obviously he didn't,

Chapter 2

Starting The Pilates Center

we were sitting on Amy's swing in the front on our front porch on a hot day in the early summer going, what do you want to do? And I don't know, what do you want to do? And you know, it wasn't about what do you want to do right now? It's like, what do you want to do with your life or the rest of your life? And she said, well, I want to open a Palani center or I want to open a plotty studio.

And I said, well, uh, okay, I'll help you. Yeah. So how do we do that? So the name went back to, yes. So I went back to New York. So June of 1990 I went back to New York just to spend a week there and to study a little bit more with Ramana. And one day I was at the studio, which was that body arts place on the upper east side. And this guy walked in with a spine corrector and I said, does he build equipment? And Ramana said, yeah, you don't know Steve. So she introduced me to Steve Giordano. And Steve had been a, a protege of hers and he had started to help her purchase run different aspects of the business up and particularly up at the, at the university state university at purchase. And um, and he also happened to just, he just was a jack of all trades kind of guy, so he also built equipment. So I, you know, got introduced to him and I said, well, we're thinking of opening a studio in boulder. And he said, Oh, I'd love to come out to boulder. I'll come out, I'll build your studio. So within like a month, really very quickly, he came out to boulder, he built all our original equipment except for the one or two reformers we did have because I think you eventually get it. Got One from Barry Butler too.

Yeah, I had to pay him myself. And then, um, we introduced him to mark spinner, wasn't uh, became a pretty well known equipment build or not on the um, level big scale like Stott or balanced body, but you know, really well known. Probably the third or fourth, well known of all equipment time at the time came in. He was a friend of a client of mine cause I started teaching PyLadies at the rec centers here in boulder. And one of my rec center clients had a husband who was a contractor. And we, we just needed some little bit of work done in our new studio. And he came, this guy came in, mark and Steve was like, Hey, I need help. So all of a sudden now mark is building equipment too. And Ramana did let Steve take all the dimensions and ratios and all that kind of stuff from those original pieces of, of Joe Equipment in her studio.

They were metal reformers. And um, and there was very little, uh, um, padding and it was duct tape together. And who knew how old are the orangs for video? Yeah. But she allowed him to take, um, all the, all the measurements that were needed. And then when he came out here, he started building equipment, supposedly looked to the measurements of that. And, and, uh, and we've found that to be actually quite true when we started creating center line. Um, and so Steve then said, what about a training program once you like to have a training program out here? Because we knew we wanted a bigger studio with more people in it and more teachers in it. And, um, and so he was at the exact same time with Rachel and me and Romana designing our teacher training program.

And he is also the guy who brought Sean Gallagher into the industry thinking it could be kind of cool if we had medical people in, maybe we could even build medical insurance if it was covered, you know, so he and Sean and Romana were developing essentially the same programs at the same time. And it was Stephen Romana both out here and in New York. So the polarity studio program and the play center program started almost identically and almost at the same time. And Romana came out for the first two, three years and taught our lectures for us, signed our first and signed our first certificates. And, um, people like Wendy Arbuckle and Gary called around. Um, Jonathan Oldham, who's now a Fletcher person, but he did our program way back when. And um, so it was, was a pretty magical time. In summer of 19 two 92,

Chapter 3

Trademark Lawsuit

we got a call and that was from Sean Gallagher saying, Hey, you know, I had bought the trademark now and you can't really continue to call yourself the Pilati Center, especially if Steve is still working with you because clearly they had had a split and we had started, had a split with Steve too, and he's an amazing guy. Brilliant guy. Integral to the plot in this world as it is now. Yeah. He, he leads planted seeds all over the place. That became amazing things. He just, he himself was a little bit difficult and, and scattered. So, you know, he, he went on then to find, to create another little teacher training program here in Boulder. And Julie Loved Dell, took that training program and then they formed what became peak. So Steve was also the beginning of the peak equipment as well.

Um, you know, so, so he, he just started a lot of stuff, but then he would eventually separate from everybody. And, um, and I, I don't know, you know, what was the impetus for Sean wanting to buy that trademark so dramatically? But I've often wondered if it wasn't a little bit like a competition with Steve, like Steve can't have it. Yes, I'll get it. So, I mean, we never knew for sure, but by that time, you know, the thing was starting to splinter, you could see it happening. And so that was about when everybody went underground and Sean, over the many years for the next eight years, he would keep sending us letters saying, you know, you calling being, you can't keep calling yourself the ply center. And we'd say, okay, well send us something. And then he never would. And finally to his detriment. Yeah. Because finally he did, they came out and we were deposed for many hours, couple of days worth. And, um, and we, um, and then I went to New York and actually testified in the, in the court case.

And I basically had given the letter, the copy of the letter that I had a tie from. We tie saying that we could use the name. And that was kind of it. So, you know, that was our story for sure. We've had,

Chapter 4

Starting a Training Program

we've been so blessed here at the studio, Rachel and I got to study with Romana, but then one of the first teachers we ever hired was Debra Robinson colway and she'd been a student of Eve's and Michelle Larson's. And so she brought with her this other thing that we were itching for, which was we loved the classical work, the classical form, the idea that it's a complete whole entity and there's rhythm and there's flow and there's order and sequence. But we wanted to teach it to different bodies, different bodies, well as possible as soon as possible and not as generically and not like just teach people how to do this material, but teach people how to use the material to change their bodies. And so with the, with we're starting to see the kind of stuff that Deborah had learned from eve, you know, began, began to give us a little bit more of an opening to not change the work at all, but to teach it from a deeper place. And then soon Kara, Kara racer came and she had been a student of Kathy's at NYU.

She wasn't a teacher of is yet, but she came and took our teacher train. I'm not sure if Kathy is the one who even recommended that she could. She did. I think Kathy said, oh, we should go to those sisters. So caretakers, I know that's all. We were always known as the sisters. Um, so Cara came and took our teacher training program and she would tell us a little bit about Kathy and then, and then he came, Hiroshi moved here. Who'd been a teacher under Kathy and Amanda took studio at Bendel's. Yeah. So then she took our teacher training program too.

So for a while we had Deborah, Kara and Kim all teaching pros. Deborah still does teach for us. And, um, you know, that infiltrated our, our program really powerfully. So even though the repertoire is the pure classical stuff, we learned from Romana the heart and the soul includes from [inaudible] ton of heart and soul for sure. But it also includes the Cathy and the eve influence. So we thought we'd have this, this three lineages, the three lineages that that affected the Palladia center in particular. But then we wanted Jonathan, who was one of our original grads who was, had gotten interested in the Fletcher work.

We wanted him to come and do a little thing. And he was a physical therapist too. Yes. So, so he came in and he did this lovely little brief thing. And then Jillian, next time she saw us, she was like, well, you have to have Corolla. So then the next time we did the five lineages and, and we had, we've always used either Kara or, or Kim Heroes for the Kathy part and Deb for the, um, Eve gentry and Rachel and I do Hermana, but we brought in and we bring Jonathon in to do the Fletcher stuff. And then we've had both Debra lessen Angelian come in and do the Corolla because they're the main people. So I mean, so you know, our, our mission to heal the world through [inaudible] is through the classical work, but is through the influence of a lot of these other teachers who, who've enabled us to really deepen our own teaching skills. And, um, and one of our main goals of our teacher training program is defined is to figure out who you are as a teacher. Like who are you and what do you see and how do you see it and what do you think? And you know, w what's your experience inside your body and how does that make you an incredibly unique teacher. So, um, you know, that's evolved over time since that cause we're absolutely not interested in creating like this cookie cutter people who can teach you how to do the exercises. So I think the, the influence of some of those other teachers is, is really a big, huge piece of, yeah.

One of the things we found by g by t hat by hosting that lineages workshop was, has similar all how all those different lineages, which up to this time we're very far apart from one another, holding their stuff closely to them, jealously guarding and how when we brought it all together and we saw all these old video tapes and we heard the stories of the old studio and they, all of them had worked together in Joe's studio or at Corolla studio at the same time. And so we started seeing how, how the thing, the sameness in all the lineages as opposed to all the differences. That was a thrilling product of the workshop when we've done it several times and everyone who comes to it ends up with that same, um, realization that the, that the, the idea of lineage is, is cool. But actually, actually, even though actually, even though they took it to where they did, and Ron had his, you know, authority from letters from Claire after Joe's death to say, go ahead and, you know, do some standing work, Joe would have approved, etc. Um, all of that stuff still started in the same source with return to life with those, with that philosophy. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And to find out that Romana had taught for Corolla with Kathy, you know, that they, that they were a small group back then and they knew each other and they, you know, and Cathy and Romana were dear, dear, dear friends, really very close and there was a rift for awhile and then they, they luckily were able to kind of reconnect it for Kathy died.

