Monday, December 4, 2006
Pilates Pro - the Pulse

As third- and fourth-generation Pilates teachers progress in their careers, many are seeking specialized instruction to help elevate their understanding of the method and its applications. Training programs are answering the demand, with instructors like Tom McCook of Center of Balance in Mountain View, CA, offering Continuing Education Courses with the experienced instructor in mind. "The goal of these workshops is to support teachers in developing the art of teaching and cultivating personal balance which allows you have a successful life," says McCook, who plans to launch an intensive advanced teacher training program in late 2007. "It's also about cultivating a community of teachers to share and develop with."

The Pilates Center of Boulder, CO, is also making strides in advanced teaching instruction. The center, which is run under the direction of Rachel Taylor Segel and Amy Taylor Alpers, is the first to offer a Master's program in Pilates education. Open to experienced instructors, this 96-hour seminar series is designed to impart instructors with a more specialized knowledge, teaching them to better identify and correct imbalances, work with clients with special needs and create more effective programming.

Amy Taylor Alpers answered our questions about this new training program, which will debut in early 2007.

Pilates Pro: What made you and Rachel decide to start the Master's program for Pilates instructors?

Amy Taylor Alpers: We receive a lot of requests from Pilates teachers who want some sort of affiliation and accreditation with The Pilates Center, but have already graduated from another program. The program is designed to both enable that opportunity and to support our mission to change the world through raising the caliber of Pilates teaching.

PP: What do you hope teachers will gain from this program?

ATA: Our commitment is to help create the finest Pilates teachers in the world. What each teacher takes away is very individual of course, but our hope is to continue to deepen a teacher's understanding of Pilates and its applications. The Pilates Center is known for developing the art of teaching—not just knowledge of technique—so that is what this program offers.

PP: The flexible schedule and traveling program of seminars seems to be set up so that teachers from afar can participate as well. Was this the intention?

ATA: Yes. Our regular teacher-training program has always been Boulder based, so we are used to working with the needs of out-of-state students. By allowing three years to accumulate the credits, and for part of it to be taken through approved workshops in other locations, almost anyone can complete the program. We already have interest from teachers who live in Canada, Mexico, France, Israel, Australia and the UK.

PP: How does the training program differentiate for instructors who have graduated from your program and those who have not.

ATA: There are only a few small differences. Teachers who have graduated from another program must have 1,500 teaching hours, and take our Formal Lecture Series as part of their required hours. They are also required to take at least 72 of their 96 hours in Boulder.

Graduates of The Pilates Center have already taken the Formal Lecture Series, so those classes are optional credits as part of the Master's program. TPC graduates need 750 teaching hours to apply and must take 60 of their 96 hours in Boulder.

PP: How does this program differ from Continuing Ed workshops?

ATA: Teachers in the Master's program are compiling workshops as Continuing Education Credits toward achieving an additional certificate of expertise above and beyond their original training. Any teacher, student or enthusiast is welcome to attend our Continuing Education Courses without being enrolled in our Master's program.

READERS, have you heard of other studios offering advanced education programs? We would love to hear about any such programs—please post information on other instructional seminars and workshops below.