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Pilates@TRDance Teacher Training


PRIOR LESSON LOG (Log available for download)


Joseph Pliates
The Pilates Certifying Center @ TRDance is committed to teaching and preserving the classical, historical Pilates Method of Body Conditioning as originally intended by Joseph H. Pilates. During his lifetime, Joseph Pilates created more than five hundred exercises, inventing an original and unique syllabus which is based on an ordered sequence of exercises, characterized by breath, flowing movement, technically correct execution, and taught with a strong awareness of rhythm and dynamics. By providing a quality certification program for students and the Pilates community, our commitment to both educate and preserve the integrity of the Pilates Method will be fulfilled.


Joseph H. Pilates was born c.1880 in Düsseldorf, Germany. As a child, he was considered a weakling—suffering from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever. His determination to overcome these weaknesses led him to study both ancient Roman and Grecian exercise regimens. By the time he was fourteen, he was posing for anatomical charts and had become a diver, skier, and gymnast. In 1910 he moved to England to become a professional boxer. While in England, World War I broke out and he was interred for a year with other German nationals. He taught his fellow inmates his mental and fitness program and boasted to them that they would come out of their ordeal stronger in mind and body. When an influenza epidemic swept Europe killing thousands, not one of the Pilates followers fell ill. The English recognized his special talents and Joseph Pilates was moved to the hospital where he worked as a nurse, helping to rehabilitate those suffering from war-time diseases and injuries. He began experimenting with springs attached to hospital beds and found that the springs gave enough resistance to patients’ muscles to help them recover and regain strength and muscle tone. The prototype of the equipment we use today known as “The Universal Reformer” had been born.

After the war, Joe Pilates returned to Germany and began training the Hamburg Police Force. It was there that Pilates met movement analyst Rudolf von Laban. Laban was intrigued with Joe Pilates’ Method of Contrology and incorporated some of the Pilates Method to his own. Some of these exercises are still part of the Hanya Holm’s (one of the founders of Modern Dance in America) dance technique warm-up.

In 1925, Pilates was invited to train the new German Army. However, disenchanted with the developing political climate, he decided to leave for America. On his way, he met his wife to be, Clara, who was a nurse. In 1926 Joe and Clara opened their first Pilates Studio in New York City. It immediately caught the attention of the dance community. Dance legends Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn, Martha Graham, Hanya Holm, Jerome Robbins, and George Balanchine studied with Pilates and took their students to him for general conditioning, injury prevention, and rehabilitation. The Pilates Method has stood the test of time as one of the oldest and now one of the hottest trends in the fitness scene. Pilates develops strength, flexibility, endurance, and improves posture, alignment, coordination and balance.



Todd Rosenlieb was introduced to the Pilates Method in 1990 under the tutelage of Kathy Grant at NYU’S Tisch School of the Arts, and continued his education with well-known instructor Gayla Zukevich. Mr. Rosenlieb was inspired to become an instructor in 1999 and was certified by Romana Kryzanowska, Sari Mejia Santo, and Bob Liekens at the New York Pilates Studio. He has taught Pilates for the Virginia School of the Arts, Nashville Ballet, Ballet de San Juan, Waring's Gym, Downtown YMCA, and for a healthy clientele at his Norfolk based studio. Mr. Rosenlieb takes great pride in sharing the Pilates Method to expand the awareness, health, and well being of his clients. Mr. Rosenlieb is the founding Artistic Director of Todd Rosenlieb Dance and serves as the Chair of the Dance Department for The Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia.


Gayla Zukevich began her studies of the Pilates Method in 1992 at the Center for Sports Medicine in Walnut Creek, California under the direction of Diana Herald. Ms. Zukevich was certified by Romana Kryzanowska in 1994. After completing her apprenticeship with the New York Pilates Studio, Ms. Zukevich developed a Pilates curriculum for the dance department of The Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA. While on faculty at GSA, she was awarded The Governor’s School Award for Excellence in Teaching. Ms. Zukevich also introduced the Pilates Method to the National Dance School of Scotland, and the Physical Therapy Department of Truro Hospital while living and teaching in England. In 2002, Ms. Zukevich was delighted to return to Norfolk. She is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and teaching the Pilates Method to all. Ms. Zukevich is also proud to have been the first certified Pilates teacher in Virginia.


