From the Studio
Why has Masako Koga attended 10 Pilates on Tour events?
I first discovered Balanced Body when I was teaching at the Kane School in New York City. The owner had some equipment and I really liked it - I thought the quality and functionality were superb, and I’ve always recommended it.
My first experience with Pilates on Tour came a bit later. I was teaching at Spencer’s and doing really well for them, with a lot of happy customers. Spencer Baker, my employer and dear friend, knew that I was very interested in continuing education. As a way of saying thank you for my hard work, he paid for me to travel and attend my first Pilates on Tour in Austin, Texas, five years ago.
An open and accessible attitude
It was such a fantastic experience right from the beginning. The tone was welcoming and accommodating, and the teachers were incredible. They came from so many backgrounds and they were so mixed in their teaching styles.
I know some may feel differently, but I don’t think there is only one way to do things. There are many different ways to learn. Balanced Body manages to get them all under one roof. They have a very open attitude toward Pilates education, and that isn't always the case. I love the different input I get at each conference.
The bottom line is we are learning how to better help our clients and no matter your background, that is what is important.
A smart business decision
The other reason to go, to be honest, comes down to business. We have a lot of Pilates teachers and studios in my area, so customers have a lot of options. Quite simply, you have to stay on top of the game with new exercises, new ways of teaching, and new ways of communicating.
I see so many teachers do nothing after they become certified. And I see them become stale. You can’t keep clients interested if you are doing the same thing over and over. You have to take it further if you want to succeed.
That’s what I love about Pilates on Tour - it serves as an inspiration to take it higher, then gives you the tools to do so.
It can also be an invaluable networking tool. Three years ago a Japanese woman recognized me at a Pilates on Tour in San Francisco. She and I trained at the same place. Since that time she had opened a studio in Sapporo and was there to purchase equipment and recruit master teachers to conduct workshops there. I ended up getting invited! That was the first workshop I taught in my country.
Off she goes…
Each one is so different
And for me you learn something new at each different conference. Pilates on Tour has such a variety of educators. Austin was different than Chicago, which was different than London, which was different than San Francisco and so on.
Even the teachers you’ve taken classes from before change their curriculum. Julian Littleford has been a major driver behind my career. I’ve taken several different classes with him at several different Pilates On Tour's, and every time it has been completely different.
I feel it is important to find teachers you respect and glean as much from them as you can. Sometimes they may be out of your area. For example, I live in Manhattan but my mentors live in California (Julian) and Florida (Lolita San Miguel). Pilates On Tour gives you a chance to reconnect with these teachers on a semi-regular basis.
The bottom line is that Pilates on Tour has enhanced and expanded my skills in ways I could not imagine. And I’m not done yet. I’m heading to the Rehabilitation Summit in Phoenix in April. It will be my second time. The first time I went was difficult for me as it is geared toward physical therapists. But I feel that the industry is moving toward a more therapeutic angle and we have to be prepared.
I have no doubt that Pilates on Tour will help me do that.