“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the New” Socrates
There’s a tidal change in my Industry and just as every spring many feel a need to reorganize and ‘spring clean’ in preparation for the summer ahead our Industry is going through something similar.
Its not enough to continue as many have to blame our problems solely on Individual Training bodies, media representation or a changing world. We as Pilates teachers are in it, doing it and creating our future. We alone are responsible for what we each believe and what our clients therefore understand as Pilates truth. Individual teachers cannot be blamed for not knowing what they do not know, any glance over a social media forum will show you just how fractured a great deal of the Pilates community is, if we don’t address the fault lines sooner rather than later there will be shifts no amount of Industry PR will repair or heal.
I trained as a Mat teacher with Body Control Pilates In 2002, at the time I believe my motivation came from frustration with working in the fitness Industry and a lack of Industry standards. My previous life as a dancer had been about detail, precision and repeated practice, fitness it seemed was about aesthetics over form. After years of doing workshops, courses and compartmentalized training I decided I needed to bridge my learning and experience, At that time it meant leaving Body Control completely, I couldn’t afford to retrain and fulfill the CPD points they required me to take with them. In 2014 I completed my Classical Comprehensive Studio training with Alison Goodman at http://www.pilatesnation.co.uk/ .Finally I felt I had all the pieces of the jigsaw in place. Now I’m carefully learning the Art of piecing them together with the ongoing support of some amazing and patient teachers from a variety of training’s.
As a general rule the only label I really like to own is attached to a Stella McCartney handbag, I know it has no real inherent value in itself but I like to own it anyway. In relation to Industry labels I’m always reluctant to describe myself as anything other than a Pilates teacher, firmly believing that the only thing I am a Master of is my own destiny, certainly a certificate with the term ‘Master Teacher’ means little at best and is potentially an over representation of skill at worst. The abundance of training available to people now compared to when I first qualified is overwhelming and not necessarily a positive move forward for any of us. When training can legitimately be done almost entirely online something has gone very wrong. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Whilst people are busy arguing what is or isn’t ‘real’ Pilates more and more people are handing over cash and being put on the carousel, quick on, quick round and quick off. There’s a reason it is said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, inevitably its our potential clients of the future that are bearing the brunt of poor Industry standards now. What would seem a much more constructive discussion going forward would be how we protect the Pilates Method we teach and how we set ourselves apart from the Training providers interested in quantity over quality. When I was first made aware of the PTA http://www.pilatesteacherassociation.org/ I was suspicious, not convinced it wasn’t another Organisation with a self serving agenda and no real ability to close the now long open gate and find the long bolted horse. The truth is, after asking the questions and watching the Industry I love self harming itself daily I felt I needed to be part of strengthening a voice that might just stand a chance of being heard. Nothing is perfect, no organisation will get everything right but doing something seems more positive than just complaining about or absenting myself from the problems already here and the ones waiting in the wings. I want my Pilates teacher title to mean something that is positive,respectful and represents integrity and passion for the Method it is my hope in that joining the PTA I can be part of the solution and not the problem.