So that was very sweet. Um, but I was going to say that the, the original teacher training idea [inaudible] like when we took the program, we might've been the first people they ever said, oh, here's an official program for what it was worth. And we got them to sign certificates. I don't know if there's anybody of, of that era who had some kind of certificate from some sort of program, let alone from Romana with her name on it. Um, and then after that teacher training programs, yes, you just apprentice. And then one day they said, hey, would you mind or are you interested? And then you became a teacher, you know, and we were moving away and wanting to start something, you know, more kind of official. And then when Steve came out and said, how about let's do a teacher training program, we literally sat down and created it and we came up with, you know, how do you distribute all of this material out over different levels. Like we had a card from Hermana that maybe had three levels in it, but it was pretty vague and just reformer and Matt and you know, so we stretched it out and we added topics and we created this very formalized codified teacher training program. And Carrie, yeah.

But we also had the ignorance is bliss kind of thing too. Cause we really didn't know. You know, it was so new, we didn't know what there was or what. There wasn't really so, and Steve was so potent. It was fine. So we created this program and literally that is still the program today. It has changed very little because it was so complete and it was a to z. It really, it took you frogs from the most introductory through all the various topics you would need to perfect how to teach that and then layer into the next level to the very most advanced which Steve called superhuman, that level five. Yeah.

So we kind of distributed into five levels cause there really weren't a, Jodie didn't even, there weren't even names for all the exercises. Ramana was not a very strong chair teacher so especially the chair we had to kind of work out a lot of that and there weren't particularly agreed upon names for a lot of that material. So you know we established names for things and some of that stuff becomes like factual and it's like well we just kind of made that one up cause we really didn't know. And so you know over the years we, if we heard oh well the PMA is using this one or Cathy said absolutely no it was this one, we'd change it. Now we just try to include as many of those names as possible so that if somebody is taking our program they certainly can also pass the PMA exam no problem. Because they'll have the same names, et cetera. But literally that program, which was a 12 month program, that was the only program we had from 91 to 2007 that was the only program and it did have quite a lot of prerequisite.

You had to be at a a pretty advanced intermediate, advanced level to get in. And we really wanted that for several reasons. One, it's specifically people to be sure they loved [inaudible] and this was something they wanted to, to devote their lives to and that they were healthy and fit and could withstand the rigors of the program. Because our program does require that you do the advanced material to the degree that it's impossible to do it for you. You know, obviously if it's, if it's going to be a completely unsafe, cause we have had people with rods in their spines or whatever, you know, we'll work with you, but the assumption is you're going to learn it all, do it all so you can teach it all. All the elders would say things like, um, well you should do plots for at least 10 years before you would think about becoming a [inaudible] teacher. And that's how it was a dance to like, you didn't become a dance teacher from nowhere. You were a dance student your whole life.

And then if you were a teacher also you evolved into being a teacher. So we still had that mindset. We still very believe in it very strongly, but the world does not conspire to support that very well. So, you know, so we, we definitely struggled more and more and more with that as more teacher training programs or hang out, bring up that had no prerequisites or really easy ones. Our program became, started getting a reputation for being, you know, just impossible. So difficult. And so we were like, well that's not what we meant. You know, we just really felt strongly that you better love this stuff. You better know this stuff and you better be strong and healthy in your body because the program itself is quite rigorous. So, and we still do believe that. Yes. And we also always believed and still do that as a teacher, is learning the plots method.

They should learn all the beginning exercises on every piece of equipment and then they should learn all the level two or beginning intermediate, and then they should learn the whole work, whether their studio has all the pieces of equipment or not. They have to learn those pieces of equipment so they have a rich understanding of all the different ways the body can be addressed at this level of beginner or be able to really repertoire. It's not like, oh, here's the reformer and these are the things you can do on the reformer. It's really like, oh, here's this person and here's their story and here's where they struggle in their body. And then this is, these are your tools and we wanted, we philosophically chose from the very beginning that we were going to teach it the way you would teach it to your client as opposed to teach it in chunks. Okay, here's the reformer repertoire and here's the Cadillac repertory. Never agreed with that. No. So to this day, that's still the way we do it.

You learn the very, very basic material first and the skills and thoughts you're going to need for that. And then you learn the next layer and, and try to understand that the whole thing is woven together. Like one big piece of fabric. You know, you can't, you can't pluck pieces out very easily and in particular you can't really pluck the mat out, you know, because it's, it's sort of the ultimate as opposed to the artists. The simple stuff, you know, I mean all of the equipment evolution came from the idea that you couldn't just do mat by yourself. You're going to need all this equipment and, and the reality is to teach [inaudible] well, you actually do need all the equipment.

Chapter 5

What Makes The Pilates Center Unique?

What makes our program unique, Amy? I think it's, I think it's a number of things, um, especially because of what we hear back from graduates. Um, the heart, the passion, the belief that you can change the world through healing people. And that we teach teachers to find within themselves their unique passion for this and their unique art, really, that nobody can see through their eyes with their mind, with the history and story they have. They can't, nobody can see through my eyes. Nobody can see through Rachel's eyes. They have to see through their eyes and helping people discover that about themselves to develop their own creativity, to recognize and appreciate their own uniqueness and the value that their uniqueness has for the world. Because nobody else can do it quite like they can, you know, so that, that's so key to us that, that the teacher who graduates at the end of the program is this incredibly unique teacher who, who sees the beauty of the value, the, the form, but knows to trust their, their, um, own way in helping that person. Because in the end, it's, it's two people. If you're doing a private, you know, communicating on a really, really personal level and that, that level of communication only occurs if the teacher themselves is very, um, trustworthy, essentially that the client feels a sense of deep trust in that person.

And that trust only comes from being really present. So if you're not really present with the client, the client's not going to trust you. And to get there, you have to have developed your own skills so you're not just cookie cutter and you're not just parroting what somebody else told you to say. So we're, we're trying to set you on that journey. You won't necessarily be there. That's the rest of your life that you'll be developing your own teaching, but that you see that there's this possibility in that you aren't, we are not at all trying to get you to memorize a script or really memorize anything.

This is an extremely organic method and it's an extremely organic process. I think one of the aspects to that too is that we, uh, teach our trainees to think of it as a partnership with their clients so that they don't stand with all the knowledge and just handed over to a person who is only receiving, but that the client signs a piece of paper at the beginning of their, uh, work with that teacher that says that they take responsibility for themselves. The teacher is, is, uh, taught by us to ask the client, well, if you did it this way, what would it feel like? Or would you get some more of this if I just moved it this way? Or how about I use this image? Or what does it feel like to you?

Or did you do your homework? You know, like the client has to be as fully present as the teacher and take cause we really want them to own it. We want the client to leave the lesson, owning it out in the world going, oh wait, I'm thinking about that sensation that I had. And remembering that that was the thing that actually enabled me to feel, you know, less fear or more power or something like that and that to t for that process to occur, for the client to leave with that, the teacher has to have a certain style. They have to be able to relate to this person, but not hold court. They actually literally have to be in relationship with this person.

And so enabling that part of the journey, yes, there's a ton of material you have to learn. You can't learn it, that has to occur, but be stand in it. So sure ugly that you can be creative inside it. And I think you know it with Ramana, she did that intuitively and instinctively we absorbed that naturally because we were already movement teachers. It wasn't even until recently when I did a Romana workshop, like a legacy Romana thing, which was very cool for me to try to pull that back up. And then I realized like, oh, that is how we teach.

Because she was our first teacher and our main teacher and she, um, we just osmose that, you know, so we, we try in the studio to constantly create that sense in the, in the entire space that you are learning, you are absorbing and it's not just the facts and figures by any means. It's definitely this way of being with people that is, is the, the necessity that's required for change to actually occur. Joe wanted his clients to become autonomous. He wanted them to be able to go and do his work without him. And that's what we want our clients to be able to do.

