Ron Fletcher (May 29, 1921 – December 6, 2011) was an American Pilates Master Teacher, an author and a Martha Graham dancer. He
was also a Broadway stage, network television, cabaret and International Ice Capades choreographer. Fletcher is identified
as a “Pilates Elder” – a “first-generation teacher” who studied directly under Joseph and Clara Pilates.
Originally referred to Joseph Pilates by fellow dancer, Allegra Kent, for treatment of a chronic knee injury, Fletcher was schooled
in the principles of Body Contrology (the name Pilates gave to his fitness and conditioning method) by Joseph and Clara Pilates
with whom he studied - in their New York City studio at 939 8th Avenue on and off from 1948 until one year after Joseph Pilates’
death in 1967.
Though Fletcher achieved significant notice in the entertainment industry for his choreography, he is best known in the 21st century
for having introduced the Pilates conditioning method, from its home base in New York City, to the American west coast via
his Ron Fletcher Studio for Body Contrology, which he opened May 1, 1972 on Rodeo Drive at Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills,
Fletcher’s approach to the Pilates method – originally referred to as “The Ron Fletcher Work” or “Fletcher Work”,(today, simply
Fletcher Pilates® – incorporated Graham-based elements of movement and dance into the equipment-centric structure of Joseph
Pilates’ original creation. Fletcher was the first to “take the Pilates work vertical.”
Fletcher’s new studio attracted well-known film personalities such as Ali MacGraw, Barbra Streisand, Candice Bergen and Katharine
Ross, as well as studio executives, celebrities, dancers and many prominent and influential members of Hollywood society including
Betsy Bloomingdale and Nancy Reagan.
Fletcher’s development of his now-trademarked Floorwork and Towelwork - machine-less applications of the Pilates principles that
could be performed in a studio, home or workshop setting - was crucial to the spread of the Pilates method.
Writing for The Guardian in June, 2008 (‘Pilates is an Art’), investigative reporter Alice Wignal concluded, “if Fletcher hadn't
come up with a way for people to practise the method without needing the equipment, you probably wouldn't have heard of Pilates
By the late 1970s, as the original Pilates studio was “withering away in New York,” Fletcher’s high-profile name, and his celebrated
Hollywood clientele, led to a renaissance of the work that is largely credited with keeping the Pilates name alive and in front
of the public.
Ron Fletcher's bio on wikipedia