Image courtesy of Tony Balongo
"The work isn't the work on any other equipment! It HAS to be Gratz!" - Tony Balongo
About Tony Balongo
Tony Balongo, London born with Spanish descent. I have a background in contact sports, martial arts, British boxing. I snowboard when I can and kite surf too, and I am crazy into motorcycles. I came to Spain on a motorcycle and decided to stay. I discovered Pilates through boxing. I had spent a few years living Essaouira, Morocco training regularly with a 5 time Moroccan lightweight champion named Boushma. Boushma was a man in his late 60’s maybe 70’s and was as fierce as any 30 year old I had ever came across. Boushma came across Pilates while training boxers in Harlem and Brooklyn, New York. The training he gave me involved a lot of core work and looking back I can see he had unknowingly incorporated a little bit of the Pilates Method here and there. I felt I had been exposed to the tip of the iceberg and was really hungry for more.
Upon my return to Spain I began taking classes and shortly after then began a training course. The big change for me came when I attended a Pilates conference and met Peter Fiasca, Kathryn Ross-Nash, and Brett Howard in person. They blew my mind. As I was observing one of Peter’s workshops, “Pilates for most men”, I could see he wasn’t use to the equipment he was using. I asked Kathryn Ross-Nash about this. She told me about Gratz and about the Classical Pilates Conference Dana Santi holds in Chicago. I couldn’t wait until May to attend.
I was a Gratz virgin and it was there that it all changed. I had booked a class with Jay Grimes and booked myself for what was marathon of workshops. I couldn’t believe it. I was going to take a class with somebody that had learned from the big man himself including Peter Fiasca, Kathryn Ross-Nash, Mari Winsor, Brooke Siler, Chris Robinson. All of whom are close friends now.
Tony Balongo | Valencia Classical Pilates