And we want our teachers to have clients who will be willing and enthusiastic to do that. And one of the things in our studio that I've always been so grateful for is that we have so many good teachers here, many of whom have been with us for so long. And we share our clients because we feel like, you know, they can't get everything from one person. And you may be tr, you may be telling them the exact right thing to do in five different ways. For the last five months and you send them over to so and so who then says it in the same words but at a different time or in a different exercise. And they go, Oh my God, I've never heard that before. That feels so right. And it's like, you know, we don't, we don't have a studio where the first teacher would feel badly that they find that they finally got it with another teacher.

We would all celebrate that because we know all of the steps for it to occur. And then there's a little bit of serendipity involved, you know, and we philosophically, even from the very beginning, this is a little off topic, but not really. We, we also wanted all of our teachers, all of them are grads of our programs. So we're all speaking a similar language and we wanted them all to be employees because we really didn't want that independent contractor field petition base. Yeah. So the whole, the whole space is all one organic entity that is working as a singular organisms so that you don't feel that, oh, you know, I used to go to her but now I can't go to her anymore. You know, how do I switch? That person's going to be mad at me or, or from the teacher's point of view either. Right? Because we just wanted it to be about healing people and if that is, if that energies in the space, then it's a different thing. You know? Also philosophically we were extremely committed to the idea that you learn the material organically and what I mean as you learn it the way you're going to teach it, you have access to the entire system at this more introductory level.

And then as they start to progress and feel like they're pretty good and then you move to the next level and that you learn it as a teacher the way you learned it as a client so that you can teach it to the client that way. And that there isn't this confusion at all that that surfaces, because you don't really see how it's woven together, you know, so that that's so, um, I think really fundamental to the [inaudible] center program is that, that you, if you were a student of it, you learned it a certain way and if you were going to present it, you would by nature kind of teach it the way you learned it. And so we want to make sure that that's the way the program is laid out for people so that they get it piece by piece, by piece, by piece, by piece. Whether they have those pieces of equipment in their studio or not when they graduate, at least they know they have felt it in their own body. They know what it gives them and what it could potentially give their clients so that they might be able to teach the push through with, uh, with another piece of equipment because they don't have a Cadillac or they may be able to teach swan the way it would feel on the high barrel, even if they don't have a high barrel.

Knowing the gifts that doing swan there promote in the body, they would look for ways to make those things happen in the client's body without the high barrel. So they have a wealth of experience too. And I'm like articulating that experience and especially in the exams and in our ots went our observed teachings when they have to defend why it is they're doing what they're doing, they having articulated the decision making process from their standpoint means they really own it. And so if they, so then they have a really good reason for doing it. Whether we agree with them or not. If they can defend their good reason, we'll accept it and it makes them think that way so that you know, even if they have a studio with a mat and a chair, they have felt every single exercise have taught every single exercise and know what there is to be had there. Even though all they have as a chair and a map. That's really right. Right. Portant right. So we're, we're, we're not a school that encourages, oh, create up a new exercise, but we are a school that encourages, well, if you can't make it happen because you don't have a piece of equipment or this piece of equipment isn't working to get that quality come up with some way to enable the quality because the quality, it's the feeling the change inside the body. That's interesting.

Not necessarily doing the exercise technically accurate. You know, and people come in all shapes and sizes and you have to learn how to make bodies fit into the exercise so that the exercise actually still produces the correct result. And you're not just teaching them how to do an exercise that, you know, because of its unique design that doesn't necessarily fit them perfectly. They're just going to figure out how to do it, you know? And it might not even be a health. Yeah, it could be in balancing them. Yeah.

Chapter 6

How Many Graduates are There?

And maybe lastly, I'd say a huge, a huge aspect of our program is that we really only graduate 25 30 people a year. So, I mean, the number of Palani center graduates out there since 1991, the first ones in 1992, right is a little over 500. Yeah. 550 give or take. Yeah. Yeah.

And there are studios that graduate more than that in a year. So, you know, we, we, we take great pride in each teacher. We, we personalize our approach with them. And, um, you know, we're, we're definitely, we're definitely not a numbers company by any means. You know, we w and our way of actually reaching more and more people so that we can actually, um, stay true to our mission, which is deal the world is simply by putting more teachers out into the world. And we've expanded into having licensed studios and host studio so that more locations can have access to it. But, um, we probably never see ourselves actually producing many more teachers than that any year. It's too, it's, it's too precious. It's a really beautiful thing. It's like producing a piece of art or something, you know, how many can you produce any year, you know, so I mean, that's important to us, that, that everybody, that it stays personal and it stays small and it stays, you know, unique July's digitalized.

Chapter 7

The Everything Pilates Book

So having said all that about, about our mission that's carried us through all these 23 years and about how, um, how that had it. We are, yeah.

That hasn't changed no matter what. Right. Um, there we have done some changing. Yes. There was not moss growing on us. Right. And, um, we, and then we, one of the first things we did was we wrote a book, we wrote the everything Polonius book. Um, one of the earlier books in the, in the industry. And it was meant to be, was meant to cover. We had to fight quite a bit with the editors because it was meant to cover everything from being a textbook for our own trainees and others in other programs to being a book that, uh, potential plot is client could pick up and learn what makes a good politesse teacher. What makes a good Polonius teacher training program? How could I do this at my, in my home? And things like that.

[inaudible] another question that comes up a lot are the different, the different ways you can teach politesse the different you can do at a privately out of your house. You can own your own studio, you can work for a doctor, you could work at the gym, you could, you know, and, and learning even how to determine what kind of career you want to have, you know. So we really definitely try and it was an eyeopening experience for sure. And we always say it's basically like giving birth [inaudible] is really, really hard. Um, but, but since then we, we opened up to traveling all over the place. We even had another company called the moving center for awhile that, um, traveled us elsewhere to Israel and then started stepping outside the small pond of boulder and, you know, beginning to, um, teach workshops at places that invited us. So that was kind of first step of, of, you know, as the industry expanded, so we had to and the PMA and going to conferences and presenting at the conferences every time. Yeah. And then certainly the last 10 years, the number of conferences out there is skyrocketed.

Chapter 8

Training Program vs Certification

A very important part of [inaudible] about the [inaudible] industry nowadays is that we believe fiercely that it is a profession and that people who are, uh, in the industry as teachers take it upon themselves to act professionally, to be part of a professional organization. Um, and not to, uh, you know, to hide like in their basements like we used to do or wing it at like we used to do, but to actually, um, to actually step forth and be a pro, a member of the PMA. Amy and I have been members from the beginning. We've been on boards constantly. Right now I'm on the certification commission and we have just recently in our training program, decided to, um, no lot not, well just recently in the last couple of years, decided to no longer have our trainees come to us for approval of their CEC, their yearly CCS, but to transfer that entire aspect of continuing education over to the PMA. So all the, all the workshops that the [inaudible] center does offer are PMA approved. And so, and they can be part of what another program we have, which is our master's program so that you can get masters program, um, uh, hours for it as well as PMA hours. And in addition, our, um, our intermediate teacher training program is enough hours and enough information to then sit for the PMA exam and pass it. So, um, we are fully, fully committed to that aspect of it.

And I also want to say that we were among the first to listen to Kevin Beau and years ago who told us that actually the word certification was not what we were doing and that it was illegal in a way to use the word certification in terms of the product of our training programs. So we immediately took that word out. It's been probably seven or eight years at least, that we have not used the word certification. They get a certificate, they get a diploma, and we have basically graduated from our teacher training program, but they are not certified by us. Right? Like a certified, you have to take the PNA exam. That is the only way. So if you're saying you're a certified teacher, that means you pass the PMA exam. If you're saying your program certifies people, that's actually not correct.

And we're, we're, we try to really educate the population around that because that's a huge confusion in our industry and because we feel very strongly and we stand for it and we lead strongly through our work in the PMA and through talking about this stuff. This isn't a profession. It needs to uphold the laws. It needs to, to play the game by the rules that other industries play by. So if you wanted to get an air conditioner installer to put your air conditioner in and he's certified, that means something. And he's not allowed to say certified. If he hasn't taken a national certification exam, he didn't become certified by taking a program around how to actually install an air conditioner. So there's your schooling and then there's your boards, you'll pass our exams and we have five exams that are included in our program.

