Pilates has been in my life since my childhood - I just wasn't aware of it at the time.
Growing up in Quebec City, I was an active child. My two favourite activities were alpine skiing and dancing. I did both from a young age, spending my week nights at the dance school and my weekends at ski school. From the age of 10, I started dancing at a professional dance school in Quebec City (not professionally). The dance school I attended had a modern dance company. It was a fabulous place to be as a young girl being amongst professional dancers. My focus was Jazz and Graham (modern). My Jazz teacher trained in New York City, where she was part of several Broadway productions including Cats. Only several years later did I realise that the Hundred was part of my warm ups! It was also much later that I realised that Martha Graham had been a student of Joseph Pilates. It explained why so much of her technique reminds me of the Pilates mat repertoire. I loved dancing but always knew it was not my “calling”. I stopped dancing around the age of 18 but kept on skiing and worked as a ski instructor for 6 years.
I then went on to complete my studies in Tourism and a qualified as a Clef d’Or, a prestigious hotel Concierge training worldwide and I started my hospitality career. It took me to Toronto, and after several years I accepted a position on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. I worked on cruise ships for five years. In order to stay fit, I purchased Mari Winsor Pilates DVDs and regularly followed her sessions. I would set myself up in the conference room and Mari would appear on the big projector screen. I think this is when I realised that I used to do some of the exercises as a young dancer. It definitely brought back my love for flowing movement and discipline in a practice of physical activity.
When I eventually left the ships, life took me to Australia - to Queensland for the first year, then I made my way to Melbourne still working in hospitality at The Prince in St Kilda. I found out that South Pacific offered Pilates. At the time, the gym had a reformer room and would also offer mat in the group class area. I started to attend regularly and my instructors suggested that I should become an instructor. I was unsure of myself as English isn’t my first language and I was worried that I would not be able to communicate well enough to instruct others how to practice. I needed a career change and finally decided to study to become a Pilates instructor. My journey started with Peak Pilates, an American based classical Pilates school that had a training centre in Melbourne. I fully qualified as a Peak Pilates instructor and became one of their Master Instructors (teacher trainer). Unfortunately, Peak’s presence in Australia did not last and I wanted more training, I wanted to go deeper in the method. Pilates is a lifetime of learning opportunities. Lucky for me, Michaela opened Authentic Pilates Melbourne. It gave me the opportunity to bridge into the Authentic Pilates Education International training.
Pilates is a journey that never stops and it is incredible. It enhances life. I have been teaching for 8 years now, I love it and can’t imagine myself doing anything else. Helping my clients moving better, getting stronger, improving their general well-being is so rewarding.
As my journey as a Pilates instructor evolves, my goal is to be working with athletes of all ages. I feel that classical Pilates is a great avenue to develop greater strengths and abilities for the practice of a sport at an elite level whether it is tennis, golf, football, ski or any other sport. It is also a great way to help with injury prevention.
A lot of my clients call me a Pilates Nerd. I just think that Pilates is a part of who I am!
I think Joseph Pilates was a genius - the “Albert Einstein” of movement. I always wonder if he ever read this quote by Albert and if it inspired him:
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you MUST keep moving”