I’m thrilled you’re ready to move with me! Blossom Pilates is the online studio where you will see, feel and learn what I’ve gathered over the years – starting from my early days with Kathy Grant to the latest discoveries that will refresh your experience with classical exercises.
In 1993, I was introduced to Pilates by Kathy Grant during my first year as a dance student at New York University’s (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts. Kathy’s exacting and intuitive approach to Pilates made a lasting impression. After graduating from NYU, I was desperate to get back to Kathy’s classes. I’ll never forget the day I received an unexpected phone call. I was having a particularly dreadful shift at my bartending job (read: I made no money) and was earnestly trying to think of a way to be able to return to take Pilates mat classes again with Kathy. A voice mail comes in. It was Kathy. She was brief and said that she demonstrator for class. The synchronicity! After a couple of weeks demonstrating mat class, Kathy quietly motioned to me and said, “…you can just keep coming.”
For the next 11 years, I had the remarkable honor of being Kathy’s Teaching Assistant. This is where I learned to teach with balance in mind – to consistently push students to improve while also leaving room to see what the bodies in front of me truly needed at a particular moment in time. Kathy also taught by example, and that reminded me of the need to maintain a strong foundation. One of the most profound insights I gleaned from Kathy was honesty. If I was not ready to teach an exercise, I learned to stay quiet and not pretend; if I was indeed ready for an exercise, she would impress me to “speak up next time.”
With Kathy’s encouragement, I went on to study with Pilates Elder Romana Kryzanoyska. Kathy called Romana to inform her that she was “sending someone special” to her and I auditioned for Romana’s rigorous Independent Study program – where the prerequisite was atleast 100 hours of prior Pilates experience. Through Romana’s tutelage, I learned more traditional methods. My fondest memory with her also became part of the essence of my teaching. I was ‘coming down’ from the Jackknife exercise, and I hear a unique cue, “Blossom, breathe into your left side.” I was pleasantly surprised to notice that Romana was giving a nod to her colleague, Kathy, while giving a potent personalized cue.
I thoroughly relished being able to learn from both Kathy and Romana. At that time, the convention was to learn The Method under the guidance of one teacher – learning from two was a big deal!
After earning my teaching certification from Romana and while continuing to assist Kathy, I taught my own roster of clients in two studios, one in Brooklyn and another on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The teaching set-up at that time was intimate – one student at a time – and I honed my teaching as a result of being in the sole voice in a room. I gained clarity on the clientele I wished to serve and the ethos of the studio I wanted to own. Importantly, my Pilates voice and intuition blossomed (pun intended!) along with my voice as the individual that was forging her own path. In 2006, I opened Bridge Pilates, a small collective of teachers from various lineages that teach empowering personalized Pilates sessions, in Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn, and it continues to be a haven till this day.
Being able to integrate different linages and exposing students to the joy and satisfaction that comes from intelligent exercise has carried me forward. Now, with Blossom Pilates, I am excited for you to access Kathy’s work. After assisting hundreds of Kathy’s mat classes, I’m certain that Kathy’s exercises are relatable and pliable for your work and practice today and beyond! Blossom Pilates is also your source for movements that are my interpretation of the Pilates Method – moves that have the ‘classical’ bones performed in a ‘contemporary’ way with great intention. Through Blossom Pilates, I hope that you are inspired and find new ways to move the body. One image or prop can change it all! Let’s work hard and Pilates hard, friends!