NYC- where to next?

My fascination with Kathleen Stanford Grant began many years ago when Pilates Style magazine did a feature on Kathy Grant’s cats. I thought it was really interesting that she loved and was so inspired by cats that it influenced her teaching style so much. I remember trying to incorporate some of the versions of her cats into my mat classes at the time (but I don’t think I got it quite right).

When I visited New York in 2007 I spent some time with Roberta Kirschenbaum at her studio Rolates Pilates. She told me that I should come along and observe her having her own personal pilates class with Kathy Grant at NYU. I was so excited- I’m sure you can imagine how devastated I was when I couldn’t find the building in time- especially when Kathy passed in 2010 and I realised I had missed my opportunity to meet her.

So the years passed and Blossom Leilani Crawford was invited to the 2013 PAA conference here in Sydney. This was the perfect opportunity to learn more about this pilates elder I was so intrigued by. After attending her workshops at the conference I was a fan of Blossom- independent of her amazing connection with Kathy.

Blossom’s sense of humour while teaching is so great and I loved the feeling of connection to the tiny deep muscles (of the shoulder especially) with some of the very intricate exercises. When it came to deciding on a second person to spend my time with while visiting New York this time around, there really wasn’t any question of it being anyone but Blossom!

My Time With Deborah Lessen

Deborah Lessen has been teaching pilates for a very long time. My experience of her was only as an attendee of the Polestar Pilates Australasian Conference in 2010 but I was lucky enough to volunteer myself a couple of times in her workshops and felt completely at ease. I never forgot the speech she gave regarding the trademark case she was involved with and how inspired I felt by her fight for the broader pilates community. Deborah studied under the guidance of pilates elder Carola Trier and her beautiful studio space on Greene Street Soho has been operating since 1983. I wanted to spend some time with someone I considered to be of a traditional New York Pilates background but mentored by an elder other than Romana Kryzanowska.

It would be interesting for me to spend time with someone who has made pilates teaching their primary focus- both of regular clients and teachers. You see, a lot of the amazing teachers I look up to here in Sydney and more widely are also physiotherapists. I also wanted to spend time with someone happily operating out of a intimate setting rather than the operation of a massive studio requiring the management of many instructors.

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