You’ve decided to finally try the Pilates method and now you have to find the right teacher and studio for your needs. There are a lot of factors involved with finding the perfect teacher including studio location, teacher’s background, the cost of a session and how you feel about the instructor. There are a lot of choices out and not all are good. Before you decide which studio will become your new Pilates home you need to consider the following.
Unless you have nothing better to do than drive all day, it makes sense to find someone who is relatively close. Depending on where you live, there may be a Pilates studio on every block or there may be none at all. It’s possible that the studio just down the road maybe be convenient, but it may not lacking in other areas. Find at least two studios, preferably three, and visit each one with a list of questions. (Sample questions are located below). The location should never be a stress inducing factor.
There are a lot of Pilates teaching programs out there and some are good and some are not. Don’t be afraid to ask the teacher where he or she got his or her training. Ask if they did an apprenticeship or how long it took them to complete the program. Any teacher who completed a comprehensive program will be happy to share that information. Someone who did an on-line certification or a weekend program may be less willing to talk about it. Pilates requires a lot of education and training so make sure to pick someone who has completed a program. Also, don’t be afraid to ask if the teacher gets regular continuing education to stay current.
Price varies depending on the region. In larger cities like LA or NY the fee for a private session could be well over $100. In smaller towns it could be as low as $45. Most studios offer packages which include discounts based on how many sessions are purchased. For example, a 10 pack may offer as much as 20 percent off the single session price. Because a teacher charges a higher fee doesn’t always mean that he or she is a better teacher. Sometimes the price is based on overhead so a prime location may translate into a higher price. Many Pilates teachers work from a home studio which could mean a more affordable hourly rate. Be careful of daily deals like Groupon. It may be a good way to try out a session, but since the studio tends to lose money on these deals, you may not get the best instructor or the best service.
I once took a class from a teacher who I really disliked. She was arrogant, critical and had no sense of humor to boot, (I mean, what’s wrong with a good laugh now and again?). I decided against continuing with her because the experience was so negative. You aren’t going to like everyone and Pilates can be very personal so make sure there is a good rapport between you and the instructor. Fortunately, this is something you will figure out very quickly. Don’t be afraid to ask for another instructor or go somewhere else.
It’s easier today to find a good studio just because there are so many of them. Make sure to find one that is located conveniently so the commute doesn’t become a burden. Find a well trained teacher at a price you can afford and first impressions do count. It may take a little longer to find the perfect teacher, but it is well worth the effort.
A list of Questions.
1) How long have you been in business
2) With which organization did you get certified?
3) Do you use the classical method, contemporary or a combination
4) Do you specialize in certain areas?
5) Do you offer package discounts?
6) Is your cancellation policy lenient in the case of an unavoidable emergency?
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I hope that you find these tips helpful on your pilates journey!