For the past 2 decades, I’ve had the honor of working with many other dedicated Pilates professionals to ensure the legitimacy and success of our still nascent field of study and career opportunity. Reflecting on the recent gathering of our international community at the Pilates Method Alliance conference in Las Vegas, I’d like to take a moment to appreciate how far we have come as an industry.
Not so long ago, Body Contrology teachers were hesitant to use the word “Pilates” for fear of being sued. Even now, there continues to be discussion about the differences and merit of true/authentic/classical/real/contemporary Pilates, as well as the ownership of certain historical documents and images, but we’ve established much more common ground since the inception of the PMA. Since then, hundreds of experienced Pilates teachers from around the world have collaborated to develop and establish the primary pillars of professional development necessary to support our expanding Pilates industry.
To date, our profession can boast the establishment of the following:
- A Professional Association (Pilates Method Alliance – PMA)
- A Certification Program (National Pilates Certification Program – NPCP)
- Research standards (Pilates Research Forum)
- Pilates initiatives for specific demographics, ex.: Pilates 4 Youth, Heroes in Motion
The Pilates industry and I have grown up together professionally. Since initiating a Pilates school in 1999, I have felt a responsibility to establish a stronger foundation for our profession and leave things better than they were when we (long-timers) started practicing, teaching, and educating in this field. These years have been well spent to ensure that Pilates practitioners around the world have access to legitimately educated and certified Pilates professionals to help improve their quality of life. Likewise, much progress has been made to ensure that our teaching community has access to quality research, continuing education, and the ability to develop a career based on the application of this knowledge.
To be a part of the development of industry standards is beyond fulfilling for me. As a school, Fletcher Pilates has moved successfully through each applicable industry development opportunity and is proudly poised as an example of what alignment with standards can mean. We have been licensed at a vocational school in the State of Arizona since 2006, and we are honored to represent our school and work by presenting research studies, offering continuing education, and providing other valued information at meetings and conferences for our profession. Our Fletcher faculty are all NPCP certified and we encourage all of our graduates to apply for the only accredited Pilates certification.
I’m amazed by how far our school, and the Pilates industry in general, have come in a relatively short period of time. I encourage each of you to have a hand in the next steps toward the future of this industry by:
- Volunteering for the Pilates Method Alliance
- Promoting the NPCP credential
- Participating in Research Forums
- Developing continuing education
The development of a profession takes a community, and many perspectives. The Pilates community is now brilliantly equipped to carry the torch and light the way for the next generation of Pilates teachers and practitioners.
Director of Fletcher Pilates, Kyria Sabin preparing to teach the Fletcher Pilates Comprehensive Program of Study students a piece of movement on the Guillotine Tower.