Change is in the Air

Kathryn Ross-Nash shares her views on the evolution of Pilates continuing education.

by Kathryn Ross-Nash

Throughout my 40 years in the Pilates industry, I have stood witness to much change. I watched as Pilates went from being a backroom—a hidden gem that the dancer regarded as a household name. I watched as the work moved from certification and continuing education hosted by these programs into the mainstream fitness industry, and finally into large, purely Pilates events. Teachers everywhere with pads and pens scribbling away as someone taught a specific subject and had a few attendees demonstrate.

Just as the needs of the instructors and the level of the education of these teachers grew, so must the picture of what workshops look like. Today there are YouTube and Instagram videos demonstrating lesser-known exercises. There are educational websites, such as Pilates Anytime and Pilatesology. There is this magazine that covers not only exercises, but nutrition, fashion, studio support, where to buy what, expert information and so much more.

So how is this affecting the industry? How is this new, savvy and sophisticated instructor’s needs going to be met? These teachers with all the information at their fingertips, what do they want, what do they need?

They need to move. They need to practice hands-on work with other instructors and receive feedback. They not only need to have their own hands spot many bodies, but to be spotted by others to feel what hand options there are. They need to feel the work in their bodies. They need to get on equipment, get on the mat and get back inside their own personal practice—the thing that inspired them to teach in the first place.

This is the change: teachers demanding more and presenters giving them the opportunity to not only see the work, but experience it firsthand.

Photos by Joseph DeRuvo.

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.

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