Tara Talks Pilates
German-born Joseph Pilates was a trained gymnast and bodybuilder and worked as a professional boxer, circus performer, self-defense trainer and wrestling coach. He developed his low equipment, mat-based exercise program, at first called "Contrologly," after studying the movements of animals and yoga.
In 1925, he arrived in New York City, met his wife, and together they began collaborating with dance professionals and the performing arts community. They opened a studio to teach his highly developed exercise program, and thus was born what we know today as Pilates.
Below, read our interview with LPS Pilates and Barre instructor Tara Spaw Fronczek.
With your background in dance, what attracted you to Pilates?
TSF: As a dancer, Pilates' focus on core strength and back health was extremely appealing. One of my college dance professors encouraged us to try all forms of physical exercise, and I'm so grateful he specifically suggested Pilates.
Describe your first Pilates class experience as a student.
TSF: As a dancer, I always believed my core was exceptionally strong. And it was, but I was not in tune with how to control my abdominal muscles as much as Pilates teaches you. It was a beautifully humbling experience. But I felt amazing afterwards.
Describe your first Pilates class experience as an instructor.
TSF: My first Pilates teaching experience was great. I was fresh off my certification course. And I had a very small class that allowed me to tailor the class to what each student required.
Do Pilates and dance draw any parallels?
TSF: There are so many parallels between dance and Pilates, which is why the Pilates technique became so popular with NYC ballerinas many years ago. Pilates focuses on strength, flexibility and endurance; the perfect balance for a dancer.
Why would you encourage others to do Pilates?
TSF: Pilates is for every BODY. It is a safe, no impact form of exercise that trains the mind and body in proper spinal alignment to prevent injury and pain.
What are your favorite Pilates poses?
TSF: Unlike yoga, Pilates focuses on movements, instead of poses, reinforcing the concept of core stability with limb mobility. The Double Leg Stretch is one of my favorites. It really tests your core strength and coordination. One of my "feel good" exercises is the Mermaid, which involves the whole body and wonderfully stretches the hip flexor.
Pilates Barre Fusion
6:30-7:30 p.m. Mondays
Barre technique. Traditional Pilates exercises. Strengthening. Full range of motion. Intermediate / Experienced. 60 minutes.
7:30-8:30 a.m. Wednesdays
Strength building. Alignment and Range of Motion focused. Intermediate / Experienced. 60 minutes.