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ABOUT Dorothee vandewalle

Dorothee VandeWalle is an internationally-renowned classical Pilates teacher. She is the founder of the M.A.T. Pilates Teacher Certification Program and is recognized as one of the leading teacher trainers and master Pilates practitioners in the world. Dorothee has been teaching Pilates for 30 years and has trained individuals at all levels of fitness from elite athletes to injured and/or older clients.

Dorothee teaches in the tradition of the original, authentic Pilates method. She was the protégé of Romana Kryzanowska—who herself was the protégé of Joseph Pilates—and started her teaching career with Romana in New York City. A former classical dancer, Dorothee is originally from Belgium. She's been teaching Pilates in Seattle since 1993.

Please share any family or childhood memories or interests related to sports, hobbies, education, music, health and fitness history

As a child, Dorothee was drawn to the arts, especially theater. She made costumes and liked to dress up. She also enjoyed riding her bicycle and started dance classes when she was 7 years old.

What brought you to Pilates? Please describe your evolution as a student, apprentice and certification, organizational alliances, etc.

A foot injury brought Dorothee to Pilates. When she met Romana in NYC, she fell in love with Pilates. Romana’s humanity and the way she worked with people made Dorothee want to be a Pilates teacher. She was teaching dance at the time, so teaching Pilates was a logical evolution. Dorothee started working side-by-side with Romana in the 1980s. At that time, there was no certification program, but her studies with Romana was a true apprenticeship.

What do you love about teaching Pilates and teaching clients? What are your feelings on primary education, certification and advanced training, and teaching teachers? how do you see yourself as a leader and influencer?

Dorothee loves the human relationships established through Pilates. She loves movement, creating and discovering. She believes Pilates transforms and empowers people, especially women. She sees this transformation in her clients as well as in her apprentices. The certification program empowers people.

Due to the pandemic and global health emergencies, COVID has financially impacted the Pilates Community and particularly studio owners pretty hard - how are you dealing with the challenges?

The pandemic, while hard on the studio business, has opened other doors. Dorothee started teaching online sessions once the studio had to close and found that this new way of teaching broadened the possibilities for people to connect. Online teaching has allowed Dorothee and her teachers to work from home. Now that the studio has reopened, all teachers work in the studio some days of the week and online from home the other days.

"Gratz equipment requires minimal maintenance and it retains its valuethrough the years"

Gratz testimonial

Metropolitan Pilates is a fully equipped Pilates studio and teacher training center. All our equipment is Gratz. Gratz equipment is authentic, beautifully made and a product that lasts. Gratz equipment requires minimal maintenance and it retains its value through the years. We would not consider any other brand of Pilates equipment for our studio.

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