Helga Stekelenburg Sylvester walks her talk
Aside from being a Pilates trainer my first and foremost job is being a mom to my daughter and son and being married to Remco Stekelenburg. I am the founder and director of Pilates Oud- Beijerland and The Pilates Place Rotterdam (both studio’s are in The Netherlands). Together with 3 other trainers we offer groupclasses mat, MVe chair and private sessions with Pilates apparatus. Besides doing Pilates, I like to run about 4 to 5 times a week.
Interaction with people
I’m a schooled (business) lawyer and I studied in Leiden (The Netherlands). When I was still studying, my husband opened a big Fitness Centre. Because I took a lot of classes back then (such as steps, aerobics, BBB etc), I decided to get certified, so I could also teach those classes. Eventually I became fully ACE, AFN and AALO certified. I found out I really liked teaching and especially the interaction with people in the classes. People responded well to me, so after graduating and starting my new job, I continued teaching classes at night.
My first steps on the Pilates -journey
I started my Pilates-journey in 2005 and I’ve been travelling ever since. I got my first training from Ernie Prevoo in Maastricht. After the first Mat Basic class I knew; “I’m going to build a company with this!” Pilates immediately grabbed me, it felt so good to my body. A body that was very strong and athletic, but that lacked flexibility and that needed balance. What I love about this Method is, that it’s 100% real, it’s right and if you start doing Pilates you will see the results. Pilates changes your body, but it also changes your self-awareness in a good way; if you stand up straight, you’ll look at the world differently.
Infect with the ‘Pilates- Virus’
I got the opportunity to become a Master Instructor for PeakPilates®. It’s great to not only pass on my knowledge and love for Pilates to my customers, but to also teach other trainers and too, as I call it, ‘infect them’ with the Pilates- Virus. I’ve been given the opportunity to give and present classes abroad in Italy, Germany and Denmark and I’ll be teaching in Serbia soon.
I’ve been honored enough to train in the US with Colleen Glenn, Robin Beck and Clare Dunphy. Sonia Rodriguez has been my mentor on the Peak Pilates Master Instructor pathway and my current coach is Zoey Trapp. I’ve also learned a lot from inspiring Pilates teachers like Javier Velazquez, Chris Robinson and Alycca Ungaro.
Workshops and conferences
Of course I also try to visit interesting workshops and Pilates conventions, the last one I went to was in Barcelona in 2012- ReEvolution. In Juli of this year I went to a Pilates convention in Valencia with Brooke Siler and Peter Fiasca, amongst others. In the Netherlands there’s still a lot we have to do to get people introduced to Pilates.
Still a long way to go
I still have plenty of ideas because I know that Pilates still has a long way to go in the Netherlands, but my mission is to make this Method accessible to everyone! I’m convinced it will be just as big as Fitness. Initiatives like this Pilatesglossy will definitely help with that. I’m proud that with this I can be a part of it.
My mission is to pass on the knowledge that I accumulate all over the world, because the knowledge is only valuable is you can see it applied to a body.