Current Pilates Industry Leaders

As Pilates continues to evolve, it is important to know some of the current Pilates industry leaders. In previous articles, I discussed Joseph Pilates and the Pilates Elders. I believe studying and understanding the past will allow you to be more engaged and thoughtful in the present. For example, by studying what Joseph Pilates created, you can notice and understand any changes or variations that others presently make.

This thought and information is particularly important for anyone considering becoming Pilates certified. So many individuals offer Pilates certifications, and each individual is unique. In this day and age, you can figure that most certifications will be Pilates and something. For example, it seems that STOTT PILATES might be Pilates and rehabilitation. Fletcher Work might be Pilates and Martha Graham movement.

If you are considering certification, it is very important that you thoroughly research your certifier and their credibility.

Current Pilates industry leaders

Those who offer certification

  • Moira Merrithew of STOTT PILATESMoira Merrithew, STOTT PILATES:  After becoming injured while dancing, Ms. Merrithew studied Pilates with Romana Kryzanowska. In 1988, Ms. Merrithew and her husband co-founded STOTT PILATES. According to, “They assembled a team of sports medicine and fitness experts to help them integrate modern principles of exercise science and spinal rehabilitation into the Stott Pilates program.” STOTT PILATES is based in Canada, although their teachers can be found world-wide.
  • Rael IsacowitzRael Isacowitz, BASI Pilates:  Mr. Isacowitz’s teachers include Alan Herdman, and Elders Kathy Grant, Ron Fletcher, Romana Kryzanowska, Eve Gentry, and Lolita San Miguel. To say he is well educated in Pilates is an understatement. His book, Pilates, is considered to be the definitive book on the Pilates Method. Currently, it is in its second edition. Mr. Isacowitz offers Pilates certification through BASI. 
  • Ron FletcherRon Fletcher, Fletcher Work:  If you read my article on The Elders, you are already aware of Ron Fletcher. Fletcher Work is a system that Mr. Fletcher created that incorporates Martha Graham-inspired movements in Pilates. They offer certification and continuing education.
  • Ken EndelmanKen Endelman, Balanced Body:  In 1976, Mr. Endelman began working as a furniture builder. He was approached to update and improve Joseph Pilates’s original reformer design. Thus, Balanced Body began. In addition to Pilates equipment, Balanced Body offers education and instructor training. It is also worth noting that Mr. Endelman’s work in the Pilates trademark dispute helped make the Pilates name free to everyone.

Those who offer teacher training

  • Brooke SilerBrooke Siler, re:AB:  Brooke Siler trained with Romana and received her Authentic Pilates certification in 1996. Her book, The Pilates Body, was the first Pilates book that I read, and it is still one of my favorites. In 2005, Ms. Siler created  re:AB Pilates Teacher Training Program.
  • Ellie HermanEllie Herman:  Ellie Herman is a dancer who injured her knee while wrestling. She has worked with Elizabeth Larkham, Kathy Grant, and Romana Kyranowska. Ms. Herman has 9 published books on the topic of Pilates, including Pilates for Dummies. She offers a comprehensive teacher training program, which is led annually in her Brooklyn studios. Personally, I really enjoy her books on Pilates props and the Pilates Reformer.

Those who do not offer certification

  • Mari WinsorMari Winsor, Winsor Choza Pilates:  After opening her own Pilates studio, Ms. Winsor decided to further her studies with Romana. She took that information and made Winsor Pilates DVDs and VHS tapes. Perhaps you remember seeing he infomercial which began airing in 2003. Ms. Winsor, a dancer, teacher, author, and personal trainer, is known for her “dynamic sequencing” in her Pilates videos. She is based in the Los Angeles area.
  • Bob LiekensBob Liekens:  A former dancer, Bob Liekens studied many years with Romana Kryzanowska and is known as “a teacher’s teacher.” In 1993, he collaborated with Romana on creating the first Pilates teacher training program. He also helped write the teacher training manual. He continues to teach workshops and teacher training around the world.

For Those Considering Certification

With so many of the industry leaders now offering certification, it is important to find out exactly what they offer and how marketable this accreditation will be. For example, if you are wanting to work in a specific gym or studio, find out if they already have a preference for certification type. Other important things to think about are the convenience of the certification location and Continuing Education. Do only CEU courses offered by your certifier count toward your continuing education units? How many CEUs do you need to complete in a year? 

After your research, it’s a matter of deciding whose philosophy and approach to Pilates you mesh with best!

Am I missing any current Pilates industry leaders? Let me know in the comments.

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Sarah Stockett is STOTT certified in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations, and CORE; a Yoga Alliance RYT-200; and has studied Active Isolated Stretching. When she is not trying to discover the best exercises to get rid of pain, she likes watching movies and travelling with her family.

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