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How to become a Pilates Teacher

11th December 2018

How to become a Pilates Teacher

So, you want to become a Pilates instructor? Awesome.

There are several ways to become part of the legacy which Joseph Pilates has given us. After 15 years in the industry I reckon joining our course would give you the best Pilates Teacher Training, but there are a few others too. If you trained with another school to teach the Pilates Matwork, come and chat with us once you are ready to aim to become a Comprehensively Trained Pilates teacher.

Pilates is a method of movement created by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. Joseph was born in Germany in the 1880s and was working in the UK when WWI broke out and was interred on the Isle of Man for the duration of the war. This is where he developed his method which he took to NYC between the Wars. Alan Herdman was the first person to teach Pilates in London in the 1980s, and it is only in the last 20 years that we have seen much Pilates in Scotland.

Originally there was no such thing as Pilates Teacher Training. The first Pilates Teachers started as talented and interested clients at Joes’ Studio and were trained up as apprentices in by him long before there was any Pilates Certification Course.

Our mentor Lolita San Miguel is one of those original Pilates Elders. She began taking Pilates as a client at Carola Trier's Pilates Studio, and was originally trained up for a career in Pilates by Carola. Only then did she find out that Joseph Pilates was still alive and she started attending his Studio at 939 8th Avenue, NYC. Lolita is one of only two people in the world who have ever been granted a Pilates Qualification by the man himself.

I originally trained with the Pilates Foundation in Edinburgh and went on to gain my Pilates Teacher Certification with Body Control Pilates. After several years of learning my trade I applied for and was accepted onto Lolita’s Pilates Master Mentor Program, a two-year advanced Pilates qualification. While I was attending this course at Lolita’s Pilates Centre in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida she invited me to take extra training to become and Educator for her Pilates Teacher Training Course Lolita’s Legacy. Students who graduate from Lolita’s Legacy have a clear lineage from the creator of the Pilates Method to one of only a handful of Pilates Elders, to a 2nd Generation Teacher like myself. This gives Lolita’s Legacy graduates the title of 3rd Generation Pilates Teachers, and that is a special thing indeed.

Every Pilates Studio and every Pilates Teacher is different, as is every Pilates Teacher Training School. It is worth seeing the learning environment before you commit, it is valuable to try the apparatus you’ll be working on, meeting the Educators you’ll be learning from as well as speaking to students and graduates in order to find the best fit for you.

Pilates is a very personal experience and by meeting all these people you’ll be able to get a good understanding of the possible Pilates Teacher jobs which may be out there, how much you can earn as a self-employed Pilates Teacher, and to understand the realities of becoming a Pilates Instructor.

A worthwhile school will allow you to observe classes or private Pilates sessions where you can see the Teacher in action. You learn so much more from just watching how a great Pilates Instructor interacts with their clients (and sometimes you learn more from a poor fitness instructor). Avoid any place which wants to charge you for observation, and always be mindful of client confidentiality and any rules of the Studio.

The job of a Pilates Teacher is very rewarding. It is not easy to manage someone else’s fears, anxieties, and injuries and still give them a successful movement experience. It is not a simple thing to qualify to become a Comprehensive Pilates Teacher, it takes many hours of dedication to theory and improving your own Pilates performance. But clients come in all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life. The best Pilates Teachers are those who connect with clients and inspire them to seize life and improve. Therefore, the Pilates Industry needs Teachers from a variety of backgrounds. If you think you’d like to train to become a Pilates Teacher come and talk to us. Lolita’s Legacy is a wonderful course which will set you up on a great career path. We run it in two versions, over 12 weekends in about 18 months, or over 4 intensive blocks over about a year.

Even if Lolita’s Legacy doesn’t suit you just now, come along and have a chat. Our Educators all trained originally with other schools and we can help you find the very best Pilates Teacher training that would suit you the most.

By Joakim Valsinger, NCPT, 2nd Generation Lolita San Miguel Pilates Master


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