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Mastering Pilates: The Pursuit of Teaching Excellence

What does it mean to be a highly skilled Pilates teacher?

It starts with completion of a comprehensive Pilates Teacher Training program that includes at least 450 hours of classroom instruction, observations, and practice teaching supervised by Master Teacher Trainers.

It continues with ongoing professional development and collaboration with colleagues to deepen instructional skills and knowledge of how to use various exercise modalities to counter the effects of osteoporosis, scoliosis, and other physical challenges.

At Holly’s Pilates Village, we take great pride in the quality of our teaching team. Throughout the year, our teachers are continually learning and then sharing their newfound knowledge with each other. The collaborative teaching approach that we follow mirrors the way university “teaching” hospitals use senior faculty to guide new physicians throughout their training.

(Photo above: Pilates Teacher Jessica Goldstein adjusts props for a client with scoliosis while Pilates Teacher Deena Neimat observes the instruction.)

Here are just a few examples of how our Pilates teaching team has deepened its knowledge and skills during the past year:

  • Jessica Goldstein is in the final stages of completing requirements for becoming an official Scolio-Pilates practitioner. Founded by Karena Thek, Scoilo-Pilates uses evidence- based exercises and techniques to help those with scoliosis find more movement in their bodies, experience less pain, and grow stronger. This work is an effective and non-invasive way to manage scoliosis and help clients move their spines closer to center and create a neuro-muscular new normal.

  • Deena Neimat completed Level 1 and Level 2 CoreAlign training through Balanced Body and will soon complete final certification exams to become a certified Balanced Body CoreAlign instructor.

  • Kristie Goodwin earned distinction by becoming a Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher. This designation means that Kristie has met the industry’s highest standards, including passing a 3-hour qualifying examination through a third-party assessment system.

  • Dawn Adcock started working toward a second comprehensive Pilates certification to deepen her understanding of the classical methods developed by Joseph Pilates.

  • Elizabeth Austin and Tiffany Clayton will soon complete training to become licensed Buff Bones® instructors. The Buff Bones program is an exercise system for bone and joint health, particularly osteoporosis.

Great teachers make Holly’s Pilates Village stand out from other studios. Clients who travel and try Pilates at other studios repeatedly tell us that “there is no comparison with the quality of instruction” that they receive at the village. With 2 Master Teacher Trainers providing coaching to aspiring instructors and a veteran team working in collaboration, Holly’s Pilates Village offers the most consistent and innovative practices to clients every single day.

“My role comes in with built-in accountability for continued research,” says Master Teacher Trainer Teresa Willis, director of the Teacher Training Program at Holly’s Pilates Village. “I am constantly deepening my learning -- checking and double-checking my information, careful not to rely on assumptions -- because future teachers and clients depend on my getting the latest, most reliable information in an ever-changing field of study.”

Teresa says her mid-career shift to Teacher Trainer required her to “go back to the very basics and rebuild. The transformation is ongoing. I am helped in this pursuit by exposure to different styles, approaches, and influences I encounter daily at Holly's Pilates Village. My colleagues are often my best sources for information. We and our clients benefit immeasurably by this pooling of knowledge and resources.”

The expectation of ongoing professional development at Holly’s Pilates Village inspires all teachers to refine their skills, but it also enables them to specialize in areas that they care about.

For example, Jessica Goldstein has scoliosis and wanted to deepen her knowledge of how spinal curvatures affect movement and what can be done to mitigate the effects as we age.

Deena Neimat fell in love with the Balanced Body CoreAlign system because of the way it challenged her core stabilization. In addition to pursuing CoreAlign training and certification, Deena recently developed a new class combining exercises on the Corealign and the Cadillac.

Dawn Adcock wanted to have a deeper understanding of the origins of Pilates by studying the classical traditions of Joseph Pilates. She hopes to soon transition to teaching Pilates full-time.

“As Pilates teachers, it is important that we keep learning as current research about the body informs our methods of movement,” explains Kristie Goodwin, who has pursued training in CoreAlign and Buff Bones since gaining initial certification in 2018, with guidance from Master Teacher Trainer Holly Holland.

“The camaraderie in our studio provides a great place for each of us to share what we learn and motivates us to be the best teachers for our clients.”

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