About Classical Pilates Teacher Training

The Classical Pilates Training Company is set up to teach teachers how to deliver Pilates the way it was developed by Joseph Pilates himself. The course was developed by Kirk Smith, a second generation Pilates teacher, who has 19 years’ experience teaching Pilates. Kirk started Pilates in New York under Joseph Pilates’ protégé Romana Kryzanowska. He has also benefited from significant influence from first generation teacher Jay Grimes, and has had lessons with the incomparable Mary Bowen. The Pilates we teach is clearly in the lineage of Romana Kryzanowska.

Kirk Smith is the Course Director and oversees every course we teach. Our standards are high as we pride ourselves on producing teachers that are well equipped and confident in their skills.

Why are we different?

Please do your research when choosing to become a Pilates teacher. There are so many choices, and you have to find the right one that suits your needs.

The Classical Pilates Training Company has chosen to follow the traditional approach to education of teachers. Today the majority of other Pilates teacher training providers have developed stand-alone courses for individual pieces of equipment. We, on the other hand continue the tradition of teaching Pilates as a system.

The Comprehensive Certification we offer uses all the equipment in the system and not just the popular ones.  Each piece of equipment needs to be understood and inter-relates with the others for a whole system of teaching. This is the process that Kirk James Smith undertook and wants to offer you. Even if you don’t use all the equipment in your teaching you need to understand why is there and how it relates.

The two courses are focused to give you the tools needed to be the best teacher you can be, and to always learn more. This is a professional education programme passed down from Mr Pilates. Our course prepares you physically and mentally for teaching. The Comprehensive Certification takes a year to complete and give you the ability to teach both Mat and (all) equipment classes. The Mat certification will teach you the classical repertoire of exercises done on the mat.

Some questions to ask yourself, while reading the rest of the site and making your decision on which form of Pilates to take:

  • How many pieces of equipment are there in Pilates?
  • Why have other providers broken them down into smaller courses?
  • Why do I need to understand all pieces of equipment, not just the popular ones?
  • How does The Classical Pilates Training Compare against other courses out there?
  • Am I getting value for money?
  • Do I want to be the best teacher I can be?
  • Why are you recommending an assessment prior to starting the course?
  • Can I get qualified quickly?
  • Who am I being taught by?
  • How much time and money will this take me, and is the programme a good value?

If you will do your research, you will understand why this is the course for you. Become a part of a community of teachers who have learned the principals of traditional Pilates.

We will teach you the classical repertoire, help you develop the eye for what each client needs, and the essential hands-on skills for intelligently and clearly teaching Pilates. We pride ourselves on working with our teachers to develop their critical skills using the method.  We continually ask the fundamental questions of how the exercises inter-relate to each other and to the ultimate goal of the “attainment and maintenance of a well-balanced body.” Real teaching is about learning, and we learn best when we ask better questions.

What is meant by “Comprehensive Certification?”

Joseph Pilates, who called his system of exercise “Contrology,” developed a complex system of mind and body conditioning that made use bodyweight exercises done on a mat but also on several pieces of equipment designed by him. Each piece of equipment has a unique relationship with the system and the learner. While one piece of equipment might be ideal for re-educating posture more globally, another might focus on the entire body’s reaction to the movements of the foot, while another might emphasize orientation of the body in sitting or while climbing. Pilates even taught suspension training early on, complete with inversions at all points on the fitness spectrum, from the post-rehabilitative client to the very strong athlete.  The utter brilliance of the system lies in its adaptability to each person’s unique needs. Its adjustability allows completely different bodies to use the same piece of equipment to accomplish very different objectives.

The genius of the method developed by Mr. Pilates nearly died with him, but it was kept alive by a few of his disciples in the United States. But thanks to these first generation teachers, “Contrology” survived under the name “Pilates.” During the 1990’s the popularity of Pilates surged, in part due to its ability to help people take control of their bodies in a way that the fitness fads of that time had failed to do. However, because of the complexity of the system and the cost of the equipment involved, the training requisite for its proper use and the expense of housing the equipment, this system was often reproduced in a partial form: the exercises done on the mat. While it is true that Mr. Pilates considered the work done on the mat to contain the full expression his work, it does not include the building blocks that the system includes to retrain the different relationships in the body. Essentially, an industry based on the reputation of the complex system but delivered only a sliver of that system flourished worldwide. We believe that the work of Mr. Pilates deserves to be taught in its full form, on all pieces of equipment and we offer that education. When we say “comprehensive training” we include the mat work and training and the equipment as well.

  • Reformer
  • Cadillac
  • High Chair
  • Wunda Chair
  • Arm Chair
  • Ladder Barrel
  • Spine Corrector
  • Arc Barrel
  • Pedi Pole
  • Foot Corrector
  • Toe Corrector
  • Bean Bag
  • Neck Stretcher
  • Magic Circle
  • Weighted Pole
  • Hand Weights

At this time we do not have the piece of equipment called the “guillotine”. This unique piece of equipment has not been widely used because it has unique architectural demands on the space that houses it.  This will be added to our repertoire of equipment next year.