Pilates Goes Musical!

Thursday, July 10, 2008
Remember when Pilates classes were quiet? They're not anymore. Sometimes it's background, sometimes the moves follow the beat. Regardless, from New Age to hip-hop, music has taken over. Golly, even in a circuit Pilates class with three stations (and three presenters cuing at once!) there was music playing underneath it all. That circuit was pretty wild--Stacey Lei Krauss saw my bemusement and clued me in: the goal was to bring fitness and Pilates together; to appeal to people who "don't want to have to be perfect before they move." Any men in there? Actually there were--more than in other Pilates classes I've visited. Let me mention two of my favorite sessions today. In the dawn block, I spent time in the Gyrokinesis workout with Stephanie Spencer. I get tingly watching this exercise--my body itches to do it, and somehow that makes sense. After all, when I doodle, I doodle in spirals, and on those days (they sometimes happen) when I'm home alone and I just have to dance, I dance in spirals. So a movement system built on spirals instinctively feels attractive. I also like the economy of effort--the end result is simple, elegant and effective, with no waste of energy. I think I'll stop by the booth in the expo hall and pick up a DVD. And the second session? Linda Freeman's "The New Yoga-Pilates Blend." New for new's sake isn't always a great idea, but this fusion class really seemed successful. Check it out next time if you missed it this time around. One thing that interests me at our events is how the presenters fall into two groups: those who basically teach a class, instructing attendees much as they would their clients back home; and those who teach a workshop, addressing attendees as instructors with their own clients back home and keeping the focus on teacher training. I'm talking about workshops here, not workouts, and it's a matter of degree, of course. My preference is for the latter--I feel that the deeper learning goes on in the teacher-training environment. But what do attendees say? I'm interested to hear.