A Converstation with Ron Fletcher

September 2011 / Pilates Style Magazine

Still vibrant and opinionated at 90, this first-generation teacher opens up about his experiences with Joe and Clara, his career and what he’s learned in 60 years of Pilates. Pilates Style was recently fortunate enough to catch up with Ron Fletcher. And when you’re talking about Ron Fletcher, the term “catch up” is both figurative and literal: Fletcher, now 90, still walks the talk, upright and proud. Of Irish and Native American descent, Fletcher moved from tiny Dogtown, Missouri, to New York City in 1944, where he took a job in the advertising department at Saks Fifth Avenue. But after attending a performance of the Martha Graham Dance Company, he decided that dance, not fashion, was his future. He convinced Graham to take him on as a student, despite the fact that he was a...

In a modern world where technology constrains people’s work lifestyles to sitting all day in front of a computer, the practice of Pilates emphasizes movement. As Ron Fletcher states, “Movement should be approached like life – with enthusiasm, joy and gratitude – for movement is life, and life is movement, and we get out of it what we put into it” (Fletcher & Ebert, 1978). In the 1920’s, Joseph and Clara Pilates founded Pilates as a form of physical conditioning focused on Body Contrology (Pilates & Miller, 1960). Contrology involves “a complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit” in order to gain rhythm and control of one’s own body, a process only accomplished with both patience and persistence (Pilates & Miller, 1960). After Joseph Pilates founded his work, Pilates branched and was revolutionized by first-generation...

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