Fletcher Faculty Spotlight Nannette Cyrstal, NCPT
Marathon runner, Pilates studio owner and instructor, Fletcher Faculty member Nannette Crystal’s life path has taken many turns to lead her to where she now peacefully walks (and runs.) She fell in love with dance growing up in Louisiana. This first love led her to Tucson and the University of Arizona where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. While dancing professionally, a colleague encouraged her to experience Fletcher Pilates®. The work enchanted her to the extent that she left the dance world to study and eventually teach Fletcher Pilates professionally.
Nannette was recognized as a certified Fletcher Pilates instructor by Ron in 2004. She explains, “It was a magical time. Ron was still creating and evolving his own work. I saw that happening in workshops. The work was still very much alive with his spirit. You could be in his workshop with 50 students in the room and he would arrange them so he could see everyone. It was very important to him that each person really felt and breathed the work. It was so interesting to see that unfold in the classroom. Not everybody had the chance to work with him. I look back at those years as a blessing.”
Nannette taught at Body Works Pilates in Tucson for seven years. She then took a hard right in her journey and returned to Louisiana to study Physical Therapy. Nannette became a certified physical therapy assistant in her quest to learn more about the science of movement yet found more fulfillment in the Fletcher work. “In a PT setting you don’t see the kind of change that you can through this work. I keep my license current, but my true passion is in this work. The depth of this work is so rich. It truly is movement therapy. It is a movement experience,” she notes.
This discovery steered Nannette back to teaching Fletcher Pilates full-time. As a PMA®-CPT and Fletcher Pilates qualified teacher, Nannette teaches near her home in Saint Amant, Louisiana at her studio, Esprit Pilates, in the local senior community, and across the globe with other Fletcher Faculty members. Nannette taught matwork on spine corrector workshop at the 2019 Fletcher Pilates International Conference in Niterói, Brazil.
Nannette began running marathons at age 40 and credits some of the Fletcher work with keeping her body strong, aligned, and able to continue with this newfound passion. She is equally enthusiastic about the advantages to her clients, “It’s been beneficial for a lot of my senior clients. I’m in a small town and Pilates is very new to this community. I’ve really developed a community of seniors that love the practice and can’t get enough of it. I’ve been teaching mat classes at our local council on aging. It’s amazing to see the transformation in clients’ bodies. So enriching for me to be able to give back to my community.”
Beyond the practice, Nannette offers heartfelt appreciation for the Fletcher community. In 2016 she lost her house to a flood. During this difficult time, she explained, “It was the work and the teachers/colleagues that really kept me sane. The supportive spirit during that time meant everything.”
Today, Nannette’s winding path, which she travels with her husband Gary and her four-legged kids, Vera, Roscoe, and Sophia, encircles a peaceful berg in southern Louisiana. It occasionally veers to elsewhere in the country or across the globe. But she feels at home with her family, her clients, and practicing and sharing Fletcher Pilates work.