I have taught Pilates for more than eighteen years. I worked in New York, Cambridge, owned and operated my own studio in San Francisco, and have just opened up a new studio in NW Portland offering both MELT Method and Classical Pilates. This studio is called Studio Reset (www.studioresetpdx.com), offering private sessions, duets, and 9 small group classes. In 2000, I completed a rigorous certification program with Romana Kryzanowska, a pupil of Joseph Pilates himself, her daughter Sari Mejia Santo and with master teacher Bob Liekens.
I began Pilates in the late 80's when people did not know how to pronounce the word. The Pilates Method was a great way to cross-train with my dancing. The technique, which works on concentration, alignment, joint stabilization, strength and stretch, kept me injury free. Both of my teachers, Cary Regan and Bob Liekens were Romana trained.
The Pilates Method has changed since Joseph Pilates passed away at 83 years old in 1967. He predicted when he was alive that in 50 years there would be a Pilates Studio on every corner. His prediction was right: there are many studios but, unfortunately, the quality of teaching is uneven.
Many people who teach the technique do not know the original exercises. This is because Joseph Pilates taught his students what they needed for their individual development. He worked with a wide variety of people: some were athletes, many were dancers, circus performers and some were ordinary people curious about him and his method. With each of these types of students, Joseph emphasized a different part of his system suited to their particular needs. Many of these students eventually began teaching his method the way that they had learned it. Hence, a variety of view points and teaching methodologies were born. Romana was a longtime student of Joseph Pilates. She was asked by Joe to continue teaching his method after he died. She preserved every exercise exactly as he meant it to be and she devoted her life to maintaining the integrity of the work in its original form.
In my experience, people who gravitate to the style of Pilates passed down through Romana appreciate the opportunity to learn the depth and tradition of Joseph Pilates work. This traditional approach emphasizes the athleticism and artistry of the method. I have worked hard to carry on teaching with the love and devotion that Romana instilled in me and I continuously strive to convey the method in its purest form.