Pilates is more than just a workout... it's a lifestyle (in and out of the studio) that raises your vibration and contributes to a happy and healthy life. It makes you feel good from the inside out!
In this series, we’re sitting down with our very own instructors and students. We're asking them why they choose to live the Pilates lifestyle, what their overall fitness routine looks like and what motivates them to stay healthy and fit.
This week, we interviewed classical Pilates instructor Roger to celebrate his one-year anniversary at Studio Be!
Before he found Pilates more than 25 years ago, Roger danced professionally and toured all over North America, Mexico and Europe. In 1985, he got his BFA in Dance from The University of Texas at Austin. In addition to dance, he has always been a swimmer—an athlete at his core.
Roger came to Studio Be with immense knowledge about the Pilates method. He has ample training and experience and is authentic to the work. Those who have taken his classes know how much there is to learn from Roger.
Read on to learn how Roger found Pilates, what inspires him, and what advice he would give to anyone looking to improve their practice.
Q: How did you find Pilates & how long have you been teaching?
A: I first came across Pilates while dancing in New York City. I remember thinking to myself, ‘but I don't need any more crunches!' and left it there. Five years later, as an unemployed dancer, I had the opportunity to work at Winsor Pilates in Los Angeles. Soon after I started working there, Romana Kryzanowzka (a Pilates instructor who trained under Joseph Pilates himself) began flying in from New York City to train us over long weekend periods, every 3 to 4 months or so.
It took me witnessing a 'teaching moment' by Romana to say I truly found Pilates.
After several of those weekends, I was still not appreciative of any “magic” of Pilates in my personal practice. And my attitude was full of conceit—I was skeptical that Romana, in her 70s at the time, had much to teach young dancers about keeping in shape.
This particular day we were learning the short box series on the high barrel, and she was unimpressed with several of our attempts to model her teaching (she had us demonstrating the exercises she was teaching). She shushed us all away from the barrel and announced she will show us herself what she is trying to teach us.
And she did. She performed the full series through with ease, grace, lightness, joy. She was beaming and proud, a kid in her playground.
All I could think was, ‘Better pay attention! I want to move like that at her age!’ My jaw was on the floor.
I had found Pilates.
Q: Who inspires you most when it comes to Pilates or life in general?
A: In the over 25 years I’ve been involved in Pilates, there are many people I admire. There are those who teach and those who help others teach. So many of the clients I get to work with, who work so hard, also inspire me. And so many of my colleagues who change lives in front of my eyes every day.
Pilates takes dedication, discipline, humility, curiosity, practice.
I admire those humans who take it on.
Words Of Advice
Q: Now that you’ve been working with students at Studio Be for a year, if you could give them 3 pro-tips on how to approach, deepen and develop their practice, what would they be?
About The Author
Fitness has always been a guiding force for Kathy Lopez, owner of Studio Be. Her inherent drive for health has naturally translated into helping others achieve strength, balance and wellness. Kathy has been voted Ventura's best Pilates instructor nine years in a row. Learn more...