The choices are staggering, like trying to buy tea. You walk into the store and stare at the wall of choices, there is more than brands to a good tea choice: there is flavor, is it responsibly sourced and fair traded? Is it needed to solve a situation, or just for a peaceful cup before sleep or an energizer in the am?
The same is true with Pilates. If you belong to an organization that requires CEC’s to keep a certification up to date, or your school of training requires CEC’s, then you get to decide whether or not you want to look around and see what else might be out there (shocking!). Or stay with the status quo, which gets more financially cumbersome, because now you’re paying to belong, paying to stay connected, and you still want to learn some other stuff.
Paying homage to your school is a lovely way to stay connected to teachers and friends you made while going through your training and is probably the best way to go for the 1st couple of years as a Pilates teacher. Someplace familiar to check in if you have questions, they know you and it’s comfortable.
If you joined a professional organization, then you have those CEC’s to contend with additionally. All of this means money, possible travel, food and hotel, uber, Lyft, taxi or possible car rental. This plus, I no longer felt like the workshop choices were what I needed, but I need to do them to satisfy the CEC requirement.
I quit the organization and I quit getting CEC’s just to stay connected. I was a comprehensively trained Pilates teacher and I had been working several years as I watched the workshop choices keep repeating, and I didn’t find anything new that called to me.
With the financial freedom that decision brought me, I was like a kid cutting school, still looking over my shoulder to make sure no one from my ‘camp’ was watching and would run back and rat me out, causing some potential strife among the campmates. I got brave and went to a classical Pilates conference. I was hooked immediately because I was a complete baby again in the Pilates world and everything was new and challenging and what I thought knew, I did…but it was different.
So the relearning began, and the change of apparatus and turning the tables on my clients. I was given a piece of information that took a minute to settle in. A certification is not required to teach Pilates. Good solid education is, good continuing education is, organizations are not. Before anyone gets all uppity, I’m not dissing organizations and certs. They keep lineages clean and people from all the different larger schools can be counted on to be fairly consistent in ability and knowledge. They produce a product. Consistent teachers, and that’s a good thing.
After the initial comprehensive training, and first few teaching years getting your teachers voice, vision and touch, diligently keeping up all CEC’s and going to the necessary conferences, meeting people and finding new thoughts about how to teach Pilates appear in your rearview mirror, where images may be larger than they appear, your eyes get opened to new possibilities.
So I thought about how to continue learning in my new direction, because life, and kids and grandkids, oh yeah and a new husband (I broke the old one), giant rescue dogs (4 Great Danes, sadly only 3 now), vet bills, kibble etc.. took a toll on my available travel time and $$$, I had to find a new way. So I started hosting the teachers I wanted to learn from, I could always travel to them, but if you pay them, they will come to you..so The Studio S Pilates Series of 5 was born, every year for the past 4 years, I host a minimum of 5 workshops with amazing teachers..I was afraid to ask, thought I’d be turned down, but the beauty of Pilates teachers is that they LOVE to teach. Learning to host is a story for another time. Gracious, and fun, and smart…each and everyone, from my very 1st one. No slouches on my teacher list! Some of them are local and made it easier, so I hosted them several times, a couple were by Skype.
I just kept choosing what I want to learn, find out who can teach me, and then I also invited people globally, so we can send the education farther, save other people traveling expenses, and I also video my workshops if the presenter allows, so people don’t have to take notes, they can be present for the whole experience. Watching, participating, listening. The videos come with the price of admission, and you have it forever unless limited by a presenter. I invite the world to my workshops so I keep the price down, and everyone is happy. I want for everyone the same things that I want available to me, so since it didn’t already exist, I had to figure out a way to do it. There was the usual curiosity, and people telling me that it can’t work, but the world and technology are making so many things possible. I’m far from sophisticated technologically, I can barely manage Instagram and FaceBook, let alone all the other fancy things that are out there.
With my new found love of classical, the knowledge that I didn’t NEED another cert, but I did need mad education, I found a mentor and stuck close by for years during the process. I studied, and workshopped and took lessons, went to intensives, studied with great people, and now I want to share for the Pilates teachers who find themselves on a similar learn hunt as I am. So, Going More Joe was born. It’s a group on Facebook specifically for Pilates teachers who want to share their classical knowledge with contemporary teachers who have heard a myriad of things about it from cultlike, repetitive, too hard for the average person, no modifications/variations, can’t be used for anything other than supreme athletes and dancers, and the teachers are snooty. We talk about it all, from the differences in apparatus design, exercise differences, modifications/variations, the orders, the systems in the system and how to work it, there is a mentorship born of the page, run by Lynda Lippin, a teacher that has both contemporary and classical in her, the struggle is real, and she knows what we contemporaries need to put on the back burner and open our minds too. If someone has never done contemporary work, they can’t understand just how hard and frustrating it is to relearn what you thought you already knew and were so great at.
Going More Joe is a place to help you decide if you want to know a little more of what Joseph Pilates original intention was was, to just throwing some into your regular lesson and class workouts, or if you want to jump ship and bridge to classical, or if you want to DIY it like I have and add in as it becomes available to you. All things are possible. There are many ways, choose your own path, it’s YOUR education. Pick whom you want to learn from, how much change do you want to make, or do you just want a taste. I currently offer these tastes to individual teachers or studios of teachers at their studio or mine, better at theirs because we have changes to be made on how they use their current apparatus. I want to inspire other classical teachers to foster, guide, be open to contemporary teachers who are classical curious and show them the ropes, or straps as it were;) So learn a little, or learn a lot..to bridge or not to bridge is an option.
Studio S Pilates