4246285Not to any Pilates organization. You can if you chose too, but it isn’t necessary, and doesn’t get you more clients. Are you shocked?!?!?!
I was too when I found that out. You mean I don’t need to empty my pockets of all that hard-earned money and hop a plane to the nearest conference to get my CEC’s so I could belong? Belong to what? Yes, the parties are amazing, and yes, the camaraderie is great, while the workshops and classes may be a mixed bag. But let’s look at the costs…. Membership fee + Conference fee + Hotel + Travel + Food can easily total $2000 per event. What I do love about conferences is the exhibit halls where everyone hangs out, and you can buy cool stuff for less than the usual advertised prices and meet people in person you might have met via Facebook.
But could you get a better return on your investment by buying more apparatus, lessons for yourself, etc.? Organizations and brands are an option, not a necessity. Even the non-profits end up profiting someone … it just isn’t us.

I find organizations can be a problem in that they’re divisive when they use “us vs them” positioning. I think those that constantly hound you and push their brand in lieu of another approach are akin to religious door knockers selling a new package of beliefs to the already-spiritual, discounting all other options. This “fear-based” selling strikes a dissonant chord in me like a used car salesman or nails on a chalkboard.

4246302I think large Pilates organizations aggressively sell to serious students who have already spent significant resources on their certification, but feel compelled to add more to their tool belt with big, pricey, travel-laden programs. This leads ultimately to the certification machine being the biggest benefactor, keeping those students hooked into that program with no practical opportunity to easily and freely try others.

Staying a student, no matter how advanced one becomes, is a marker of being a great teacher. I advocate researching closest to the source – the least diluted form of Pilates you can afford – and to be true to yourself. Try to avoid any money making machinery churning out certs. Consider taking lessons from a teacher you find great without regard to CEC’s. It should be doable for your wallet and personal situation.

I wish to lessen the infighting in the Pilates community, bringing more of a sense of goodwill where teachers teach teachers, and then teachers teach their students quality work. A statement I’ve read in many Pilates forums that exist to answer teacher questions is, “Didn’t you learn that in your training?” I find such an answer to a sincere question to be rude, and it aggravates the crap out of me. I really want a place where we accept where people are and bring the best one has to the person they are teaching.

ALL of this, and the knowledge that the only people who will ever ask you for your certifications are other Pilates teachers, brought me to my version of a solution.
Pilates Intel subscribers, I cordially invite you to join my Facebook Group, Going More Joe. Any Pilates teacher is welcome, but it is specifically geared towards the contemporary teacher who wants to add elements of the classical/authentic/traditional style of Pilates to their repertoire.

Asking a question there will get a helpful answer. There are goal guides you may choose to aspire to. I hope you will choose a teacher to work with in-person, but if that isn’t possible, you will still have access to a lot of useable information as well as educational materials (some for free, some for a fee that isn’t “break the bank” pricey).

I also present workshop offerings, that are in $-$$ range instead of the $$-$$$ range. For example, workshops introducing pieces of apparatus that do not exist in the contemporary studio (arm chair, pedi-pole, guillotine, foot, toe and neck exercisers and stretchers). The workshops are often available via Skype or private video links.
I love presenting tips and tricks on The Secret Sauce of classical Pilates.
And I invite ‘Classical’ teachers to join me as a part of Going More Joe – to offer constructive answers to teachers of other styles and perhaps to study with you for a deeper understanding.
Please join me at Going More Joe

Originally published on Pilates Intel