Pilates was brought to the UK in 1970 by Alan Herdman by my School: The London School of Contemporary Dance, and we had Pilates Matwork with Alan on the Class Timetable as well as a Pilates Equipment Studio in the building. I was a student at the school in 1977 and as a young dancer we just wanted to dance so it was only when I was injured that I began to really understand the method for the first time.
I trained with Alan to teach the method and when he opened his own studio I was hired not only to paint the studio but to teach for him. I was training alongside a wonderful person as well, Julian Littleford, who went on also to dance and live in the US and opened a studio in California. We learnt really as apprentices alongside Alan and I remember lots of observation and practice hours before we were allowed to work with the clients, and we had many sessions with Alan correcting us.
Pilates has been my life but I have also taught many other movement methods and was teaching Aerobics, Step and Spinning in the US, but always what was the backbone to my body and my teaching was Pilates. I have always had my back issue and if I do not move and use my Pilates it returns, so it is very personal and I know from my own experience how it can change your life.
Over the years my teaching has been challenged by working with specific groups, and for many years I worked with Dancers. The Houston Ballet was a big part of my life and I love working not only with Dancers but other athletes who use their body for their profession. Today we are challenged by our lifestyles and we have to know more about the Spine and Function of the body so we are able to really teach any client that comes to us. But this takes time and its only through learning about the needs of all kinds of bodies and thought processes, that you are able to grow.