And when you're done, you will have a diploma from the [inaudible] center. Then we encourage you to sit for the PMA exam. Um, and we also were, I'm pretty sure the very first school to be state licensed. We feel very strongly that vocational training needs to fall under the category of state licensed share that protects the, the market and that protects your, your own trainees. You know, there are, there have been fly by night programs. People give money, they never finish and there's no protection. So, um, if, if you, you need to abide by the laws of your state. So we've been a state licensed vocational school for, for close to 10 years probably. Um, and uh, happy to help people in the pursuit of that because we feel it's very, very, very important.

If we want what we do to be considered a profession by other professions, then we have to, we have to rise to those levels, you know? So that's, that's extremely important for us. And when we go to the training summits and when we go to the PMA conferences and sit on the commissions or sit on the boards, you know, we're, we're always fighting for it because it's hard because this is an industry that's always been a little under the radar. Yeah. A little bit off the radar. And because it did have to literally go underground for a few years, it got a certain kind of reputation. So we have to heal from that and we have to, we have to re learn what it's like to be a professional and um, and uphold the standards. So get your state and ask if you're looking for a teacher training program, ask is licensed by the state, make sure Eric's searcher certified by the PMA. Yes.

And then, and if they're saying they're going to certify you, that's incorrect. They're going to give you a diploma or a piece of paper that says you completed their program, but you are not certified by that school.

Chapter 9

Director of Education Introduction

Hi, we are so excited to talk to you all about our teacher training program and answer as many questions as we can before you have any more to ask us. So I went introduced to you our amazing director of education. This is Kelly Burkhalter Hutchens. She's been with us.

He's been working at our studio now for oh, almost eight years. I think. Something about that that been through a number of different, um, aspects of our business. And, uh, and then took over the teacher training program probably five years ago, five years. Yup. Yup. So Kyle, give us a little history on you and then tell everybody about our training program. So my history is that I, um, started doing [inaudible] maybe in 2001 and eventually led me to the training program. Um, I've only done the [inaudible] platas so I don't know that much different from, um, other [inaudible] programs or philosophies. Um, so I did a program in 2004, and Rachel told me when I was in the program I would be this fabulous teacher. So I guess we did even what happened. So, and then I ended up, um, working at the front desk. I managed the schedule, I manage the front desk, then I took over the teacher training position, I guess about five years ago. And then it Kinda grew into more of a director of education.

The Plati Center offers five programs. We have our intermediate program, our bridge program, and our advanced program. And those are the undergraduate programs, right. And then we have two continuing education programs, postgraduate programs, our master's program and a mentorship program. So we'll now go through and clarify all of those. All right? The intermediate program is either six to nine months and it's 450 hours.

Chapter 10

The Intermediate Program

It's comprehensive. So the students will learn from the most beginner. They'll see all of the work, the most beginner to the most advanced, but they'll only graduate with having to teach the intermediate Matt and reformer and knowing all of the equipment for that. And then also performing a little higher level to understand that there's a little bit more material that um, they have to be responsible for teaching six months. But know that that's where the material heads towards. There are, um, two written exams and two practical exams, which is teaching and one performance exam in that program and the foreign and it's a foreign and 50 hour programs so that you are capable of sitting for the PMA exam at the end of that program. Correct. To be accepted into the intermediate program, you need to have a 17 hours of experience on at least all pieces of equipment.

We do the 17 hours of experience so that we can make sure that students that are interested in our intermediate program have experienced glottis in order to do our PR, our program. Because it's very rigorous. Right? You need to really be sure. I mean, I always say to people, if, if you're going to teach skiing, you should ski first so that you know for sure you're good at it and you're gonna enjoy teaching it and that you're going to be enjoying committing your career to this, you know? So of course we would love a lot more experienced, but in this day and age it's, it's, it's very challenging sometimes to meet those prerequisites. We found that the intermediate program is a really nice product for people who are, are entering this industry now. However, it's, it's one of our more challenging programs because of the fact that you're going to be doing the journey of learning PyLadies at the same time as you're doing the journey of learning how to teach [inaudible]. So you need to have awareness of that, right? It does. It feels like a nice size product. It feels like, oh I could do this in six months or nine months, less than a year. It's, it's um, the price is a little more affordable, et cetera.

But it does have this extra component which is that you really truly are going to be doing two serious journeys at the same time and then you're going to actually reach the same point halfway through the program that the people in our advanced program are doing and they are going to come in with a lot of experience to begin with cause they're going to really launch. So it's an offer, it's an awesome product. Does just have that one little extra challenge to it. So if students choose to do our intermediate program, they are required to attend our formal lecture series, which is a total of four weekends, weekends one through four. And we offer that in boulder. We also offer that at our licensed studios.

The majority of the program is internships. So we have the, the lectures have 60 hours, but ours is more of an apprenticeship style where you do practice teaching, observation lessons, personal workouts, miscellaneous. All of those hours can be done at home. So depending on the route that you go when you sign up, when we have the lectures available, whether it's online or in house, then you can do primarily your program at home. So what that means is that, um, they'll have a graduate of the plots center that they'll work with and we are now working on having hosted advisors, which means that our graduates have gone through training with us to help us with the teacher training program. And then those students can stay home and do their program primarily from home.

They can choose to come to boulder. And I always encourage everybody, if you can come to boulder, come to boulder. But since we'll have these options to not necessarily be here during those lecture weeks, you could actually come when we don't have lecture weeks and have the availability to take lessons with Amy and Rachel, which it's very powerful that you get to take lessons with the creators of the program. So they'll still come and test out at the end of their program. So with the bridge program, they will also attend just for weekends. And that's the lecture we can one through four. And they can also do it the same way. Whether they come to boulder, they can do the whole program at a licensed studio or they can do the online lectures as soon as they're available. Same thing.

They need to have a graduate that they work with that m does their hours. The apprenticeship is the same to um, practice teaching, observation, personal workouts, lessons, miscellaneous teaching clinics. They have a case study that they have to complete. There's also exams, written exams that both the intermediate and the bridge program, they have to do those. Um, they also have to do some practical exams and performance exams. Now, depending on if they do the majority of their program away from Boulder, then they'll have to send us footage of them actually completing the tasks so that we can then give them feedback and send it back to them so that they know kind of what we need them to work on. So when they do come to test out at the end of the program, they're ready for their exams. Right. So we do both in the teaching and in the performance aspects.

In all three programs you have a practice practical and a practice performance. You get feedback, then you get, then you have a month or so to work on that and then you'll do your final tests. We have a schedule for each program that tells you exactly when you should do each item suggested internships, so hours too. So weekly suggested internship hours that should be done. But on top of that, there is a method. So there's, you know, exams that have to be taken in order performances that need to be taken in order. And in the intermediate program it's the only program that we have one performance and then in that program we have two practicals, which are the teaching exams. But then when you get to the bridge program and then the advanced, which I haven't really spoken about just yet, they both do have the practice practicals, the practice performances, and then the finals. Once you complete the intermediate program,

Chapter 11

Bridge Program

if you want to continue on that, you can do the bridge program.

The bridge program is 500 hours. You can come into the bridge program directly from the intermediate program or you can actually come to the bridge program after you've attended another teacher training program that has 450 hours. So if you're PMA certified, you would be eligible to apply for our bridge program. They'll just be a little bit more of evaluations to get in to make sure you're at the right level. And it's also a good opportunity to, um, for us to see kind of where the teacher is in their teaching and in their movement, even if they came from a classical background so that we have a starting point so that we can there then take them to the most advanced work. So they really evolve in at more of an intermediate teaching level and then a more of an intermediate advanced movement level. And then when they graduate, they graduate on the most advanced level on both. So if a student decides to do our intermediate or bridge program and visit

Chapter 12

Taking a Program in Boulder, Colorado

Boulder, they have to come to boulder for three trips.

So what that means is that we offer the lecture series, um, twice every year. It never changes. So we do two weekends in March and two weekends in May and then two weekends in September and two weekends in November. So what that looks like, if an intermediate and or bridge student decided to do the entire program by traveling to boulder means that they would come for the first weekend in March, they would stay for 10 days. So they would stay on, they would arrive on Friday, they would attend the weekend, then they would stay Monday through Friday and do internship hours, take lessons, observation attendant teaching clinic. And then the next weekend, which is weekend two would start on Friday. And then they would be able to fly out on Sunday after the lectures are over, which is at 4:00 PM. Then they would return back to boulder after, um, in May and in between March and May, there'll be doing internship hours with the graduate that they've chosen to do their um, program with and they'll do the same trip.

