Critics Everywhere

Critics Everywhere

Yesterday I sent out a description of my newest BarSculpt Class – BarSculpt Reformer. I had received questions about it from my licensed BarSculpt teachers and figured if they do not know what it is, no one does.

This was my post in my email newsletter

What is BarSculpt Reformer you ask!

The Pilates Reformer is a very versatile apparatus, which allows ease of motion and for many exercises the release of gravity. BarSculpt uses this Pilates apparatus to challenge the entire body in balance while taking away many of the heavy coordinated movements used in a typical Pilates class. Pilates is still the foundation of this course (as in all BarSculpt courses) but prior knowledge and teaching experience on the reformer is unnecessary. 

In response the that email I got this question as a reply

“Are you really having non (Pilates) certified people teach reformer?”

At first I was taken back with a growing anger. I wanted to put up a fight and scream, “How dare this stranger question my resume, my program and not even have the audacity to write more than one sentence.”

However after further reflection I realized what a fair and reasonable question it is. The question alone may need some background to teachers who do not currently teach Pilates, so I’ll start there.

In 2001 I was trained to teach Pilates, I was certified in 2002. This is after working at the Lotte Berk Method and after a lifetime of dance. Pilates was the first time I was ever taught anatomy. This is very common practice in contemporary Pilates programs and is becoming (or has in the last 5 years) more standard for classically trained Pilates teachers as well. The anatomy course was so intense that I did not think that I was going to be able to make it through the courses, and in the end pass and exam. But I did.

The days, weeks and months of training were long. I did my anatomy studying, observation, practice teaching and personal review hours and still much of the work was not clicking. I was not used to this. Movement has always been my salvation. As my husband has been known to observe “We are not all hardwired for perpetual motion like you are.”

I eventually hit my stride with Pilates but it was after countless (more than recommended I may add) hours of teaching, taking classes and watching videos. Not to mention I worked at such an amazing studio that had/ has top-notch teachers to learn with and from. The moral I learned was that teaching well, takes time. Just like everything else. But Pilates has so many pieces to the pie, that if I had stopped and focused longer just on Mat work, my learning would have carried me through to all the other pieces.

When I began being a Pilates Certification Teacher in 2007, it became clear to me that new teachers needed smaller bits of information. (Anyone who took the BarSculpt training the first year when it was a 40-hour week knows what I mean. I tried to teach everything I know… new teachers were leaving the training- inspired to teach but unclear where to start and feeling as though they had been hit by a train).

BarSculpt Reformer is a basics training. It breaks down the information for a plotted out class. It is NOT a Pilates training, though there is much discussion about Pilates the man. One will learn the specific exercises, the safety of the apparatus and how to teach a tremendously rewarding class.

So YES! I really am teaching (non) Pilates certified teachers how to teach BarSculpt reformer. I still recommend, as I would to newly trained Pilates, BarSculpt or origami teachers, to practice teach, observe and do many hours of personal review before teaching a class.

Many now Certified by PMA Pilates teachers I have trained taught before they were “certified”. Teaching is a process. We learn over time. BarSculpt reformer has been a breath of new life into my reformer classes at Pure Movement Portland, but some Pilates purists will not like it. They will criticize my work, teachings and teachers. Some will steal it and call it something else (I stopped counting how many BarSculpt trained individuals decided to use a made up name). At the end of the day. BarSculpt Reformer makes me happy to do, teach and share. You can come with me or you can judge and bully but I know the quality of my program. It's good. It's damn good.

I urge everyone to realize that Joseph H. Pilates himself taught his students differently. He didn’t believe in ONE way. That is why there are so many different methods attributed to him. I embrace all Pilates teachers. I embrace all barre teachers. I do not feel my training is better or worse than anyone else’s. It’s mine. Friends in my same program teach slightly, or even VERY different than I do. (There is a big difference between Core Fusion, Bar Method, and myself.. but we all learned directly from Lydia Bach) We all bring in and take out what works for us and hopefully our clients benefit.

In conclusion, if becoming trained on the reformer is on your bucket list, you should check out the BarSculpt offerings. We offer a strong program.

This is my class description taken from Pure Movement Portland’s online scheduler

BarSculpt is an energizing interval group fitness class usually utilizing a ballet bar and one's own body as resistance to challenge strength and flexibility, resulting in a sculpted form with enhanced balance, posture, and vitality. This 55- minute group class bridges together BarSculpt with the spring resistance of Pilates most well known apparatus, the Reformer. A Pilates Reformer is a piece of equipment that provides finely tuned resistance with a series of springs and ropes. Reformer training builds strength without "bulking up", increases flexibility and agility, and develops optimal core control, creating flat abdominals, slender thighs and a strong back. If you LOVE BarSculpt® you will truly enjoy BarSculpt® Reformer taking your stretches to an all time high!

The course description taken from the Teacher Trainings

Enjoy all the intensity of BarSculpt with the resistance of the Pilates reformer. The Pilates Reformer is an apparatus providing finely tuned resistance with a series of springs and ropes. BarSculpt Reformer increases flexibility and agility, creating optimal core control. Learn how to take BarSculpt to the next level in this course. We will teach you the sequence of a BarSculpt reformer class and how the moves are related to the traditional BarSculpt classes for an in-depth training experience. Length of course: 9 hours.

Prerequisite: None. CEC: SCW 9 *Perfect for teachers already familiar with the Pilates reformer although others are not discouraged the pace is fast and a new teacher may want to consider a private training.

course dates:

May 24th Portland, ME

June 14th Needham, MA

June 23rd Norwalk, CT

July 17th, Portland, ME


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