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Pilates Roundtable Conference Report Card

Pilates Round Table ConferenceIt’s not often you get to have your very own Pilates fantasy.  If you could dream of an ideal Pilates Conference setup, I’m guessing a few of these ingredients would be part of the mix: An intimate setting with you, the master teacher trainer and five of your friends, throw in palm trees, free shuttles to fun nightlife, amazing restaurants and essential shopping, add a dash of non-stop educational opportunities with a combo of workout classes, lectures, open-minded ideas of the “ideal” and approaches to teaching.  Of course, you still have to deal with the freezing indoor AC in the meeting rooms as your brain intently attempts to savor every word that comes out of the presenter’s mouth. But what else would there be to complain about? Let’s be honest.  A good conference doesn’t go off without a glitch unless you can accommodate the varying appetites of many hungry Pilates instructors. Once those sugar levels drop, forget about it—the claws will come out. It’s not unusual to hear complaints about the food but in this case, the meal options were plentiful, the variety of fruits, vegetables and proteins agreeable, and cocktail hour proved substantial.  Bravo!

The Pre-Convention Workshops kicked off the conference on Thursday night.  Rachel Lowe and I from Pilates Business Resource (PBR) hosted “Confidential Trade Secrets of a Studio Owner Exposed.” This purpose of this workshop was to provide a platform to discuss ways in which studios can bring in more money. Everything from package prices, customer service, service offerings and unique selling strategies were discussed.  For more information about this subject, check out the website for Pilates Business Resource (PBR).

The conference structure was unique in that each presenter presented one to two early morning workouts and one specific two hour lecture that would repeat throughout the conference. This would allow for “no guilt” decision making for the attendees.  You always knew you could catch your instructor’s workshop later on that day or the next. The reviews from each session were extremely favorable. I can best speak to the sessions that I attended.  For example, some attending Rebecca Leone’s “Flexion of the Hip” workshop attended up to four times to be able to take away something different each session because the information was so eye-opening.  All attendees of Lolita San Miguel’s course had the opportunity to get up-close and personal with her as well as demonstrate for her on the Cadillac.

Participants of Michael Collins’s workshop were able to experience pure Pilates Zen as he reviewed the principles of breathing and concentration and how those intertwine to create his personal one rep drill daily to reconnect the muscles and get your body ready for the day.  His daily repertoire consisted of 20 different exercises with focus on the breath.  Each movement linked to an inhalation or exhalation.  He asked that we try to experiment with the flow depending on the day and how your body feels but noted the importance of maintaining our practice as teachers.  We have to take care of ourselves first to feel satisfied and complete.

Attendees almost drew emotional tears of enlightenment from Brent Anderson’s intimate Chronic Pain revelations. I received a royal booty kicking workout from Julian Littleford on “Shoulder Stabilization” when he brought the arm chair out from the living dead!

What I enjoyed the most about the lectures was the ever-present reminder of our rich Pilates heritage and our responsibility to keep the integrity of the work within our means.  This reinforced that we are all working together on this mission to REFORM bodies, minds and spirits.

The most brilliant part of the conference that has remained behind the scenes is the perseverance and willingness of our conference host: Bernie Nelson. Bernie put all of this together from start to finish over a year’s time. In May 2009 he went on a personal campaign through parts of the Midwest (Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska) to spread the word about this conference opportunity. This is a part of the country that normally becomes forgotten when drawing conference awareness.  His passion for continuing the work that Joe began with a personalized touch is very admirable.  He and I traveled around Iowa to personally invite studios and ask them “What do you need?”  This type of personal outreach is definitely needed to keep our community close and assure the standards of our teachings are at the highest level we can offer.

Below is a snapshot and review of this opportunity.  I was pleased to be an attendee, Pre-Con Presenter, Peak Pilates MVe Chair class Instructor, Business/Vendor Sponsor and fan of this “open-minded” quality conference.

Pilates Round Table Report Card

  • Atmosphere    B
  • Learning Opp A-
  • Food B+
  • Setting B-
  • Personalized Attention A+
  • Cost for Attending A

A running registration for next year’s conference is open now.  Sign up today.  There is a limit on the number of participants. E-mail Bernie with your questions, comments and thank you’s:

By · Posted on July 21, 2009 · Topic Industry Insider, News

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