Monday, February 25, 2008

PMA Certified!

On Wednesday, February 27, I passed the Pilates Method Alliance certification exam and am now awarded the title of PMA-Certified Teacher. This designation formally recognizes that I have met accepted professional standards in the field of Pilates. After 44 years, I have initials behind my name - Carolyn Bell, CPT!

This is a journey that began in 2004 when Glen Fargo invited me to become his apprentice. I owe Glen a great deal; he helped me discover the athlete in me and work I could be passionate about once again. There are others, which I want to acknowledge here:

Ron Fletcher: Ron is a living legend. In the Pilates world, and for his followers in particular, he is our connection to source. When in his company, I come away inspired and having learned something of precious value. My favorite time with Mr. Fletcher was when we sat alone chatting about Ms. Martha Graham and his days as a dancer in her famous company. I am biased, believing the best teacher training in the Pilates world is given by his former teachers.

Glen Fargo: Glen was, is and will be my Pilates teacher. Like Ron, he represents source, excellence and movement as art to me.

Ron Fletcher Program Of Study: I have completed the Apprentice Teacher phase of the Ron Fletcher work within the Program of Study. I was attracted to this prestigious organization after taking classes at an industry conference with its Program Directors, Pay Guyton and Kyria Sabin. Almost every teacher I have met in my association with the organization is of the highest caliber and I am thankful to be among them.

Aida Zorrilla: Aida is a diminutive beauty that played a pivotal role in my completion of Level 1 in my course of study. What I most appreciate about Aida is the high standard she sets for one's own practice and as a teacher of Pilates/Fletcherwork . Aida coached me to observe what the spine was doing in movement and to go from there. Her demands of performance have given me the Pilates body I have today. Like my time with Glen, time with Aida left an indelible mark on me as a professional.

Pilates Conservatory: The Conservatory is the educational arm of Pat Guyton Pilates. When Pat departed from the Fletcher company, I elected to continue my certifying education with her. Pat presented the inaugural class with a comprehensive study of the classical work of Joseph Pilates, an introduction to the work of all the Master Teachers, with great respect shown to Fletcher and his contribution to her and the Pilates community. It was in this process that I really bloomed as a movement teacher, finding that my unique personal view as a teacher helping people solve their postural and alignment imbalances so they have more efficient and optimal movement in their lives. Pat is my Master Teacher and mentor. I am blessed to be her student.

Studio C Fitness Pilates and Synergy Studio: These are the studios where I teach. Jean/Studio C welcomed me to practice, and later to teach, at the studio after I made the difficult decision to leave Studio A. Previously a client, I was thrilled when Adelle gave me the opportunity to become Synergy's Pilates Teacher. It is at these two special studios that I am building my reputation in the community and my Pilates clientele.

Amy, Debra, Monica, Jennifer, Jill, Laura, Rende, Britt, Dana, Roseanna, Martha and Michael: These are my fellow teachers and I could not have completed this milestone without their support and coaching. Many have also become my friends.

Doug and Jessica: My family has been a unwavering fountain of love and support, giving me the tenacity to go the distance. I am lucky that they only want for my happiness.

Lisa Mullen was in my Fletcher program and I highly admire her intelligence. I came to know Wendy Watcher at the Pilates Conservatory and we both grew through her trust in me with her body, without which I could not have made my transition from instructing to teaching. Tessa and Jackie Herr expended a good deal of effort to find me at Studio C and became some of my first clients there. Donna Blume set a high threshold of performance at Synergy and now implements Ron and Pat's wisdom with evermore graceful movements. There are still many others. Lots of family, friends, classmates and students who believe in me.

As Unity teaches, So It Is And To God I am Grateful.

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