How to choose Pilates training Courses

It used to be a running joke that I was a Pilates course junky! In the early years of teaching, I would grab the chance to attend any course going while I was searching for my Pilates Purpose, my Pilates Path. Most of what I attended served me well in one way or another. You know I am a glass-half-full kind of girl. So even those where the content fell flat of my expectations or the content didn’t resonate with me it taught me about what I did want to learn, what I wanted to deliver and how I would deliver and educate in the long term. Early on most of what I attended was movement content and I soon got a lot of choreography and variations but I am 100% why? Why would I do that choreography or variation? Who would benefit? That lead me to retrain with Polestar Pilates and then on to advanced Anatomy with Gary Carter. Today my WHY mentality helps guide both my day to day decisions like what Podcast to listen to our what forum to go on but also my professional development course choices.

I don’t regret my journey to this point but I think about what advice would I give my novice teacher self? What advice could I give you a new or student teacher? 

I wouldn’t advise about training schools, exercises or choreography, I would say map out your values, goals, interests, and passions in life, not just Pilates. I would say list your transferable skills. I can touch type and this has been an incredibly important time-saving skill when I see others one finger typing their lesson plans and blogs. There are so many skills that I have that I wish I had appreciated how relevant they were right front he beginning. Most of all, I would tell my novice self to ask myself WHY?  

Today I am really picky about what I do because my time is precious to me and I want to know what I attend will add value to what I offer my clients and students. I feel like time away from clients and my family has to bring value back to them for it be worth spending time away from them.

Here are my five steps to choosing your continuous professional development course:

  1. Write down your values, what is important and non-negotiable to you and then relate that to Pilates and how you can move forward in your career
  2. Identify gaps in your skills, for example, you may be very compassionate and communicate very well with seniors but don’t know how to adapt for osteoporosis etc. 
  3. Look at the range of professional development opportunities out there. List all those that jump out as aligning with your values, career goals & skill gaps.
  4. Ask yourself does the Presenter speak to you, align with your values and offer something that will help you achieve your goals. Have you heard them speak or followed them on social platforms? Does their tone and message resonate with you? Have they achieved what you want to achieve or similar?
  5. Look at your schedule can you realistically attend, take away skills and knowledge and then do you have time to apply that afterwards?

My values in life and our values as a family are so important and are reflected in my business values and how we run our business. Building your career in Pilates isn’t all about the exercises or even the spreadsheet it is about knowing who you are and what you bring to this method and how you can uniquely share it with your chosen group. 

Because our industry is relatively in its infancy with 2001 being the final outcome of the court case that stated that Pilates is generic allowing all of us to have access to teacher training. Admittedly that has then created its own problems but here we are almost 20 years later and we are developing standards and building careers in Pilates. We are lucky to have a range of training schools and supporting education available to improve our practical skills, Anatomy and teaching.  

Hosted by ME is my opportunity to support the next generation of teachers as if I was talking to my younger self. Providing the education I would have liked, hosting the educators and presenters that offer a breadth of courses including how to develop our career and look after our own self-care practices.

If this is something that you are interested in, please subscribe to our newsletter and check out our website to find out about our upcoming course Hosted by Movement Education

The next opportunity to stand with me and work on your career and self-care with is at an exclusive, only in the North Pilates Unfiltered Podcast and Teach From The Heart Workshop with Jenna Zaffino 29th November – 1st December. Her practical two-day course will explore your vision for your career and help you map out how to make it happen.

Good luck choosing your courses and shout out if there’s someone or something you’d like to see offering a course or workshop in Leeds. 

Claire x

“This course is made up of the very best of Jenna’s work in movement, meditation, writing and career coaching. Throughout the weekend, attendees will journey through a deep dive into the realms of how they support their path as a teacher, expand into new arenas, navigate the inevitable bumps in the road and determine what comes next after you’ve been at it for years. We’ll move, discover, plan and create together to give you the support you need in your career and your life!”



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