TPC Grad Chats! Sharon O’Connor

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This week we chatted with Sharon O’Connor, owner of Penticton Classical Pilates in beautiful Penticton, Canada. Sharon trained in Vancouver and graduated from The Pilates Center, Boulder’s Advanced Teacher Training Program in 2012. She is a TPC Host Advisor and has a real passion for the different perspective this role brings.

Hi Sharon, how are you today? Where are you right now and what are you up to?

I am fantastic. I am currently at my studio doing some admin work before my next class. 

Do you teach at a studio? If so, where and can you tell us a little bit about it?

I teach at my studio. At the moment we are in a little boutique studio, about 800sq feet but we’re moving in a 1,500 sq foot studio in January! So, I’m very excited. We are a host studio for TPC and we have one trainee due to graduate in January 2019.

Are you a Host Advisor or LTT? If so, please tell us a little about how you enjoy these roles? 

I am a host advisor! I enjoy teaching trainees – it’s a very different perspective from teaching a client, you get to see the transformation at a very fast pace.

How did you find out about TPC?

I went to a workshop and fell in love when the instructor said “energy”. Previously, I was a Stott Instructor and really enjoyed the training but knew I wanted something else. 

What was your motivation for learning to teach Pilates?

When I was 19 I began Pilates to help build a stronger core to continue running. At the time I didn’t know what Pilates was doing for me but knew I could run faster with less pain. I became a Pilates Instructor at 20 and have been teaching for 13 years now. It has always amazed me how my definition of Pilates has changed over the years and I’m in love with it now more than ever before.

What was your reason for choosing to train with TPC? 

The quality of the instructors who had graduated from TPC – I didn’t know what they knew as new grads and I had been teaching for years.

Did you look at other schools? 

I didn’t look at other schools, I wanted to learn from the best! TPC has the highest quality training program and is recognised world wide, so I knew it was the school for me.

What was it about TPC that made it stand out from the other Pilates training schools you looked at? 

That Amy and Rachel worked with Romana! That was so inspiring to me and I knew that was the closest I was going to get to Joseph Pilates original work

Why do you think TPC is the best option for people wanting to become Pilates teachers? 

Because the program not only makes you TEACH the best quality Pilates, but you know the work in your own body – you must first master the movement in your own body before you can teach it. That is critical to becoming a Pilates instructor who doesn’t just speak the language of Pilates but can see what changes they are looking for from the person they are teaching.

What was / is your favourite things about TPC’s teacher training programme?

The passion and inspiration you feel from anyone who has graduated from The Pilates Center, which I think speaks volumes to the quality of instruction you receive. There’s no easy, fast, quick way to teach Pilates and becoming an instructor is the start of your journey. You evolve and settle into your teaching after you graduate then you realize about a year later how much you know. 

Why did you choose to do the full, advanced program as opposed to the Intermediate or other programmes on offer? 

I am an all-in type of person. I wanted to know WHY. That was important to me. I liked seeing how the exercise could evolve from an introductory exercise into an advanced exercise. I think it’s important to see the full picture to get a better idea and understanding about why Mr Pilates taught certain exercises.

What do you think your experience at TPC has given you most?

A wonderful career that I am so proud of. I love being part of this community. Every instructor I have met who has graduated from TPC has so much passion you can feel it, because they really know the work. It’s hard not to get excited about the work, it’s incredible and we get to share it with the world.

What would you say to someone who is considering training with TPC? 

Sign up yesterday!

Are you a Host Advisor or LTT Studio? If so, what do you enjoy most about these roles? 

I am a host advisor. I love watching trainees transform not only into a Pilates instructor but to have confidence with their new career! 

What’s your fave piece of equipment and why? 

I truly love them all but the reformer has consistently healed my body time and time again.

What is your fave memory of training at TPC and why? 

The level of training!