This week we chat with Katelyn Merrill. Katelyn graduated from The Pilates Center, Boulder’s Intermediate Program in August 2017. She first discovered Classical Pilates in 2013, began training with TPC in 2015 and is now teaching at The Center for Movement in New York City.
Hi Katelyn, how are you and what are you up to today?
Life is good! I am currently sitting on my luggage, sweating profusely from running through the city after class at 71st & Lex, waiting to leave to Portland, Maine for my older brother’s wedding. I may also have purchased a black n white cookie from grand central…
How did you find out about TPC?
I purchased a class package at Zalla Pilates and found out about the program for TPC online 🙂
What was your reason for choosing to train with TPC?
I studied musical theatre and later redirected my life to voice and music, but I was always in love with movement. I found myself stuck at a corporate job that changed my body in countless negative ways.
I had researched every Pilates program in the 5 boroughs of NYC and landed on a beautiful studio in Brooklyn called Zalla Pilates. I started taking classes and found out about The Pilates Center teaching training program in ironic timing – I was about to relocate to Colorado.
Working onsite with the amazing women of The Pilates Center and digging deep into the classical repertoire seemed like the perfect way to transition to make this a life long study of the body and mind.
Did you look at other teacher training schools?
I had started looking in Manhattan, Staten Island, and Queens for three years from my desk but landed in Brooklyn because of the Classical method. It was only later that I realized this studio was a host studio for The Pilates Center. I was thrilled and started making plans to focus my year around Pilates.
What was it about TPC that made it stand out from the other Pilates training schools you looked at?
I wanted the most complete training I could receive with the most cumulative and nurturing approach. I loved the videos of TPC teachers that I had seen on Pilates Anytime and loved that there was such a commitment to the body and mind.
Why do you think TPC is the best option for people wanting to become Pilates teachers?
TPC has the most diverse, versatile, and dynamic teachers of any studio I’ve ever visited. I came in with a combination of styles and training from a variety of Manhattan studios and I was seeking clear and healthy direction in movement.
The Pilates Center is made up of mothers, aunts, sisters and natural mentors. They welcome every kind of challenge and look for solutions and the TPC family has a constant hunger for learning, no matter what level they are at in their career.
I earned my Intermediate Teacher Training Diploma and immediately emailed Kelli B. Hutchins, their Education Director asking about continuing education because leaving the studio and the amazing team was much harder than I imagined. I was in such a wonderful place in my body and mind and I didn’t want it to end! To this day, I am steadily booking trips between teaching in Westchester, NY to travel back for private lessons at The Pilates Center and another Host Studio: Springboard Pilates in Portland, Maine.
I live in NYC now and still speak about the impact Kaile, Amy and Rachel had on my life outlook and teaching. I am so early in this career and I cannot wait to be back to Boulder again!
What was / is your favourite things about TPC’s teacher training programme?
I loved how everyone was welcome. It is truly the most accepting, beautiful hub for Pilates teachers and trainees.
I loved how during the program I had a special experience with each teacher and I loved how they became mentors for the various levels of achievement that I experienced and learning processes.
Rachel was someone I admired from the videos and training prior to the program, and during the program I loved the way her voice sounded when she spoke to clients and how she pieced together client’s bodies when she worked with them.
I learned so much from observing Rachel’s classes, the way she excites clients and keeps them motivated.
Amy has a brilliant mind and body and generates amazing movement in people by making wonderful connections to the way animals and plants move. I loved her descriptions of sticky spots in our spines or areas that lack mobility in our spine and the causes. She continues to make us all want to dig deeper, to really see the body if front of us.
Kaile is a beautiful spirit and mover, and she’s funny and kind. She helped me “Return to Life” right at the end of my time in Boulder. She was patient and positive and highlighted strengths and areas to discover more about in my own body. She reminded me that so much about being a teacher is caring to learn about someone and having a good heart.
What do you think your experience at TPC has given you most?
I noticed because I had started working a corporate job that my shoulders curled forward and my abdominals were weak from sitting long periods of time. I had always been a singer and a dancer who meditated and worked out to relieve nerves, but after a year at The Pilates Center I realized all of the places in my own body that I was holding tension. I had held this tension all day in my shoulders, spine, neck, and gut for years. Pilates and TPC relieved this tension in every aspect of my life. I returned to singing with improved tone and bigger sound, I relaxed my body and mind and was functioning better as a human, movement felt easier and areas of the body started developing muscle that I had been trying to work on for years at the gym.
Pilates mended my body and Pilates movement has made me happier. Passing on world peace makes sense to me now. When you feel good from movement, you want to pass it on to someone else. You feel worthy of everything.
What would you say to someone who is considering training with TPC?
I would say, I am happy to carpool! TPC is rich in the best aspects of life, breathing, connecting, growing, building strength and leaving things better than when you started.