Instructor Spotlight: March 2018

By March 1, 2018Instructor Spotlight

Helen

You’ve been a fully certified Pilates instructor for years now.  Tell us about that.

Yes, I was certified by Jane Erskine at the Pacific Northwest School of Pilates back in 2001 after practicing Pilates as a client at her studio for over 10 years, and I’ve been teaching ever since. In addition to my training with Jane, I’ve attended numerous workshops with other wonderful teachers who have been very influential, most notably Dixie Schulman, who studied with Pilates elder Kathy Grant. Whenever I use a quirky cue that makes my clients laugh, I know Dixie is watching over me!

We hear something big is happening in March for you!  What might that be? 

I’m turning 60 at the end of this month! And thanks to Pilates, I don’t feel a day over 40.

You’re known for your disciplined, regular Pilates workout sessions.  What does Pilates do for you, personally?

Pilates is my touchstone. My workouts help me feel calm, balanced, and aligned. And as I get older, I depend on Pilates to maintain my upright posture, stabilize my bone density, and improve my balance. Plus, doing Pilates brings me joy, and who can get enough of that?

What are your clients like / who do you work with?

In my career I’ve worked with a wide range of clients, from teens to seniors, super-fit to rehabilitating from injury, and everyone in between. I enjoy teaching both private lessons, where I can really dig into a client’s individual issues, and group classes, which are so high-energy and fun. I love my current clients at Pilates Northwest, because every one of them is dedicated, open to trying new things, and enthusiastic about Pilates.

Do you have any Pilates specialties?

I’d say that my specialty is probably working with older clients. I so admire my senior clients who, in spite of the challenges that aging brings, show up week after week, determined to keep their bodies strong and their minds active. They are role models for me as I move into the next phase of my life.

Do you have another job or hobbies/interests?

How much time do you have? Seriously, in addition to working as a Pilates instructor at Pilates Northwest as well as teaching a few independent classes and clients, I teach Creative Dance to preschool children, which I’ve been doing for over 30 years. I’m also the author of books for teachers, children, and Young Adults. I was so proud when my Young Adult novel FLYAWAY sold to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2011.

And in my “spare” time, I host international students in my home. Right now we have two young men, one from China and one from Kazakhstan living with us. They are such a source of fun and joy for my husband and me.

What brings you joy?

Dancing, spending time with friends, reading, writing, going for long walks…and Pilates, of course!

What’s your favorite Pilates exercise?

I love Short Spine and Mermaid. But it depends on the day – I love them all.

What’s your biggest Pilates challenge?

Neck Pull on the mat is my nemesis. On the equipment, I find Snake particularly difficult.

Any random thoughts or wisdom to impart?

Pilates is a journey. Be where you are at any given moment without judging yourself. Enjoy the ride.