Basically they show up on Friday, they attend weekend three, they stay all week, they do internship hours and a teaching clinic and then they do the last weekend for Friday through Sunday and can fly out for that. Then they return whether it's six months or nine months, depending on how long they want to take. Then they will do their final exams and that can be a two day trip. However, I always encourage people to come for a five day trip cause it gives you an opportunity to get into the studio for the teachers to see you, for you to get comfortable. Again, working on our equipment just in case yours is different before you test out. So I always do all the exams and schedule them and then that way I would schedule them towards the end of your trip so that you can have a little bit of leeway into here I am ready to take exams and teach in front of you. Yeah, comfortable again. So basically if you're going to do the advanced program and traveled to Boulder, then you're going to do five trips and you'll do the same kind of weekends.

I'll just start with the march and May. You would do the 10 days in March, the 10 days in May. That would be one full cycle in between the time that you're not in boulder, you're going to be doing your internship hours and then you'll do the next series, which is in September and November. And then you would come at the end the last month, what your 12 month and do your finals. And again, I would encourage people to come longer than just two days. However, if they can only come for two days, then that's fine. So, but what we've done is we've made it more accessible for people, which is why we're taking the lectures online. So then people can do a combination, whether it is all online, some in boulders, some online all in boulder. So we're just trying to open the door and make our program a little bit more accessible to all students. Yeah. So you have all those boulder options, you have the licensed studio options, and then the host scenario is designed to just support you even a little bit more if you're not anywhere near boulder or near one of our licensed studios and the online portion. Also just trying to make it flexible, accessible, doable. Um, in an ideal world, if you can come to boulder or go to one of the licensed studios, it's going to be three to five trips, depending on whether you're doing intermediate bridge or advanced program.

And some students that, um, travel from Europe or other far away land, they will come for three months and be in boulder for three months and just delve into the whole plotty center. I'm not sure if they go to licensed studios. And do that, but I know that they do it here and then they'll leave and come back and do another three months. So usually with those particular students, I'll work with them to help them figure out the timing again, now that we're going to take it online, they're going to have more ability to stay home and just travel that one trip to boulder. So if you're a far away out of the country student and you decided to come for three months, we might even, um, it would basically be during the lectures you come march to May and September to November if you're doing the advanced program and then you would have to come back again to test out. So again, we have the online coming soon, so that'll make it more accessible. So those students could maybe just come for one trip and if they want to do three months, which is we love it, then they can come at the very end of their program to really do all that hard work towards the end to be able to test out and feel comfortable. And I think probably one of the coolest aspects of all three programs are the observed teaching.

And that's a big part of what also happens in the mentorship program where you really are going to have your teaching observed by teachers of, of great experience. And so you're truly, truly getting feedback right in the moment. And I think that's the most valuable moment. And so whenever it's possible to have that done at a licensed studio or here that, uh, the most powerful experience you can have. So we always encourage people to come to boulder as much as they can. However, it's designed to fit your lifestyle too, you know, with an understanding that you're, you, you may have a full time job or you may already even be one of our main groups of, of, um, of clients for our teacher training programs are often already professional teachers looking for a little more expertise or maybe a look at a different lineage. And so we're well aware that people who are transitioning into becoming Polonius teachers are very often half transitioning out of something else or are actually maybe already teaching teachers. And, um, and needing to make, make the next phase of their education, you know, fit into their lifestyle. So, you know, over the years trying to constantly figure out how to make it sort of fit the, the, the, the modern lifestyle that's also always changing a little bit.

So keeping it as flexible and affordable as possible, but also making it as valuable as possible. So, you know, again, the more time you can commit, the more time you can come to boulder or one of the licensed studios and really, uh, get a chance to absorb what goes on there. You know, the, the stronger you're going to feel in your own teaching. So, you know, there's, there's room for choice there and, and, and Kelly is very good at creating it, sitting down with you, whether it's on the phone or Skype or in her office and helping you coordinate the way you need to. Just the way we teach, individualize it. We have a, the sort of generic structure, but we're also pretty used to dealing, you know, with the uniqueness of the individual schedule. And as we said, we only take quickly graduate 20 to 30 people on average over the 23 years that we've been doing this. So, um, you know, we, we understand the, the working with the, the uniqueness of the person and that's, that's part of what you know or, or, uh, interested in being for you.

Chapter 13

Advanced Program

If you did the intermediate and then the bridge, you basically would have been doing our entire advanced program. And that's the program which just was the only program until 2007, which is just a to z the whole thing. So you can elect from the very start, I'm going to do the whole thing. I know it, right. So then I'll be complete, I can get my PMA certification, I don't even have to wait till the whole end. But by the end of the advanced teacher training program, which is 950 [inaudible] hours, you will know the entire repertoire. You'll be able to do it and you'll be able to teach it. So that's, that was our original product, the most amazing product that has, has evolved with time without ever even really having to change because it was such a complete product. And with the advanced program, you come in completing, doing a program evaluation, which is an intermediate level of performing on the reformer.

Typically. Sometimes we'll do it on the map, but mainly on the reformer to make sure that you know the equipment and that you're already moving from more depth. So this is where we're teaching you how to teach the work, but not necessarily do the work. We will teach you how to do the work, but that's when we get to more of the advanced level work because then all of your stuff shows up. Like we all have stuff no matter how what level we get to, but then we're gonna take you in and make our students understand the depth of the individual person in front of us, which is really what all three programs offer, is that we're looking for our students to see the individual body and use the choreography to teach that individual body. In 2007 Amy,

Chapter 14

Licensed Studios

Rachel bravely decided to let their graduates teach their teacher training program. We started with three licensed studios, which is what that's called. What the licensed studios is, is basically they purchase and license. We like license an annual fee to license the product and they, they basically run the entire teacher training program from their studio.

The reason that the decision was made to do that back in 2007 was because the graduate said people that live where we live can't come to boulder and do all the trips to boulder, which we've had for the last 20 years. What we're trying to make it more accessible to people, which is the online lectures. So we, they agreed to allow these grads to be licensed to teach the lectures, to do all the testing. So basically the licensed studio will receive all money from the trainees and the training is, we'll go completely through the licensed studio. However, to us, they're still our grow our students or our grads so that they come to boulder. We look at them as though they're our trainees or we look at them as though they're our graduates. Right. And we, and we do encourage them. It's, it's a great option for people who don't live near Boulder, can't come to boulder if there's a licensed studio nearby, they can do the entire program there. But we do definitely encourage them to try to come to boulder.

And we do have some reciprocal agreements with our licensed studios to enable that to occur. But it's the one scenario where you do not test in boulder, you can do the entire program, whether it's an intermediate, the bridge or the advanced program at the licensed studio or at the Boulder Studio, the other host studio situations. That's a scenario where you will come to boulder at least once to test, ideally more, but not required. So the host studio, host advisor model, which is, if you compare it to the licensed studio, it's, it's very different, but very much the same in some ways. So our graduates have always helped us with our longest and students. If we have a long distance student that doesn't live in Colorado or near Boulder and they'll find a graduate of ours who will help guide them through the training program with the internship hours.

So what we've done is we've formalized that where we're actually going to now train our graduates to become advisors so they can more officially help our students through the training program. Those locations do not have a territory. Whereas in our licensed studios, they have a territory. So those locations allow any grad that if they have a studio right next door to each other, they can actually be an advisor and help our students through the training program. So just kind of opens the door up a little bit more in in case we have two studios of grads that maybe don't get along, which happens because they're competing in a market together.

So they're not going to want to send their students, which they've been working with for awhile to this licensed studio. They're going to want to keep that student. So this way it opens the doors so that both grads can benefit. One of the aspects of the teacher training program,

Chapter 15

Case Studies

if you're in the bridge program or the advanced program, is that you're going to do a case study and a case study basically is trying to find a Guinea pig client, a client who's willing to be your volunteer client for you to practice on. Ideally somebody who's in pretty good health and willing to commit.

They're going to come in two to three times a week and you're going to be writing little reports on them. So your, so your task is really to do a study of what does it, what's it like to take a client from zero to wherever you can get them. And it's really just an opportunity to explore your teaching and get a ton of feedback on it because you're going to be handing these reports into your advisor. So whether you're here in boulder or you're at a licensed studio or you're at a host advisor location, that host advisor is going to opera, operate as that person and be the person who will read your case, study reports periodically and give you feedback. And it's also can be really nice to have. You're going to meet with your advisor for special meetings throughout your stretch of time as well to make sure you're on track.

