by Kathryn Ross-Nash
Many years ago, a wonderful student entered my studio. Today, Stacy Geant Hughes, the owner of the NJ-based Core Value Pilates, is one of my favorite teacher-students to train—minus the eye rolls, LOL.
When I got to know Stacy a little better, she confessed that she was hesitant to start working with me. “Don’t tell her that you’re a Pilates instructor,” she was told. “Because she won’t even talk to you if you’re not Romana-trained; she doesn’t acknowledge any other training.”
Hearing that broke my heart, as it is so far from the truth and words I have never uttered. Although there may be teachers who don’t open their studios to students trained in programs other than their own, my personal conversations with world-renowned teachers have proven otherwise. Most of the leading teachers in the industry share this wonderful feeling, that anyone is welcome in their program. To wit, read these quotes from some of my friends, who happen to be some of the most sought-after teachers in the industry.
“It shows character and heart to remain in continued pursuit of knowledge, and so I not only welcome teachers and students from every training background, I commend them! My doors will always be flung wide open to anyone eager, wanting and willing to learn.” —Brooke Siler Essapen
“I teach out of a home studio these days, so I don’t hire teachers anymore. However, I always welcome teachers from any background into my mentoring program, as long as they’re open-minded and want to learn more—there’s always more to learn for me as well!” —Jillian Hessel
“It benefits all teachers and clients when we open ourselves and our love of Pilates, and be curious about learning all ways to teach. You can learn from every moment and choose for yourself the best possible sequencing and approach to Pilates. Those teachers, who explore all the possibilities, become versatile and adaptable as teachers and therefore, help more clients meet their full movement potential.” —Madeline Black
“I love having teachers from other backgrounds come to me for lessons or attend my workshops. I keep an open mind, open heart and an open-door policy, welcoming anyone who wants to study the work. I have teachers taking lessons who originally were trained by STOTT Pilates, BASI, Power, Peak, Balanced Body, Romana. It doesn’t matter where anyone starts their education, what matters is to always keep learning!” —Clare Dunphy Hemani
“One of the first, and probably the most important thing, I learned when I first went to Drago’s is that this work (Pilates) is about people working out and having fun. That’s all I want to do, is to share this with as many people as I can. Open to all!” —Christopher Robinson
“I love having teachers from different schools come to my studio and workshops. In my experience, sharing my Pilates point of view with others shows them another way to see, think and feel. Pilates teachers often disagree about what is the best style of Pilates. However, we do seem to agree that teaching Pilates is about helping the person and body in front of us move the best way possible.” —Blossom Leilani Crawford
“To us, how your house was built and by whom is irrelevant. We want to strengthen your foundation.” —Dana Santi Pilates
“I’ve heard, ‘I thought you all would make me do that crazy stuff and criticize me if I do it wrong.’ Well, I hope to never hear those words again! It is validation and confirmation to me after I’ve shared a mutually beneficial session in Pilates with another Pilates enthusiast who happens to come from another school of Pilates instruction. Like Pilates? Me, too! Let’s Workout! —Moses Urbano
I am grateful when any student knocks on my door! To me, the student who comes to a workshop or a lesson with a teacher from another background has already told us who they are: They are the ones who are open and searching to learn. They are the ones who are willing to step out of their comfort zones and the ones who have honored me with the position of sharing what I have learned with them. Open doors and open hearts are around you. Don’t be afraid to knock. I promise we will swing that door wide open!
Kathryn Ross-Nash is a Certified Romana’s Pilates Level 2 Trainer and the owner of American Body Tech Pilates in Allendale, NJ. She is the creator of The Add on Mat® and The Red Thread® as well as the author of the original Fix Your Feet – Using the Pilates Method © and The Red Thread of Pilates © series.