Kathryn Finney began her study of the Pilates Method under the talented eye of Gayla Zukevich. In 1999, Ms. Finney entered and completed the 600 hour Pilates apprenticeship at the New York Pilates Studio with Romana Kryzanowska, Bob Liekens and Sari Mejia-Pace. Ms. Finney founded the Pilates Center at Old Dominion University where she was recognized with an award for Distinguished Teaching in 2001. Ms. Finney has also taught at The Governor’s School for the Arts, Virginia School of the Arts, The Downtown YMCA, and the TRDance Center. Ms. Finney enjoys teaching Pilates to all—from a first lesson to the most challenging workout. One of the many facets of Kathryn’s teachings is her expert ability to help rehabilitate students with injuries and muscle imbalances.


Students who have achieved a strong Intermediate level of work in the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning, may apply to the Teacher Certification Program at the Pilates Certifying Center @ TRDance. To apply, applicants must fulfill the following requirements:
1. Complete at least 75 Pilates sessions (Mat and Apparatus) taught by a certified instructor trained in Classical Pilates.
2. Applicant must be at least 21 years of age or receive special permission from the Certifying Staff.
3. Provide a resume and two letters of recommendation.
4. Complete the required registration forms including:
a. Student Registration
b. Form (include photo head shot)
c. Student Medical History
d. Prerequisite Questionnaire
e. Completed Prior Lesson Log
5. Students wishing to pursue certification must schedule a practical assessment ($150.00) and interview with a member of the Certifying Staff before study can begin. Students will be required to perform an Intermediate level Reformer and Mat. You will also be required to perform at least two exercises on the Cadillac, Chairs, and Barrels. Be prepared to perform these exercises with minimal cues as well as being familiar with all set ups and safety issues.
6. Your apprenticeship begins with the Intensive, August 25 through August 29, 2014 from 9:00am to 4:00pm daily.
7. All students will adhere to all the terms and conditions, which are detailed in your apprenticeship application package.


1. Why do you want to become a certified Pilates Teacher?
2. Explain any experience you’ve had teaching or working with people.
4. List past and present occupations and include any awards or outstanding achievements.
3. Describe your exercise or movement history.
4. List past and present occupations and include any awards or outstanding achievements.
5. How do you plan to use your Pilates Certification?
6. How do you plan to fulfill the apprenticeship requirements and how many hours per day and days per week will you be able to commit to the program? Keep in mind that 90% of our apprentices have taken a year to complete the program. To complete the apprenticeship in one year would require a commitment of approximately 13 hours a week for 12 months.

Download the prerequisite questionaire.


We will study the Complete Pilates Method System, beginning through advanced. You will also be introduced to basic anatomy and kinesiology as it relates to the teaching of the Pilates Method. Each student will be expected to arrive on time and be prepared both mentally and physically.

Required reading:
Anatomy of Movement, by Blandine Calais-Germain
The Anatomy Coloring Book, Wynn Kapit & Lawrence M. Elson
Return To Life Through Contrology, Joseph H. Pilates with William John Miller

The Mat

The hallmark of the Pilates Method is the Mat. It lays the groundwork for the work on the other Pilates apparatus. Practice and teach the basics, as Joseph Pilates called it, “the heart and soul” of the Method. The Mat exercises are done on a padded surface, as opposed to a bare floor, so as not to injure the spine. For beginning level students, the Mat work begins with 5 to 10 exercises. As students improve, new exercises are added to their programs. There are a total of 36 mat exercises in the original Pilates Mat repertoire.

The Universal Reformer

After the Mat, the most widely used piece of equipment is the Universal Reformer. The Universal Reformer is a sliding, horizontal bed on which a student sits, stands, or reclines. Movement is initiated and controlled by the student who either stabilizes, pulls, or pushes against a metal bar or leather straps. The springs produce a stretching and contracting action similar to the way your muscles work and are simple to adjust to provide the right amount of tension for the muscles you are working. The emphasis is not on maximum resistance; in fact you never want to feel that you are straining to perform any exercise. They should be done in a continuous flowing manner. Four detachable springs hooked under the carriage determine the amount of resistance needed for each particular exercise, depending on the abilities of the student. The reclining position avoids the pull of gravity on the lower extremities. The removal of this force from the vertical axis of the body allows tension to be regulated and also helps to keep the spine aligned. Other parts of the program feature spinal isolations and concentrated abdominal work developing strength and control. The Reformer is excellent for correcting alignment, working the iliopsoas muscle and strengthening muscles around a hyper mobile joint or increasing the flexibility of a stiff joint.

