The Pillars of Professional Development

January 2020 /

The Pillars of Professional Development

For the past 2 decades, I’ve had the honor of working with several other dedicated Pilates professionals to ensure the legitimacy and success of this nascent field of study and career opportunity. Reflecting on the recent gathering of our international community at the Pilates Method Alliance Annual Meeting, I now take a moment to appreciate how far we have come as an industry.

Not so long ago, Body Contrology teachers were hesitant to use the word “Pilates” for fear of being sued. Since then, many hands and minds have collaborated to develop and establish the primary pillars of professional development necessary to support our expanding Pilates industry.

To date, our profession can boast the establishment of the following:

  • A Professional Association (Pilates Method Alliance – PMA)
  • A Certification Program (National Pilates Certification Program – NPCP)
  • The framework for Pilates school Accreditation (Pilates School Approval Program – PSAP)
  • Research (Pilates Research Forum)

The Pilates industry and I have grown up together professionally. Since initiating a Pilates school in 1999, I have felt a responsibility to establish a stronger foundation for our profession and leave things better than they were when we (long-timers) started practicing, teaching, and educating in this field. These years have been well spent to ensure that Pilates practitioners have access to legitimately educated and certified Pilates professionals to help improve their quality of life. Likewise, much progress has been made to ensure that our teaching community has access to quality research, continuing education and the ability to develop a career based on the application of this knowledge.

To be a part of the development of industry standards is beyond fulfilling for me. As a school, Fletcher Pilates has moved successfully through each applicable industry development opportunity and is proudly poised as an example of what alignment with these standards can mean. We are both state licensed and PSAP approved. And we are honored to represent the work we have participated in by presenting research studies, continuing education and other valued information at meetings and conferences for our profession.

I’m amazed by how far our school, and the Pilates industry in general, have come in a relatively short period of time. And I encourage each of you to have a hand in the next steps toward the future of this industry by volunteering with the Pilates Method Alliance to continue to develop and refine the pillars of professional development. This endeavor takes a community, and many perspectives. The Pilates community is now brilliantly equipped to carry the torch and light the way for the next generation of Pilates teachers and practitioners.