This week we chatted with the wonderful Natalie Shook, who recently graduated from The Pilates Center, Boulder’s Advanced Teacher Training Program and Host Advisor Program. Natalie discovered Pilates when her physician suggested it as a remedy for autoimmune issues and has been hooked ever since! She teaches sometimes at TPC – covering for Amy when she’s travelling… Talk about BIG shoes to fill – and we hear she fills them very, very well!
Hi Natalie, how are you today?
Hi Amanda, I am well, thank you!
Where are you and what are you up to right now?
I am at home between things, I stopped by to do this interview and then I’m going to The Pilates Center, Boulder for a reformer class.
Where did you train?
I did the first half of my TPC training from a distance while living in California. I did not have a TPC trained teacher or host studio nearby. Luckily, it was fairly easy for me to make several trips to Boulder and also take advantage of FaceTime or Skype online lessons. I had my own studio and could practice often, and using iTPC in my own setting was really nice. Eventually my husband and I moved to the Boulder area for other reasons but I had the wonderful experience of finishing my advanced program at The Pilates Center.
Are you working at a studio?
I teach Pilates once in a while at TPC as a sub for some of Amy’s clients when she travels and I still take lessons and classes there – as a grad and host advisor I want to keep my skills sharp in my mind and body. I also teach Pilates privates, reformer, mat classes and Indoor Cycle at CU Boulder. I’m planning to add some other new activities into my teaching schedule for spring.
How did you first discover Pilates?
I discovered Pilates 14 years ago at a local gym. My physician had referred me to Pilates to help with autoimmune issues and I was immediately hooked! I practiced at least 2 hours a day, tried lots of different studios and sought it out everywhere I travelled. I eventually enrolled in and completed other Pilates teacher training programs but did not feel quite complete until I came to TPC.
Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
I am originally from Carmel Valley CA, but I currently live in Niwot, just outside of Boulder, CO. I am enjoying this beautiful area and all it has to offer. Since selling my businesses, I have been having fun with my Pilates and health passion, wherever that takes me. Life is an ever-changing, fun adventure!
What year did you graduate from TPC, and which training did you do please?
I graduated this year (2018) after completing TPC’s Advanced Teacher Training Program and then the Host Advisor Program.
How did you find out about TPC?
I found Amy and Rachel on Pilates Anytime and I followed them literally everywhere I could find them online, then I went and took lessons from TPC trained people and studios. I finally travelled to Boulder a few years ago and started making regular trips to have weeks of lessons and classes with them. I was already a teacher, but I wanted so much more.
What was your reason for choosing to train with TPC?
I had been lucky enough to experience Pilates lessons with many other great teachers who were also taught by Romana. But, within minutes of my first private lesson at TPC I felt they were very unique.
Did you look at other schools?
I did look at other schools. In fact, I attended and completed other comprehensive Pilates training school programs and then what seemed like countless workshops before passing my PMA Certification exam in 2012.
What was it about TPC that made it stand out from the other Pilates training schools you looked at?
TPC teaches you HOW to TEACH precisely and how to use your own critical thinking. This program encompasses every learning style so that you use your eyes, ears, voice, touch, body and brain. The program at TPC generously offers each student a wealth of observation hours of world-class teachers included in their program. The iTPC online learning allows you to view and listen to the lectures and grasp the beautiful teaching at your own pace – you can replay whenever you feel you need a review with periodic quizzes designed to help you remember each element of the method. In my past experiences of completing other fitness and Pilates training programs, TPC stands out as the best option available. I became a host advisor because I strongly believe that this is simply the best program to turn out quality teachers who help the industry represent the true work of Joseph Pilates.
What was / is your favourite things about TPC’s teacher training programme?
My most favorite thing about this program has to be the heart that Amy and Rachel give to their senior staff who work so beautifully together to make TPC what it is. Much of what you’ll experience in this particular program is an attitude of LOVE, you will notice there is NO tolerance for negative comments between teachers or teachers and students. Everything about TPC is encouraging, geared toward success and this is woven into the fabric of their teaching program. I love that there is true humility ingrained in TPC staff. You’ll find them taking class right along with you, never an attitude of pride but always ready to learn from one another. These wonderful teachers give their whole heart to you, they make themselves available to answer your questions and help you understand.
What do you think your experience at TPC has given you most?
I know TPC gave me more confidence in my teaching, healing in my body, great friends, new relationships and a deeper passion for my work. TPC, Boulder is by far the best choice anyone could make when considering a Pilates school or studio.
What is your favourite Pilates exercise and / or apparatus and why?
Choosing my most favorite Pilates exercise is difficult because I love so many of them! I guess I would have to say leg springs on the Cadillac. I love all the exercises with the leg springs, they help me connect my legs to my spine and I am a big fan of anything that helps stretch my tight legs.