Fletcher Faculty Spotlight Jacqueline Ethier, NCPT

January 2020 /

Jacqueline Ethier (Et-yay) is a Fletcher Faculty member, having completed the Fletcher Program of Study in 2006. She is founder and co-owner of Pilates Space, the Fletcher Pilates® movement studio and Teacher Training Educational Centre of Ottawa, Canada as well as a working professional dancer.

She began dancing as a toddler in her home-town of Sudbury and graduated from the Contemporary Dance Programme at The School of Dance in Ottawa where she was introduced to Pilates at age 19. According to Jacqueline, “When I first took a Pilates class in 1997, I knew it was something my body needed to better organize itself. But I hated it at the time because I knew it was going to be a hard journey to unlearn some habits and learn others. Every Friday morning, I would be on my back for mat class and have tears quietly leaking out of my eyes. I thought ‘I know I need this, but it’s going to take some courage.’” She dug deep, found that courage and delved into the practice which she credits as having a profound effect on both her dancing and business careers.

As Jacqueline studied contemporary dance, she also studied to teach Pilates which was relatively new in Ottawa. (She states that now, she is “so Fletcher” she can’t recall the lineage she first studied.) Even as she began to teach Pilates and receive requests for teacher trainings, she felt that there were some missing pieces.

As if in answer to an unspoken question, Jacqueline met Ron Fletcher and Kyria Sabin Waugaman in 2003 when they visited Canada for a workshop. The Fletcher lineage of Pilates was it. Within the practice she found those ‘missing pieces’ and so much more. She found something she wanted to be a part of, something bigger, an opportunity to become a branch of the much-cherished Pilates tree of life, of which, Joseph and Clara Pilates are the roots.

Jacqueline has successfully become a primary offshoot of the Fletcher Pilates lineage up North. As with any road to success, hers is flecked with stones of failure that taught and guided her. A moment that defined her path was a spot missed in a well-known touring dance company. After earning a place in final auditions, she was not chosen to be part of the troupe. “It was a blessing in disguise. I needed to be in one place and have my effect on the world be community-based. Here, we built a house and a business. There is this entrepreneurial spirit in me. Having someone tell me what to do all the time, controlling my life and my schedule would not have made me happy.”

Teaching Pilates, running a successful studio/educational centre, and performing brilliant contemporary dance pieces stoke an intense fire in Jacqueline’s soul. The light from that fire pales to the beaming pride she exudes as a mother. “I’m most proud of my experience with my children; my son (6) and daughter (9). I was able to nurse them each for three years each and that is most meaningful for me. We play with Pilates, but mostly we do a lot of dancing. Just movement. It’s beautiful.”

If you’re ever in Ottawa and hankering for some Fletcher Pilates, be sure to visit Pilates Space and maybe even grab a ticket to one of Jacqueline’s contemporary dance performances. Visit www.pilatesspace.com or email info@pilatesspace.com for more information.