And a couple of those are scenarios where the the advisor's going to watch you teach somebody and it's very nice. Maybe they even have your case study, be that person so that you can have a really live experience. So for those two, um, for those two programs, you do do this case study which lasts about the bridge program. He would start basically about your three month mark or two month mark. It really depends. And then with the advanced program, you started your five month mark. So you can see that you've already been kind of practicing the philosophy of what we're teaching you, whether it's in the bridge program, where they're advanced program before you start your case study. Um, so the, uh, there's different ways also with the advanced students that are coming in without previously teaching.

So they start their clients from zero and take them to where they can take them. With the bridge program, it's a little different because depending on the level that the bridge student comes in at and you know, there can be various levels, um, that whether they're always teaching their clients and they only teach intermediate level, then they would want to take a client that was an intermediate level and take them a little further and see how they can get more of the advanced work and those clients' bodies. So they might pick a client, not a beginner. They might actually pick a client that is going to serve their way of learning now this new philosophy and work. So that's what the bridge students, because they're a little, they've already been teaching for awhile, they will then actually talk to their advisor or talk with me and then we'll just figure out what actually makes the most sense for them because we want it to be a learning experience. Right. If they're just doing zero to whatever level they can get them to, they've been doing that, we're assuming. So we definitely want to work with that a little bit with the case studies.

Right? Yeah. So again, sort of meeting you where you are in your career development because even some of the people who come to us and decide to take our advanced program are actually teachers already and they just want the full, they want the full experience and they want to hear what the Pilati Center has to say as opposed to what their original school was. And so many times a good number of the people in our program are actually already professional teachers. So we're going to get them to do a case study that's going to push their skills at whatever level they're at. So again, it's always going to be just a s, you know, uh, the, the soft around the edge rules so that you, so then we can make it actually be more applicable to your very individual need. Yes. In addition to our undergraduate programs,

Chapter 16

Graduate Level Programs

we also have two graduate level programs, the masters program, and then our mentorship program. And the mentorship program is a little more just, this is very liquid programs.

So Kelly, I'll talk a little bit about that. I'll just tell you a bit about the evolution of the master's program we had since our founding, um, the, the standard teacher training program and then we were looking to see both how to help our graduates continue to grow and also how to fulfill the needs of people from other programs who were interested in may be finding out more about what the Palati center had to say. So they were interested in a bridge program from their program to ours. But at that time in the industry, it wasn't going to work as well. There weren't quite as many classical programs and that transition was going to be very tricky. So we came up with just the master's program, which if you were just a teacher and you had a comprehensive background, there's no evaluation or anything, you can just join the master's program.

And that really is just continuing education, just workshops that you would take over time, um, all over the place with our grads so that you would get a sense of the philosophy of the Pilati Center. So we came up with that before. We then discovered that a number of people who took the master's program said, I actually think I'll just go back and take your whole program as well. And then we began to see that a number of those people actually did have enough classical background now because those schools were proliferating a little bit more that that we could develop a bridge program. So then the bridge program came next. The master's program is an awesome program and it's extremely flexible, so great in that level.

And then the mentorship kind of came out of this idea of he's on tour a few years back, started what they called the passing the torch program. And there was just a sense in the industry as the industry keeps evolving, that there are a number of people who had done this sort of smorgasbord continuing education that happens at conferences and had actually zeroed in maybe on a teacher that they hit it off with really well and they felt drawn to and that perhaps there could be a way where you could just create a program where you could work directly with that teacher. So I did do a round of, of passing the torch and it was awesome. And then we just discovered that with our group, our grads, a lot of them just want to come at different times and just mentor. So Kelly puts together a unique package for you in that case. So to go back to the master's program, um, it's a total of 116 hours.

If you are a graduate of the place center, then you do 116 hours of continuing education if that's what you choose. That is masters program approved. So always check to make sure it's master's program and approved. All of our workshops are PMA approved. But that doesn't mean any PMA workshop that you attend will actually be approved by the master's program. So the master's program is, is more of a showcase of our philosophy, which means our graduates.

So even though there's going to be a lot of wonderful teachers out there that are doing PMA approved workshops, they may not actually be approved by our master's program. So our graduates have to do 56 of their hours in boulder. They can do 60 hours outside of boulder. Amy travels a lot. We also have other um, graduates of ours that are masters program presenters that travel as well so they can find workshops attending those outside of boulder. If you're a non graduate of the plenty center and you did your undergraduate teacher training with somebody else, then you just need to have 450 hours of a comprehensive teacher training program to be accepted into the program and have been teaching for six months.

So in both scenarios, whether you're a grad or non Grad, then you need to have been teaching professionally for six months to therefore start the master's program because it's a little higher level. However, so with our um, non graduate master's program students, they are required to attend our formal lecture series, which is a total of 60 hours and it's weekend one through four. So they can do the whole 60 hours at a licensed studio or coming soon online or they can come to boulder. But they are required out of the 116 hours to do 60 hours of lectures. And then 56 hours of continuing education master's program, 56 hours are required in boulder. This can also be a combination of 20 hours of internship that had to be done at the play center in Boulder and cannot be done at our licensed studios or other locations when our teachers are traveling. So to clarify, again, going back, if you are a graduate, you do 116 hours, 56 of those hundred 16 hours need to be in boulder and they're all master's program approved. Then if you're a non graduate, 116 hours or requires 60 of those hours need to be the formal lecture series.

56 of those hours need to be done at the ply center in Boulder. Both have the option to do 20 hours of internship. The internship requirements are seven hours of observation, seven hours of lessons, and six hours of observe. So those are the requirements of the master's program, right? And you have three years to complete it.

You pay as you go because you're basically just paying to take a workshop. So if I'm in Paris and you take that workshop, you'll get her certificate of completion. You just collect your certificates of completion when you have 116 hours you send them in, right? And then some hours have to be done in boulder. And we, we really felt strongly about that particular requirement because we did feel if you wanted to have a masters program, certificate of completion from the [inaudible] center and you weren't a graduate of ours, we needed to feel that you were here, that you were, you know, really part of our organization. So we feel pretty strongly about those hours. So we recently had an amazing conference where a large group of our international masters program, people all came together and we put on a mini conference for them so they could get all 56 of their hours in, in one quick 10 day stretch. And it was a tremendously exciting, uh, situation.

So we may end up doing a little bit more of that in the future too. It's just we try to create workshops here in boulder where you can bite off a big chunk of those boulder hours in, in smaller increments of time. Um, so the master's program is incredibly flexible, so it's, you've got three years to complete those hours, you pay as you go. There's really very little in the upfront costs other than an application fee and a registration fee just so that we kind of know you're in there and we've got some record keeping on you. And then basically at the end you submit all your continuing education certificates and if they fulfill all the requirements, then you've got the, the certificate of completion and we give a diploma for, let me give you a diploma for that. And the, um, and that 20 hour option is great.

And I think probably most people are opting for it because it was something that people requested actually, you know, it's great to go to workshops and they're wonderful and you learn a ton. But we would like a little more of that one on one stuff. Can I get my teaching observed? Can I just spend some time directly with you? Can I use some lessons? So we felt, you know, that we could turn a, a small chunk of that into that. And that in a way actually then kind of led right into the mentorship program, which very similar to those 20 hours in that you're going to be getting a lot of that one-on-one, really flexible, but really personal coaching.

So at the mentorship program it's, there's nothing technically official about it. It's just basically someone would contact me and say, I wanna follow Amy around. So I will then ask them a few questions. How many days do you want to come? How, you know, I always encourage them to do observe teaching. There's meeting that sets up of what the goal is of the teacher that's coming to work with, um, whether it's Amy or Rachel. Um, again, other teachers they can work with too, but that way they're like really fulfilling their goals versus a goal of a certificate or what not. But, but I will allow 20 hours of mentorship to count towards the masters program as the internship hours. So and I, I think one of the other things that's really important about all of our programs, whether that's the undergraduate or the graduate, is basically that a lot of it is the interaction inside the studio and it's not as much of the um, workshop, even though the workshops can be great too. But it's the interaction that I think really applies the work to the students that are coming to visit us. Right?

