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Pilates Teacher Training: The Difference is Quality

Updated: Nov 11, 2019

pilates teacher training
Pilates Teacher Training on Barrels at Holly's Pilates Village

Is there any difference between Pilates teacher training courses? Isn't one pilates teacher training program as good as any other? The answer is "No!" At Holly's Pilates Village, we strongly endorse the mission and message of our partner organization, Pilates Sports Center (PSC) in Los Angeles:

"We create TEACHERS…Not Trainers. What's the difference? Well, it's a big one. Trainers tell you what to do. Teachers educate you. We're not a 'one size fits all' program that merely teaches you exercises and graduates you. This is a college-level professional course to create a skilled teacher. We believe in educating our students to look at the body in front of them and program to that body.

"To do that, you need to know how to assess a client, the purpose of each exercise, how to dissect it, and safely and effectively apply it. If you want through, in-depth knowledge, and confidence in yourself and your skills upon graduation, this program is for you." (Source)

At our studio, Master Teacher Trainers Teresa Willis and Holly Holland reinforce these principles through the 17-week instructional program that we conduct twice yearly. Each apprentice teacher has a year to complete a 500-hour program, which includes direct instruction, practice teaching, class observations, self-integration, and an anatomy thesis and client assessment project. Experienced teachers at the studio also mentor the apprentice teachers, offering guidance and shadowing of students to help them better understand the modifications that are necessary for people with a range of injuries and illnesses.

Emily Thompson, a certified yoga instructor who recently gained certification through Pilates Sports Center and joined our teaching team, said she did a lot of research comparing teacher training programs before beginning her studies at Holly's Pilates Village.

"Throughout the training, I was amazed again and again how they presented the material and the depth of perspective of how to assess clients, modify movements and help clients build strength," Emily says. "I also appreciated that PSC meets every client where they are. Their 'modify before abandon' approach to each exercise truly fits with my personal experience and supports all movers, no matter where they are starting. Once completing the coursework, I appreciated the additional requirements of observations hours, teaching hours, apprentice hours and such. The program provided such a thorough experience that when completed, I was ready to teach group classes and private clients. Such a comprehensive experience was made better by those who taught and mentored me."

Dr. Divya Cantor, a board-certified OB-GYN who also has a master's degree in business, discovered Pilates when she was recovering from a series of back and knee injuries. A life-long learner, she initially pursued Pilates teacher training because she was so curious about the exercises that had brought her so much relief from pain.

"To be honest, I thought it was going to be mostly for my personal education and less about teaching," said Divya, who has a full-time job in the medical field. "But as luck would have it, part of the teaching requirements with Pilates Sports Center, there is a level of understanding of the moves required but also prescribed time for observation of other teachers and many hours of apprentice teaching. All of this led to a surprising new insight to me--teaching brings me sheer joy!"

Divya, who teaches Deep Stretch Pilates on Mondays at 7 p.m. and works with private clients on weekends, found that her background in medicine lends itself nicely to this functional, intelligent exercise within Pilates. The teacher training is based on the more contemporary method of Pilates. Like Emily, she appreciates the emphasis that the studio and PSC places on finding appropriate modifications for people so they can engage in the Pilates repertoire safely and effectively.

"Being a teacher with just a little over a year under my belt has been appropriately challenging and incredibly rewarding. I have seen the positive changes in my body, but to see it in others is empowering. My teacher training allows me to help many clients, along with my husband and my elderly parents. Every one of them appreciates the assistance I offer. As family, they don't have to be nice to me about my teaching, and yet, they all come back for more! As a physician with healing as a cornerstone within my core, Pilates has given me a chance to be a better human being as we are here to serve each other in our own way.

"I am grateful to Holly Holland for creating a positive community where I can grow personally and professionally. I am further grateful to Claire Greenlee, my current teacher, and all the other teachers at Holly's Pilates Village for their energy and sharing of knowledge, helping me a part of a welcoming, warm studio." These are my choices, and I am thankful for the outcomes achieved.

Our next Teacher Training session begins Jan. 19, 2020. Weekly class sessions are Fridays 5-9 p.m. and Sundays 2-6 p.m. Contact Master Teacher Trainers Teresa Willis or Holly Holland for more information. Also visit our Teacher Training page.

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