THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING OLD SCHOOLED

 

It’s fall in New York City again and I am feeling nostalgic. Images of Central Park, the sweet smell of ketchup in the air and usual clichés of food, energy, sights and people come to mind. However, one of the main reasons I travel to New York is for Pilates.

Over the course of my Pilates career, New York City has been a source of inspiration for me — each trip at a turning point in my career. Each trip reaffirms the importance of learning from teachers that have had long-standing tutelage with Joseph Pilates’ proteges/elders such as Romana Kryzanowska — in True Pilates vernacular we call them 2nd Generation Pilates teachers.

Joseph Pilates opened his first Pilates studio in New York in the 1920’s — it is no wonder that New York City is still the stomping ground and mecca for serious Pilates instructors and lovers to learn from the best teacher trainers in the world.

…I believe it’s due to my tutelage with these different Master teacher trainers — each one giving more depth and understanding to my own offering as a teacher.

My first trip to NYC was in the winter of 2009, I was a newly certified teacher — wide-eyed and green. It was the first time I had stepped outside of Australia to broadened my scope of training. It was also the first time I met and trained with Master teacher trainers Cynthia Shipley and Jerome Weinberg — both 2nd Generation teachers who trained extensively with Romana. I still fondly refer to them as the ‘A-team’ and collectively they have shaped the way I teach and practice Pilates. They are the reason I continually travel back to NYC.

 Jerome Weinberg and I doing the Candle stick on the Cadillac

Jerome Weinberg and I doing the Candle stick on the Cadillac

I have since been back several times to continue my tutelage with the ‘A-team’ and each time my tutelage list of 2nd Generation teachers grows — Bob Liekens from Power House Pilates, Peter Fiasca from Classical Pilates, Anthony Rabara from Anthony Rabara’s Studio, Yuka and Jeannie from True Pilates in NY.

 Anthony Rabara and I doing the second long box on the reformer

Anthony Rabara and I doing the second long box on the reformer

This ensures the ‘Spirit’ is passed down through generations and not lost due to over-commercialisation of the method.

I often reflect on how I have kept my drive and passion for Pilates over these years. And I believe it’s due to my tutelage with these different Master teacher trainers — each one giving more depth and understanding to my own offering as a teacher.

Being privy to the stories of these teachers’ tutelage with Romana in an era when Pilates was new and free from commercialisation has given me more context and perspective on the essence of being a 3rd Generation teacher. It ensures the ‘Spirit’ of Pilates is passed down through generations and not lost to over-commercialisation of the method.

  Cynthia Lochard and I doing the Breast stroke on the reformer for the studio’s demonstration

Cynthia Lochard and I doing the Breast stroke on the reformer for the studio’s demonstration

It is important to note although I travel to NYC to continue my tutelage with Cynthia Shipley and Jerome Weinberg. I maintain my training with Sydney-based Master teacher trainer Cynthia Lochard to which I owe much gratitude for my passion and drive to be the best teacher I can be.