When they come here and they see 10 different teachers all teaching from the same lineage, all teaching in the same space, but yet being so unique and special, it begins to free them up to understand that you do not have to teach exactly like somebody else. You don't have to speak exactly like somebody else. You don't even have to have as many years of experience. You will have the amount you have and you will be the unique person that you have. And just coming and spending time in the studio and seeing that and taking from so many different teachers, observing so many different teachers, getting feedback from a lot of different teachers. It's, it's just amazing how we see people blossom in a 10 day stretch. You can do years worth of growth when you're ready. It's, it's a tremendously awesome thing to watch. So you know, when you feel like that's, that's what I need right now. I can tell, you know, Kelly can just created exactly the way it could fit into your life.

So the mentorship thing I think will, will remain true forever as online as things get, you're going to want some one-on-one with somebody who's watching you and ash asking you good questions and trying to challenge you to go a little further, a little deeper, you know? So I think maybe more importantly than ever now as the world gets more online, we're going to want that, that human touch and that really strong one-on-one interactions. So we're going to try to keep that in the plotty center teacher training programs, all of them to the degree that we humanly can. So you know, we make it as flexible as possible, but if you can come to boulder or come to one of the licensed studios, you're going to get a, a, a feeling that you won't, that imbues all your teaching in a way that nothing else will. And I just want to clarify to the master's program and the mentorship program are primarily the plotty center programs, meaning boulder. So the undergraduate programs, they can also be done a licensed studio.

However, with the master's program, it is a plenty center boulder program. Yes. They can do some of their hours that the lecture hours or possible traveling masters program workshops at other locations including the license studios. But it is a boulder applies filter based. Yes. Yeah. And the mentorship is absolutely. Yep. Not that I encourage you to work with any of our graduates or licensed studio teachers and do mentorship with them too.

But our mentorship is just here at the place center

Chapter 17

Continuing Education

in addition to our five kind of more formalized programs. We also have ongoing continuing education that's happening here continuously, typically year-round through our lecture, formal lecture series, weekends. And in the weekend between we'll offer some shorter six hour continuing education as well as some teaching clinics. So if you're in boulder, you can take those while you're here taking lectures or just come to those. So those are continuing education that are happening, speckled up throughout the whole year. Um, all our continuing education is open to everyone. You do not have to be a Pilati center grad to take any of our continuing education.

You can even just take our formal lecture series for continuing education. You do not have to be in any of our programs to do it. You can just take that and they're all going to be PMA approved. So you can be taking workshops with us just for your PMA certification. And we love that.

We love to have you come in addition to the stuff that's ongoing. We typically try to do two bigger events, small conference type things, usually one in early February and one in July. Um, they vary from maybe 10 days. Again, that two weekend format with the weekend between two, maybe just a five day, like a Wednesday through Sunday. And each year we try to come up with a couple of new concepts. So we've done our lost treasures. We've done our five lineages. Um, we just did the, the, the conference that was for our, our, um, master's program, people from Europe. So it was a really interesting, just assortment of different workshops. All of the workshops are very interactive, so they're not like sit there and take notes kind of thing, but they're, they're very much get up and practices. Try this idea.

The lost treasures is a particularly great example of that. Everybody learning how to teach all these amazing exercises. Um, we're going to be doing a kind of special, um, one coming up in where it's going to be primarily Rachel, Debra colway and myself in our kind of cumulative hundred years of experience teaching movement. And particularly having studied with eve and Romana, um, and, and working with the really main concepts of Pele's body, mind and spirit. Each one of us sort of embodying one of those concepts. So we're, we're always trying to see, you know, where are we as an, as an, as an organization and where is the industry, what are people wanting, what are we interested in, what are our grads and what are the people we're talking to, um, asking us to come up with. So we're always, always trying to come up with something new and interesting and exciting to stimulate your teaching a little bit further.

Chapter 18

The Pilates Center Studio Tour

[inaudible] hi, welcome to the plotty center here in Gorgeous Boulder, Colorado.

I'm Amy Taylor Alpers and I'm Rachel Taylor Segal. Come on. Yeah, so we have an amazing mat class going on right now. Yeah, this is our front desk. This is what happen is happening now all day long at the studio, all the different teachers, all the different hours so that the trainees can see the clients can come in after they sign in and see where to go. If they have a question besides they can ask the front desk, they can ask Charlotte and [inaudible] good for the teachers to be able to kind of scan across and be able to see where things are happening so they know where they can take a client. Dan, here we have some dressing rooms you're pushing through your arms and your feet.

Women's dressing, the men's dressing room, chair area. We've got her high chair over here and Cadillac have offices over to the right. Amy's and my office. Lots of trainees observing a class down here. It's our waiting area and our water and our retail space.

One of our amazing reformer classes going on right now, our administrative offices. Let's take a peek. Oh Paula's here. Rekha say hi Paulo. And then a couple more offices back here and our back entrance staff lounge. See who's in there. Oh, it's dark. Nice comfy space for little peace and quiet between sessions. Okay.

So one of the things that makes the [inaudible] center unique and one of the things that Amy and I are so very excited about, um, is the work we've done with Kennan omen of balanced body over the last three years to a line of equipment called central line. That is, that is as close as possible to what Joe [inaudible] had that all the elders learned on. And we took, um, we took dimensions from the old pieces of equipment. We, we remembered how it felt when we were in Ramana studio. We, um, we wanted to bring it back down to a human size instead of being so big and to being returned to life, um, philosophically as opposed to, for example, physical therapy equipment. So, um, we worked for a long time with prototypes back and forth, trying it out, adding this, changing that, and we got, um, a Cadillac and a reformer and a low chair that will show you. And we also have pull system that's pretty much the end of the Cadillac. And then pretty soon we're going to have a center line foot corrector, which I'm personally very thrilled about. So, um, so any the, what are some of the differences? Okay, so one of the things is we had been traveling around a lot and going to many, many different studios and having to get there and figure out how to make the equipment fit people and fit the exercises as it had evolved down different lines. Right.

So one of the big things right off the bat was that for some reason the Cadillac had gotten really, really tall. So you sometimes have Cadillacs that are way up there, but this is even maybe a little bit high. I don't know the, there were several different variations on the Cadillacs, but Ramana could always touch the top. She was tiny, tiny, she was four, 1111. So you know, being able to actually reach the parts and pieces so that it is, again, once again it's human size for the teacher and for the client, the the size and the length a little bit smaller so that the stuff that hangs off of the top is actually relating to the map because you're going to do almost everything that you do. That Hanes also includes. Then coming down and reaching for the mat. So having the proportions here be the right size and then having this not be too wide because um, there's some Cadillacs you'll see now maybe convertible ones where the pulse system is on the outside and then it's even extra wily, big. And then your leg springs which are attached to that and your, and your push through bar. And then even just, you know, the width and the size of these things gotten gigantic.

So you'd be trying to do roll down but your feet were way out here. There's supposed to be on the Poles so the poles can't be too wide. Again, they have to be human size and connect you to your center. But one of the really nice new aspects I think, um, which is kind of the flip side of that is that the push through bar had gotten to be small, small, small, and so many places. There was so much width to it and then even extra width when you got to the bar itself that where are the hands wet was very, very narrow. So, um, Ken was able to build us a really wide push through bar utilizing all the space that you had because people are a little bigger and shoulder tightness is, is much more extrapolate how it is. Yeah. Yeah. So then we decided, because this was a little wider, it could maybe come a little bit on balanced to have two light springs to connect for like the tower or the monkey, the springs that come from below. Or we have two different springs from above that also can be taken off and use down below as one heavier one. So we have one heavy or two lights. So that was, that was one of the big, uh, really kind of mega mega changes that we made for the, um, Cadillac specifically. Otherwise it has way more to just do with proportions.

Spring tension's we worked with them to get a really good arm spring tension for the, for the Cadillac and the pulse systems and the leg springs as well. And then opted to go with the slider bar on here, which is really, um, makes for a lot of adjustments and real ease of that. So, um, in terms of the Cadillac, I think those are the pretty primary pieces that make the center line unique. The low chair that we made, the center line low chair is again more human sized, not so small. The big guys can't be on it and not so big that small women can't be on it. And we wanted it so that every single exercise that could be done on the chair can be done. So you can straddle this for horseback pretty easily.

