JENNIFER FERGUSON-senior instructor
theraputic + INNOVATIVE + supportive + FUN
As a former professional ballet dancer, I sought relief from chronic back pain due to a 12-year-old injury sustained during a dance performance in Paris, France. At the time, 2002, I was referred to one of Pilates Seattle International’s (PSI) physical therapists, Sachiko Glass. A certified Authentic and Romana’s Pilates instructor, Sachiko introduced me to the art of Pilates and encouraged me to get to know Pilates better by applying for a position at PSI’s front desk. I was instantly intrigued by Pilates and eager to be as involved as possible. I became the administrative assistant to the physical therapists and also the coordinator of PSI’s teacher training program.
As coordinator of the teacher training program, I had the great pleasure of meeting apprentices and master teachers of Romana’s Pilates from all over the globe. My journey of the Pilates teaching method began from my perch observing some of the best teachers in the nation give lessons at PSI.
Pilates impressed me three ways. I was impressed by how well Pilates alleviated my back pain; that some female clients, 20 years my senior, could execute exercises I couldn’t yet attempt, and by the caliber of the teachers at PSI. Inspired and amazed by the “Pilates Afterglow” I witnessed on the faces of clients who had dragged themselves into the studio for their lessons, but left more energized than before, even after a vigorous lesson. Encouraged by the Romana’s Pilates Grand Master Teachers, Romana Kryzanowska’s humor, Sari Mejia-Santo’s dedication, and Juanita Lopez’s humility, I began to consider becoming a Romana’s Pilates certified instructor. Then on a visit to Seattle to teach a Continuing Professional Education class, Sari said to me, “You should be a Pilates teacher!” and that was just the endorsement I needed to hear to make my decision to do so!
In 2003 I began my Romana’s Pilates apprenticeship with Dorothee VandeWalle, as well as the teacher trainers at PSI, Lori Coleman-Brown, Lauren Stephen, Cha Cha Guerrero, and Jodie Stolz. Certified in 2004, I had the honor of being the last group in the Seattle area to test out with Grand Master Teacher Trainer Romana Kryzanowska. Ever the consummate and generous master teacher, Romana taught me how to teach even as she observed my final exam for certification. This is a lasting memory and I am ever grateful to her words of wisdom and encouragement. After over a decade of practice and nearly a decade of teaching the method, Pilates continues to amaze and humble me with every lesson I take and every body I teach. It is fascinating and exciting to me to watch the transformation of each client’s body, mind and spirit using the principles of the True Pilates method. As Romana said, “Pilates is never boring”.
I hope to inspire you, as I have been inspired. OPA!