During the early part of May 2012, I was fortunate enough to attend The 2012 Classical Pilates Conference Chicago for 3 days. Wow! I always take away such a wealth of information from these workshops. This year I worked with Jay Grimes, Peter Fiasca, Chris Robinson, Kathryn Ross-Nash, Brooke Siler and Mari Winsor. The next few blogs will focus on information learned and distilled from these truly gifted teachers.
During a “panel Q& A” on Friday evening, May 4, 2012, Jay Grimes was asked to clarify whether or not the feet should be flexed when doing the classical mat exercise, called The Roll-Up? In true “Jay fashion” (and probably Joe Pilates fashion, as well…), Jay responded, “yes,” however, adding the caveat, “but do what works the connection to your core.”
Jay, who personally worked with Joe and Clara Pilates, at their studio on 8th Avenue in New York, for several years, stressed that Joe would, “teach the body in front of him.” Similarly, pilates exercises are also commonly grouped into the designations of “beginner,” “intermediate,” and “advanced” levels. While these may be helpful as “rule of thumb” benchmarks, again, Jay pointed out, “do what is good for their (the clients’) bodies.”
Though rules, in general, have their place, all clients are individuals. Even the best rules were meant to be broken. Remembering why the rules were made in the first place, is the essence of sound teaching. Thus, don’t lose sight of the core for the choreography.