This week we chat with Stephanie Ubogu, a TPC graduate, Pilates teacher and television lawyer based in London. Stephanie discovered Pilates over ten years ago and began training at a TPC studio after a kickboxing injury. She fell in love with The Pilates Center, Boulder “style” and decided to train to become a teacher herself. Stephanie graduated from TPC’s Advanced Teacher Training Program in 2016 and teaches at Pepilates – a TPC Licenced Teacher Training Studio in South Wimbledon.
Hi Stephanie, how are you today?
I’m well, thanks!
Where are you and what are you up to right now?
I’m having a lazy Sunday morning at home – reading the paper, doing laundry, psyching myself up for a run.
How did you find out about TPC?
My very first introduction to Pilates was a mat class at my local gym over ten years ago. After a kickboxing injury I started training at a studio run by a TPC grad and through them I found out about the TPC training program at Pepilates.
What was your reason for choosing to train with TPC?
I found the TPC grads that I had been training with to be extremely knowledgeable and passionate about their work. I loved their personalised approach to the body and how they would train and inspire me and others into movement we didn’t think possible.
Did you look at other schools?
I had taken lessons with other schools for years previously (including Body Control Pilates) but was never inspired to, or even dreamt that I would, undertake teacher training myself. I did very briefly look at a couple of other training programs but after being taught by TPC grads I was just really keen to do the TPC training.
What was it about TPC that made it stand out from the other Pilates training schools you looked at?
It was really down to the TPC teachers I had worked with, which is testament to the quality of the training. I found their approach to teaching was different to what I had experienced before. There was an intellectual, as well as creative approach to their teaching that really appealed to me. I also liked that it is a very inclusive program with people from all walks of life.
Why do you think TPC is the best option for people wanting to become Pilates teachers?
It is a rigorous training program which seemed to me to really take seriously the experience and knowledge required to teach Pilates, not just an understanding of the exercises but also an understanding of the history.
What’s your favourite thing about TPC’s teacher training programme?
There was a very strong sense of support and camaraderie, both from the teachers and also from my fellow trainees. That was essential to help boost my confidence in teaching and asking questions. That support and camaraderie continues post the training program as well. I loved (and still love) putting together the puzzle and progression of the exercises – beginning to understand and reveal the common skills required to perform them effectively on all equipment. I found the resources, particularly the reading lists extremely helpful and I’m still tapping into them, and the resources have only got better with the recent introduction of the online videos.
What do you think your experience at TPC has given you most?
It’s given me a deeper connection to myself and my body, and a greater confidence in my movement potential. I really think that connection to my own body is currently my greatest tool in how I teach others. It’s given me a continued thirst to keep learning Pilates and the body and it’s also been a life changer – becoming a Pilates teacher wasn’t something I would have contemplated 5 years ago, but simply pursuing something I love has led me to my current life of part-time teaching. Finally, it’s great to have picked up new friendships with other teachers, both here and abroad.
What would you say to someone who is considering training with TPC?
If you love Pilates, then just do it! I don’t see how anyone could regret it. It’s worth it for the level of self-discovery alone. However, doing the program is probably the most challenging thing I’ve done (and I’ve studied law!) So I would recommend they create as much space in their lives as possible to get the most out of the program.
What is your favourite Pilates exercise and / or apparatus and why?
This can often change depending on what I’m working on. However I do have to still spend a significant amount of time at a desk so I’m always looking for some extension. Right now a bit of Down Stretch would be absolutely lovely to open up my shoulders, back and hips.
Do you do anything else alongside teaching Pilates? If so what and can you tell us a bit about how it fits in with working as a Pilates teacher?
I work 4 days a week as a television lawyer for Comcast NBC Universal. Studying and teaching Pilates has made my ‘day job’ more bearable – both physically and mentally! My clients work in similar corporate roles so I understand their stress and tightness. Also, my legal work helped me fund the training and the continuing education.