Where as some of the bigger chairs you cannot, you can also sit in front of it on the floor and do spine stretch forward with a leg position that comes up like the moon boxes on your uh, raised mat that actually gives you core. Like Amy was talking about, the two wide poles. This again is no longer too wide. However, what is wide is the, um, flip paddle. So you have a wider shoulder stance for a lot of people who need it. And that's really, um, really, really valuable. And the other cool thing is that it's very, very lightweight. You can pick it up and move it around really easily and that it has one, we call it a cactus on the back, that you can have the two original springs that Joe had. But because they're, they're hooked center now, there they come right up through your inner thigh, the sole of your foot, the inner thigh, the sows up to spine.

You feel your core much easier sooner than when the springs are to the side. It's also more uniform for most things it's better. So we made several changes from the chairs that were in existence to come back to what, um, Joe seemed to have wanted in his low chair. Admittedly, he made a lot, probably the most, most variations of any of the polarities equipment were made on the low chair. But, um, but when we work out on all the exercises that we know that we have pictures of Joe Teaching that we were taught by Ramana, every one of them now feeds immediately into the body really well and you don't have to make adjustments for it.

That's one of the great things about the centerline. Low Chair. I'm gonna add one more thing to it, just that with this cactus as well, the [inaudible] changing of springs is so incredibly easy that you don't spend so much time fussing around under there because a lot of of the chair work, you have to move from one exercise to the other to the other. And that constant changing of springs is enough to make people crazy. So this is extremely efficient, which allows for that nice flow and rhythm that we are always going for. Yeah, we love our chair. The PSD resistance. This is our favorite favorite piece. We worked so hard to make sure because not that we don't love the other pieces because this one took a tremendous amount of work to get right.

There's this many, many, many more moving parts and proportions and dimensions that were essential. So we were so excited because at Ken [inaudible] a factory in Sacramento, he had an old reformer from the forties, maybe early fifties. And, um, it was just sitting there and he really didn't know exactly what he should be doing with it, but he's a bit of an archivist himself, so he likes historical things. So he showed it to me and I was like, yes, that's it. That's exactly what we want to do. So we just measured, measured, measured, measured that piece. We came back, we measured it against our original Steve G or Donald pieces turned out to be almost identical. So we knew we were already in the right ball track. Um, we knew we had to work with the balanced body parts. So we worked with a couple of different frames that they already had. This is actually the Fletcher frame, the Fletcher, a reformer being uh, the, the original size. So that was wonderful. As soon as I saw that, I was like, yes, that's it. Perfect. Perfect. Right.

So then other than that, it was the specs and the most important specs always are going to be shoulder block, shoulder block to foot bar and foot bar height. So that particular triangle right there, that that's the, the key to the whole, the whole package. Um, and then the next big piece is just that everything flow so that you don't have heavy parts, you don't have sticky parts, you don't have parts that locked down, which of course I understand classically exactly from a safety perspective, you know that you're gonna want more safety with his equipment. For instance, if you pick that up, it's going to fall. But that's the control ology. That's the part where you come in and you're in control. So this needs to actually swing so that it can be moved very quickly like that. All right, so we worked with all those kinds of pieces so that you could pick it up with your foot and put it down and pick it back up again. Like that.

Same with the head rest that it's not cranky. You can just put it down, you can just put it back up again. And basically that there aren't a ton of bells and whistles. The head rest has two settings and flat and the foot bar goes up or down. That's it. All right. We chose to go with the four spring is, that's what we had basically. Yeah, I was going to say, but you know, essentially a four spring reformer, but we added that extra fifth spring as an alternate. So you wouldn't really ever work with five springs, but you could use that fifth spring, which is a little extra light one, especially for women for the sidearm series, for some of that stuff or just as an alternate to one of the heavier ones.

So you could still work with four springs, but maybe you would use that alternate one instead in Romana stadia all the springs were the same on the cat, on the reformer. And how they changed over the years is because when you did two springed exercises in variably you were taught to use the outer springs and therefore the outer springs would get worn out sooner and become lighter. And then when that happened, they were put on the inside and the inside springs were put on the outside. So you could always tell how old the reformer was by how different the, the lighter inner springs or were to the outer springs. So ours does have heavier outer springs and lighter inner springs to combine it all to create the feeling of the forest springs without having to deal with the wearing out, you know, this whatever, not science, but the wearing out of one spring that had to be turned into the middle, etc.

Right, right, right, right. Um, also, um, it still has the original three gears that the equipment always had to enable lengthening the distance between here and here for height issues or for joint issues. For instance, if someone had a knee replacement or hip replacement and they couldn't get full range yet, we also went with the simple strap where you can't adjust it. However, Ken came up with a wonderful, um, little mechanism underneath. It's a little bit like the little backpack pole where as the leather loosens and stretches, you can shorten it back to the height, the length it's supposed to be. Because eventually in New York, the straps had gotten really, really crazy long. So, you know, every time they, they, when they come, they're new, they're so tight, but over time they really soften. So you can actually constantly inch it back. If you have to change gears. You do what we used to do on the original equipment, which was you're in the one gear for the distance between here and here.

Like for yeah, for foot work for instance. And then you go back to your first gear for your strap work. So we didn't, we wanted to to get rid of that confusion where you have negative gears and second gears and all that kind of stuff. And then they switch to the strap length and then somebody changes the gear and the straps all wrong, et. So going back to just the original way it was, it works for the classical work. You want to be able to flow, you do not want to have to deal with all that kind of stuff. Um, we had a few extra holes drilled in the track back here. It was, a lot of times you'll see there's holes maybe in the track, but nobody really quite knows what they're for. And they're really supposed to kind of mimic how long the reformer used to be, so that in semi-circle or side splits or something like that, you actually could go out and hit the back of the equipment originally. Well that got changed because I'm assuming because of the advent of the jump board, right? So the track gotten much longer, but we then decided to have, you know, a number of different um, holes that you could put a peg into so that you could stop the track where you needed to.

So it's a safety mechanism if you're on a one spring exercise or it's actually a big part of the exercise for strengthening semi-circle. Semicircles seeing my circle. And then this peg also acts as the peg that becomes the stop or four if you move the carriage back into second gear, third gear. So that's a cool little piece. And then I think the box critical size, it's such a huge, huge issue. The boxes for some reason have just super sites to themselves over the years.

This box again returned back to the original size. It fits the human body. Ramana said it fits six, five, 11 four 11 to six four. All right. That might be pushing it a little bit, but basically this box fits everybody. And those bigger boxes do not, they're too wide for pull straps and t they're too wide this way when you're sitting on them for short box or for horseback, they're too high for short box. They're just, it's crazy. They're supposed to be the same size as the equipment basically. And again, back reduce to human size, human sites, even though humans have gotten bigger. This does it account for that. We haven't turned into giants.

And then I think one of the other cool things that Ken came up with is the little hook for the holders. So on that side you have your short box Paul. And on this end you have your Gondola Pole. So it's all nice and neat right in there, right in there. So we've been, we've had this equipment now for almost three years. Um, we have eight reformers. We use them to death. We have, and we spent probably two years at least with prototypes before that, and we just couldn't be happier. They just awesome. They, they really, um, they really produced the effect though that the classical work is really trying to find in the body, it create the, they become your partner and your supportive muscles and not some big thing. You're on top of trying to manipulate and figure out how to deal with.

So this is our baby. We hoped you enjoyed the tour of our studio. We hope you come back when we have a, the foot corrector also. And I think we're very Praful, cheerful, friendly, inviting place. And we love our equipment and, and our beautiful town of Boulder, Colorado.

Comments

2 people like this.
I'm so proud to be a graduate of The Pilates Center. So, so, so proud. I love who Amy and Rachel are, what they stand for as women as well as leaders in the Pilates industry. Thank you for posting this Pilates Anytime. It's great to have these fabulous women sharing their Pilates history, teaching style and personalities with us.
I love PilatesAnytime for creating such a beautiful & informative interview with these major Pilates players. I've worked with an instructor who graduated from the Pilates Center & frankly, I judged the entire program based on my experience w/ this zealous & extreme personality who said her training was the only training worthy of being dubbed true Pilates. I'm so thrilled to see the founders speak & hear their amazing journies developing their school. It makes me want to visit Colorado! They appear much more open minded than my previous co-worker & I'm thrilled to see this...
Oh Jodey, I have met people like that too. I've learned to question people who are so certain about things in all areas of life. I'm thrilled you took a second look and The Pilates Center and more specifically at Amy and Rachel. They are open and they have a wealth of knowledge we can all benefit from whether we've taken their training (yet) or not.

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