TPC Grad Chats! Katherine Denham

This week we chat with Katherine Denham, founder, owner, and director of Kalijo Pilates Studio in Davis Bay, BC on the Sunshine Coast, Canada. Katherine discovered Pilates 25 years ago when she was in two car accidents within six weeks. Told she’d never dance again, she found Pilates and, after her very first lesson knew she’d be doing Pilates for life. Katherine graduated from The Pilates Center, Boulder’s Advanced Teacher Training Program in 2012.

Hi Katherine, how are you today? 


Where did you train?

I trained at Pilates from the Center, in North Vancouver, BC, which was at the time a Host Studio for The Pilates Center Boulder, CO. 

How did you first discover Pilates? 

25 years ago, I was in two car accidents within six weeks of each other. I was told I would never dance again, which, at the time I had been training for seven years to become a professional contemporary dancer. This was my passion and hope for my future. I was devastated, in pain and became depressed. I stopped dancing. Having scoliosis, I was told to do physio, massage therapy, and rest. My neck and shoulders, mid back and chest were tight, sore and in spasm. I was then introduced to Diane Miller’s Pilates Studio in Vancouver, BC and in my very first private lesson I knew I would be doing Pilates for life! 

What year did you graduate from TPC, and which training did you do?

I graduated in 2012 from the Advanced Teacher Training Program. I also graduated from the Masters Program and have been a Licensed Teacher Trainer for TPC, Boulder for several years. Prior to this training, I was a STOTT Pilates Instructor. 

I hear Rachel was recently at your studio! How was this and did you learn anything or experience anything you’d love to share?  

Yes, Rachel was here this September and as always, she offered her excellence in the Classical Method, sharing information on specifically the Shoulder Girdle and Pelvis Power. I love that she always brings you back to the simplicity of RETURN TO LIFE and all that it has to offer through the method. Working towards that internal shower with better breath and circulation, oxygenation and the belly turning on synergistically brings us to centering and of course, healing from within.  

How did you find out about TPC? 

Another Pilates instructor introduced me to Classical Pilates and through her, and the Pilates from the Center studio in Vancouver, BC, I quickly learned about TPC. 

What was your reason for choosing to train with TPC?  

It was offered at a nearby studio with a short commute off the coast and it was what I was desperately seeking, to know the WHY of the method, its repertoire, and levels, the link system and movement skills. 

Did you look at other schools?  

No. I took a workshop with Amy then jumped into the training program. 

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

Amy sold me on doing the program. I knew right away after my first lesson with her, that I needed this program under my belt. With its 25+ years of history, professionalism & experience, I wanted to be a part of what it offered to my students and me. My students and I were craving something more and this seemed to offer exactly what I was lacking – the integrity of the method.

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

TPC teacher training program gives you the ability to understand the exercises and the method. It also asks of you to be able to perform and teach the higher level exercises you are wanting to embody and therefore can teach with integrity. I think this gives you much more of an in-depth knowledge, unlike any other program I have taken. It shares with you the importance of the spinal rolling exercises, the breath work guiding the movements, and does not fear away from the movements of the repertoire, but rather builds the trust and understanding of the importance of the breath and movement and its truth behind ‘return to life’ as Joe Pilates’s mission to heal the world through finding inner peace! 

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

The deep internal experience offered for self-change and growth in awareness of the human body in motion! Confidence, coordination, precision, execution and personal strength and flexibility, establishing, trusting and knowing one’s own voice and language in sharing the method. The eye training, seeing what you see and being able to talk to it (So amazing this technique is in so many ways!) I love that you can take so much of what you learn in this method into many areas of our lives. It is not just movement training but it teaches us so much more. We are better humans, and facilitators, teachers because of all that we learn in this training. I could go on here for ever! 

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

CONFIDENCE and UNDERSTANDING of movement and anatomy through knowing the method, how to take someone from a beginner to an advanced student, curiosity to know more, personal practice and desire to stay fit and in my body so that I can keep up with my teenagers physically and for greater breadth and inner well-being to serve me as I am aging.  Eyes are for seeing Trusting the eye and what it sees and knowing how to talk to what you see and why!

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

That The Pilates Center, Boulder training provides top quality, healthy, curious, teachers who are confident and knowledgeable about the method.  They offer safe and yet challenging lessons for all. Holding a true sense of integrity of the method and all that it has to offer one through life. You learn how to MOVE and how to teach movement. 

What is your favorite Pilates exercise and/or apparatus and why?  

Probably anything extension, as it is a heart opener and my back loves to extend.  I love the feeling of my posterior line working deep and the freedom of being open in the front body. I love chair! It just does it for me in so many ways, a quicky you might say! Warms me up, connected me, challenges my full body centering and stimulates my inner and outer lines to help create the borderlines and boundaries in my physical body to manage a day.  It is the best home tool piece of equipment!  Bridging, I think maybe one of my favorite exercises at all levels. Its full body, integration and offering is awesome.  It is safe and challenging. 

Are you a Host Advisor or Licenced Studio owner? If so, how do you enjoy these roles?  

I am the only Canadian Licenced Teacher Trainer and I feel honored to be apart of the TPC Boulder, CO Classical Method.  It is at my studio, @ Kalijo Pilates, that I have helped facilitate and train over 9 teachers in this method with several more trainees on the way. I am thrilled at the type of teachers TPC creates, holding a true sense of integrity and care and curiosity in healthy movement.