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Supporting My Students To Be More Autonomous In Their Pilates Practice

When the elevator doors opened on the top floor of New York University´s TISH School Of The Arts building on 2nd Avenue I would be greeted by the sounds of springs, classical music and the voice of Kathy Grant teaching two or three people at a time in her little Pilates studio. It was a tiny studio; there was a Reformer, a Cadillac, a Ladder Barrel, a Wunda Chair, a Spine Corrector and various small accessories like little balls, and pillows, tennis cans, and pinwheels. Like an orchestra conductor, Kathy would correct, advise and scold us from her chair next to the window (and the radiator). It was not a quite place but the concentration level was palpable. Her students were mainly made up of TISH dance majors and professional dancers. But there were others too. Actors, musicians, painters and even a few who where not artists. We all knew the protocol of the studio. We all knew what we did. We all knew that then we arrived we were expected to get the accessories we needed, to find a place in the room, and to get started with our warm-ups. In the thirteen years that I studied with Kathy I never had a private session. This model made me re-evaluate the one-to-one session model that dominated the studio culture that I had been working in. Continue...

Reflections On Mentoring: Part 2

I often reflect back on what I call my “old-school apprenticeship” with Kathy. For over a decade I took weekly lessons that lasted anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours. When I could, I went twice a week. There was nothing formal about my apprenticeship; it evolved organically. In fact, we never talked about it. On the days I would go to Kathy’s studio, I would keep the whole morning free from other obligations. It was expected that lessons did not end until she said you were done. I would then simply stay to do little things for her around the studio until I had to head uptown to teach at my own studio in the afternoon. Continue...

Reflections On Mentoring: Part 1

Recently I came across a quote from Newton that said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” It got me thinking about my foundation and the people who hoisted me up on their shoulders so that I might see further.

My mentors have played a profound role in my professional and personal development. They’ve been there to cheer me on through the prolific moments of my career and more than once, they’ve guided me back on track when I’ve lost my way. Mentors encourage us to make deeper connections, to better understand our strengths and weaknesses, and steer us towards the manifestation of our greatest potential. I think it is safe to say that none of us have achieved success, or gotten this far, entirely on our own. I know this to be true in my case. Continue...

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