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Entries in Kim Carruthers (2)

Pilates for Kids: Setting Up Your Own Program

By Amy Leibrock

In May, we shared Kim Carruthers’ tips on how to teach Pilates to children and teens. Now with back-to-school time upon us, we’re serving up some practical ideas and tips for setting up your own children’s Pilates program.  

Photo courtesy Pilates Studio CityIf you want to start teaching Pilates to kids, getting involved with the Pilates Method Alliance’s Pilates in the Schools (PITS) program is one great option. The program’s goal is to “bring Pilates to children, teachers, and parents by providing affordable and accessible Pilates education programs to schools.” PITS encourages potential teachers to work with fifth and sixth graders in a school setting. The organization is working to collect data on the benefits of Pilates for kids, so you will need to perform before and after testing and stick to the program’s 10-week structure at first. To participate, you must be a member of the PMA and submit an application.

If the structure of the PITS program doesn’t fit your situation, you can also set up your own program for kids at a local school or community center. Following are six steps to take in either case, from teachers who have run programs themselves.

6 Tips for Teaching Pilates to Kids and Teens

PilatesInTheHood.jpgBy Amy Leibrock 

Whether you get involved with Pilates in the Schools or want to teach Pilates to kids at your local YMCA, getting children started in Pilates can be a rewarding and inspiring experience. Just ask Kim Carruthers. After 10 years teaching Pilates, she had a thriving studio, Physical Perfection, in Los Angeles and star clients like Tyra Banks and Patricia Arquette, but she was looking for something new to excite her, something, she says, “to bring the benefits of Pilates outside the walls of my studio.”

Carruthers found what she was looking for when she volunteered to teach Pilates to children who were financially less fortunate in 2005. It was so successful, both for the kids and for her, that now, on top of her fulltime studio, she teaches six classes per week to kids and teens through her Pilates in the ‘Hood program. Carruthers sees her students get fitter, but they also tell her it helps them focus on their schoolwork and relax when they’re stressed—and many practice at home or teach moves to their families. “Part of my goal is that later on in life, no matter what, this will be a foundation for them,” she says.

It sounds great, right? After all, wasn’t this also Joseph Pilates’ goal? For everyone to do Pilates? Yes, but if you’re ready to bring Pilates to the children and have never worked with kids, you might have some questions. Like, how do you explain the Powerhouse to a 7-year-old? Or how do you find the kids in the first place?

To answer these questions and more, we sought Carruthers’ advice. In this first part of our 2-part series, she shares her tips for teaching kids and teens. In Part 2, she’ll offer up ideas for starting a program in your own area.