Written by Kerry De Vivo
On April 1st, Kerry De Vivo, of Excel Pilates Annapolis, presented the Reality Pilates continuing education workshops, “I Wasnʼt Expecting That” and “Are They Getting It?”. The event was attended by Pilates teachers from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC.
Highlights from the “I Wasn’t Expected That” workshop included approaching teaching in a similar fashion to defensive driving. Anticipating common errors or safety issues allows teachers to veer away from the unexpected, thereby keeping sessions safe and rewarding for the client.
One physical issue addressed was applying practical ways to help clients engage their gluteal muscles. This is often a forgotten and/or challenging part of the Pilates powerhouse to access. With use of these muscles, clients will approach exercises with good form and thereby be successful in reaching the exercise goals. We also visited several exercises on multiple pieces of apparatus to demonstrate ways to deepen and activate the gluteal muscles.
Other touch points covered included, establishing effective communication with clients and mental focus. The idea is to decrease unexpected misinterpretations by discovering what type of learner the client is, and making sure there is effective communication. Additionally, mental focus, or lack there of, can be a key contributor to undesired, unexpected moments. We discussed realistic scenarios and approaches to apply in order to improve client’s mental focus during sessions.
During the “Are They Getting It?” workshop, we looked at six specific exercises – The Hundred, Push Down on the Wunda Chair, Half Hang on the Cadillac, Elephant on the Reformer and Single Leg Stretch on the Mat. Topics discussed included demonstrating telling signs of how to quantify if a client is achieving the purpose of each exercise and how that can transfer to other exercises in a workout. Understanding signals a teacher can receive from sensing spring action, hands-on feedback and visual observation were shared and practiced. Between the two workshops, attendees were guided through a reformer mat. It was a great way to keep everyone’s energy level up on a Friday afternoon.
Here is what participants had to say:
“You provided practical, easy-to-implement, strategies to help us with familiar populations of clients and to give us tools to determine whether clients are using the right muscles for the right purpose. Those glute under-utilizers are rampant (myself included)! The techniques you taught us to check clients heels during The Hundred, to feel the pressure of the straps on the Reformer during Frog and Leg Circles, and to feel the spring resistance on the Wunda Chair during the Push Down were fabulous because they can be implemented with any type of body. I was able to apply those strategies the very next day with a number of clients. Talking about situations we’ve encountered as instructors along with trying the different exercises - as both the student and instructor - helped me to intellectualize and physically feel all aspects of the workshop.
Thanks so much, Kerry, for REALITY Pilates. It was one of the most useful workshops I’ve attended!” - Emily Wagner, owner of EmJ Pilates in West Reading, PA
“Whenever Pilates instructors come together, there is a valuable abundance of knowledge and experience to be shared. At Excel Pilates Annapolis, studio owner Kerry De Vivo’s two-part workshop “I wasn’t expecting that!” and “Are they getting it?” was filled with insightful and practical information to apply and incorporate with a traditional teaching style.
Kerry was generously forthcoming with many facets of her expertise while emphasizing sensitivity and respect for any variables that may appear while training a client. Sometimes using cues specific to the needs of each individual client becomes a priority to gain their focus and attention to deepen their knowledge about a Pilates exercise or concept. Other times a specific touch is given to a muscle group to communicate and educate the client about where to get power from in order to control a movement more precisely.
Any opportunity to share knowledge and experiences with other Pilates instructors who are passionate about their work, strengthens and enriches our teaching skills. This community gives us renewed vision that enables us to further assist clients in reaching their goals and thereby enhances their lifestyle. As Joseph Pilates has written,‘Change happens though movement and movement heals.’ ”
- Stella Fanzone, Owner of Bella Sinergia, LLC in Maryland
Our Commitment to You and to The Original/Classical Pilates Method Excel Pilates Annapolis is a traditional, classical Pilates studio. We focus on offering sessions that incorporate the full Pilates Method with both mat exercises and working on the Pilates apparatus. We offer one on one, duet and trio sessions to maintain focus on the individual.
Our mission is to empower all participants in the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning to be in control of their own health and well-being, and to provide a supportive atmosphere in which clients may grow, learn, and be guided toward reaching their fitness potential.
We are strongly committed to the power and depth of the original, classical Pilates Method of Body Conditioning, a highly evolved and in-depth program that originated from the life's work of Joseph H. Pilates. We strive to share with, and inform clients of, the power of the Classical Pilates Method by offering sessions with experienced, professional teachers in a safe environment.