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Continuing Ed: Learning from Pilates Elders

“Continuing Ed” is our regular look at workshops, programs and other methods of bodywork that can enhance your skills as a Pilates teacher.

No matter what you call them—Elders, First-Generation Teachers, Pilates Masters—there’s no denying the Pilates wisdom they’ve passed down through the years. We’re talking, of course, of the handful of people who studied directly with Joseph and Clara Pilates and have kept their methods and spirit alive by teaching others what they know. Some have past away and others are slowing down their teaching schedules due to age, but they each can be proud of their own unique legacies—without them, Pilates would’ve died with its namesake.

If you’re at all interested in connecting to your Pilates roots, we recommend checking out two exciting, upcoming workshops taught by Elders and some of their closest students. But act quickly, they’re both happening in July.

The Wisdom of Five Lineages
July 11-20, 2008
The Pilates Center, Boulder, CO

This nine-day series of workshops is really more of a conference in its scope. Organized by Amy Taylor Alpers and Rachel Taylor Segel of The Pilates Center in Boulder, CO, it will take a look at five Elders through the eyes of their key apprentices.

Jonathan Oldham will present Ron Fletcher, Cara Reeser will present Kathy Grant, Debora Kolwey will present Eve Gentry, Deborah Lessen will present Carola Trier, and Amy and Rachel will present Romana Kryzanowska. The presentations will include rarely seen film footage and a mix of history, reminiscences and exercises.

“They were individuals and worked with Joe under different circumstances and then developed their own lineages,” says Taylor Alpers. Most teachers are lucky enough to immerse themselves in one of these lineages—this is a chance to become a truly balanced teacher.

Instructors can attend the entire week of workshops or individual days. For more info, click here.

Two Masters and One Special Guest
July 15
Real Pilates, New York, NY

This one-day event at Real Pilates in New York brings Lolita San Miguel, one Joe’s younger protégés, from Puerto Rico to teach her mat class methods, including pre-Pilates, warm-up and post-Pilates cool down. Lolita trained with Joe, Clara and Carola Trier in the ‘60s and has many stories to tell.

Also presenting will be Kathy Corey, who has studied with many of the Elders. She will focus on traditional and nontraditional Spine Corrector exercises performed on the Reformer. Alycea Ungaro, owner of Real Pilates, is also hopeful that another highly esteemed New York-area teacher will be able to make it for the last two hours. But no promises on that one.

For more information about this workshop, click here.

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To Learn More…
You can also learn more about the First-Generation teachers and their workshops on these websites:

Mary Bowen

Ron Fletcher

Kathy Grant

Jay Grimes

Romana Kryzanowska

Lolita San Miguel


Continuing Ed: FAMI Workshop 


Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 09:57AM by Registered CommenterAmy Leibrock in , | Comments1 Comment

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Reader Comments (1)

Man, if only I'd moved to Boulder four years ago, I would have been able to attend the first one! I absolutely love Pilates, and it would have been amazing to speak and learn from someone who learned from the originators. It probably would have blown my mind. That being said, even though I missed it, I am glad that they at least came to Boulder. I bet my teacher went to that class, and is now teaching me what she learned there. I knew Pilates Boulder-style was fantastic; now, I know why.

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKeely Thomas-Moore

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