Gratz Pilates has initiated a series of interviews with some of our prominent instructors to allow them to tell their story and discuss the current challenges in our industry. We have featured interviews developed by Gratz Euro correspondent, Tavis Bohlinger, with Brooke Siler and Marjorie Oron and now we are proud to present an interview with our friend and brand ambassador Dana Santi. She has worked with Gratz for many years organizing conferences and workshops and teaching at Gratz equipped-studios all over the world. Dana is an amazing teacher with a wicked sense of humor which, combined with her work ethic, makes her classes special and we hope you enjoy learning about her in this interview.
The interview was conducted virtually by our talented designer in Philadelphia, Jennifer Chung who had the opportunity to spend some time with Dana at the PMA event in Monterrey last October.
"Remember, this is Joe’s work. Those teachers interpreted to me what they were taught and how they understood the work. It was up to myself to create my own interpretation. We have opportunity to dissect what JoePilates was saying and what he meant the work to be."
I absolutely know i was meant to teach this work. I love what I do and I am incredibly grateful for my clients and my team of teachers. They humble me, accept that my thoughts, presentation and expectations may change daily, and theirs may as well. Trust in those relationships are truly what has allowed myself and my team to “raise the bar” in our teachings. I love when my clients tell me they had a pain while out of the studio and they knew exactly how to fix it. Those moments are my wins.
I was fortunate in having an incredible Pilates education. As all those teachers helped pave my path in some way, Jay Grimes was the teacher that gave me permission to question. I understood him in a way that no other teacher was able to communicate to me. If it weren’t for him, I would not have ended up on the path I am on. Remember, this is Joe’s work. Those teachers interpreted to me what they were taught and how they understood the work. It was up to myself to create my own interpretation. We have opportunity to dissect what Joe Pilates was saying and what he meant the work to be. There is a direct line to his work through his writings. That should be the certification, training, advanced training that people should be flocking to. The best part is, you can do it yourself if you want. You are your best teacher.
I really never look at myself as a leader. I think I am a teacher with a loud voice and a Chicago accent that tends to travel through a room. What I would like to hope is that I can continue to challenge teachers to think for themselves and give them permission to humbly question what they learned. Was it Joe’s intentions? You decide, for you. Your interpretation is just as valid as mine…If you truly believe you are teaching Joe’s work.
My heart goes out to all Pilates studios and teachers alike. It is an awful and incredibly tiring time for everyone. How ironic that this method, that can be life saving right now, is being prevented from being taught at full capacity or taught at all. I have the same struggles as any other studio. I have been striped of all these other entities within my business that allowed for income. I wish I had the answer as to how to cope (that didn’t have the words Vodka, Tiktok or Fetal position in it), but I don’t. I can only hope teachers and practitioners alike remember not only does this method work us physically, it works us mentally and we may need that as a life-line right now.
The right equipment for me has always been Gratz. I believe the Classical Method can only be translated by using it. My teammates and clients are well educated in understanding how the equipment and exercises are so very intertwined. Joe set us up for success in so many ways. I trust the equipment as I trust the method.