by BASI Staff
Being a Brit through and through, California is a distant dream for me here in London, and it was with a lot of hope and little expectation that I applied for the scholarship to attend the Mentor programme in order to deepen my knowledge with the Master himself, Rael. The fact it has happened reminds me that life is full of little miracles and that if we hope for, and aspire to great things, great things can really happen. I am both thrilled and honoured to be a recipient of the Kathy Grant Memorial Scholarship for 2013 and I want to thank Rael and the BASI Faculty for awarding me this opportunity.
Like many Pilates teachers I come from a movement background, training as a dancer from the age of four, including a period of time in my teenage years at the Royal Academy of Dance which was a wonderful opportunity afforded me by the generosity of a scholarship fund at that time. I went on to dance professionally as a commercial dancer in both TV, film and theatre before a knee injury brought my dance career to a halt. Devastated is the only word I could use to sum up that time. Movement had been an integral part of my life, not only because I loved to dance but because it gave me so much more; an emotional and spiritual release as well as a physical one, and it wasn’t until I discovered Pilates twelve years ago that I found my mojo once again.
From the first Pilates session I was hooked, and it quickly became a way of life for me, as I took classes all over London trying different methods and styles. Some nine years later, and thanks to several inspiring, and generous teachers who encouraged me to think of a career as a Pilates Teacher, I took the plunge, and flew to Long beach to undertake the Summer Intensive with Karen Clippinger at California State University, which has the additional dance specialization programme. Karen is an inspiring professional, with incredible attention to detail as well as an infinite knowledge of the biomechanics of the body. Walking in that first day as the only Brit was daunting, but my fellow trainees, all of whom were dancers made me very welcome and it was a great experience- intense, challenging and very rewarding.
Since then my career aspirations have grown alongside my passion for the method, with a strong desire to bring the BASI style and Rael’s inspirational teachings to the people of West London. I run my own private client list now, training some well know London based celebrities, as well as maintaining strong links within my own West London community helping those who are both able-bodied, and chronically disabled to benefit from the BASI method of Pilates. My long term ambition is to open my own West London Pilates Centre for training and education, from where I will teach, host BASI workshops lead by BASI teachers from all corners of the globe, whilst continuing to serve the local community. My hope is that with the added knowledge and experience I will gain from the Mentor Programme led by Rael, I will return to London with more tools to help those who need it most, as well as a much needed injection of artistry from the man himself.
With only a couple of weeks to go until I arrive for the Mentor Program I am both excited and daunted at the prospect of all the talented teachers I will meet, what I will learn from Rael and whether my body is strong enough to get through it!
As the Mentor Program is the next stage in the journey I thought now would be a good time to revisit my original BASI Movement Analysis Workbooks to revise what I’ve learned so far. For however much we learn from our fellow teachers, colleagues and clients one must never underestimate the importance of going back to the beginning and refreshing one’s knowledge of the original movements. It’s incredible that whenever I revisit these books there is always a little detail I find useful that I had either forgotten, or not noticed the previous time. This time is has been a simple statement in the BASI Philosophy,
“If you are willing to travel the often rigorous, demanding and ultimately rewarding path – in other words, to go the distance – we at BASI will provide the knowledge.”
And that says it all, for me, being a Pilates teacher is challenging, demanding of body and mind but there is the knowledge (and we must keep reminding ourselves of this) that BASI is there to support us. Hopefully, in more ways than one, when my aching muscles are trying to get through day 2 of The Mentor Program!