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The Classical Pilates Legacy

Born in Germany in the early 1880s, Joseph Pilates grew up studying many of the “physical culture” systems which were so popular in late C19 and early C20 Europe. Just as many others did, Pilates developed his own method of training, “the Pilates Method”, which is now a household word when all the big names of his time are footnotes in the history of body building. He obviously got something right.

The famous New York choreographer and personal friend of Pilates, George Balanchine, described him as “a genius of the body”. The results of his system over nearly 100 years show that he had a phenomenally deep understanding of the human body, its potential and how to train it, and that he was able to bring together the exercises and fitness technology of his era in a way that has stood the test of time.

Pilates we use equipment (apparatus) and an exercise system along with a teacher who knows the method in a deep and sophisticated way so that they can apply the exercises to the student’s needs to get results.




In 1941 Balanchine sent one of his dancers, Romana Kryzanowska, to study with Joseph Pilates because she had an ankle injury. Under Pilates’ instruction she recovered from her injury, and stayed on in the studio for many years to study and eventually taught side by side with Pilates so that, when he died in 1967, she was the person he chose to run his studio and carry on his work. 

Romana continued studying with Clara Pilates (Joe's wife) until her death a decade later and kept teaching the method that Joe and Clara Pilates passed on to her for over 5 decades. No one else worked for such a long time with Joe Pilates, and, consequently, no one understood the method with the same depth as Romana. 

Jay Grimes (First Generation Master Instructor and pupil of Joseph and Clara Pilates) said in a interview with
 Ideal Magazine:

“One of the things Romana doesn’t talk about is that throughout all those years [after Joe’s death], she is the one who kept Pilates alive. Clara continued to work, but she was in her 80s and there was a limit to how much she could do. It was Romana who kept the whole thing going.” Technically, says Grimes, nobody knows Joseph Pilates’ work better than Romana Kryzanowska, and he believes she embodies the true Pilates spirit.

At Kinetic Pilates, all teachers have been trained by Romana's Pilates. 



Everyone studying Pilates today can trace their roots back to Romana in one way or another. Either their teacher, or their teacher's teacher or their teacher's teacher's teacher was trained with or by Romana. The closer this connection is to the source the closer the work is to the way it was intended to be by Joseph Pilates himself. Romana's Pilates is the company formed by Romana and Sari who both trained closely with Jo and Clara Pilates for decades, to continue Pilates' work - you can't get much closer to the source than that!

Sadly Romana passed away in 2013, however her works lives on through her daughter Sari Mejia Santo (First Generation Level I Romana's Pilates Grand Master Trainer, who trained with Joseph and Clara Pilates and worked along side her mother for over 3 decades), as well as her Grand-daugher Daria Pace (Romana's Pilates Level II Instructor Trainer) and the many Master Instuctors including Level I Trainers Juanita Lopez, Cythnia Lochard, Marjorie Oron, Javier Perez-Pont & Phillipe Taupin and the hundreds of teachers taught by Romana who are an active in Romana's Pilates and continue to inspire and teach the way Romana was taught by Joe Pilates. 

Kinetic Pilates is honoured to be able to offer a teacher training programme through Romana's Pilates. Romana's Pilates instructor training programme is highly regarded in the industry and was carefully designed by Romana and her daughter Sari to spread the work of Jo Pilates as is was intended. 

All teachers at Kinetic Pilates are certified through Romana's Pilates. 


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