The Cadillac

The Cadillac (sometimes called the Trapeze Table) is another odd-looking piece of equipment. It is a padded table with four posts (similar to a four-posted bed) to which springs, trapezes, bars, and straps are attached and suspended on different places on the bed frame. The Cadillac is greatly accessorized to enhance program versatility. The use of such props as boxes, foot straps, poles, and pillows, are designed and augmented to accommodate the student’s ability while providing comfort and skeletal support. The similarity of these exercises to those performed on the Mat and Reformer are further challenged to encompass multi-dimensional movement, thus providing the student with complex neuromuscular patterning, which is related to their profession. This apparatus is also extremely beneficial for people with back injuries.

The Chairs

The Chairs were developed by Joseph H. Pilates to stretch and strengthen muscle groups, which are not easily reached by more traditional techniques and equipment. The High Chair and the Wunda Chair look like a boxed high chair that has a horizontal step with springs attached to it. The action of pressing down on this spring tensioned step with either ones’ hands or feet can be executed in varying body positions such as seated, standing, squatting, and lying down. The simple act of exerting pressure builds muscular strength, but more importantly, can be targeted to provide bilateral conditioning. The Chairs can effectively correct imbalances to avoid one area of the body over compensating for an injury, body weakness, or misalignment. It is also excellent for developing control, strength, and range of motion in the hip and knee joints and helps to correct misalignments in the ankles, feet and knees. The Chair exercises are also very effective for closed kinetic chain work in a vertical, standing position.

The Barrels

The small and large Barrels used in the Pilates Method enhance breathing, develop both strength and stretch, and work the spine to correct posture. The High Barrel supports a wide range of motion for the torso in extension, flexion, lateral flexion, as well as addressing the increased flexibility of the hamstrings. The Small Barrel or the Spine Corrector addresses intense abdominal work similarly done on the Mat, where torso and hip flexion are executed from a hyper extended spine, thus utilizing a more extreme range of motion. The Spine Corrector is also used to stretch the upper back and to open the chest, thus enhancing and helping to achieve perfect posture.

The Magic Circle and The Pedi-Pole

The Magic Circle deepens the understanding of how to work from the core (The Powerhouse). The Magic Circle is a ring, which can be used in an isometric manner, thereby strengthening the targeted muscle group.

The Pedi-Pole is a metal cross with two hanging springs that is extremely helpful in relieving neck and upper back stress while working the trapezius muscles. When working on the Pedi-Pole, the instructor is able to help the student discover deep muscular imbalances in the body. Watching students in a Pilates Studio circulate from one apparatus to another apparatus is a ballet in itself.


0 – 200 HOURS

Apprenticeship begins with the August 25-29, 2014 Intensive.
Equal time will be given to observation, individual practice, and practice teaching under the supervision of an approved classical certified instructor.
Hours documented & Apprentice Log signed
Continue to take at least one private or duet lesson each week with a Certifying Staff member. (The lesson fee is not included in your tuition.)
Exam at 200 hundred hours includes teaching a basic lesson, performing selected basic/intermediate exercises on all apparatus, and a written exam
All exams are pass/fail. You must pass to move on.

200 – 400 Hours

Continue observation, individual practice, and practice teaching under the supervision of an approved classical certified instructor.
Hours documented & Apprentice Log signed.
Continue to take at least one private or duet lesson each week with a member of the certifying staff. (The lesson fee is not included in your tuition.)
Exam at 400 hours includes teaching an intermediate lesson, performing selected intermediate/advanced exercises on all apparatus, and a written exam.
All exams are pass/fail. You must pass to move on.

400 – 600 Hours

Continue observation, individual practice, and practice teaching under the supervision of an approved classical certified instructor.
Hours documented and Apprentice Log signed.
Continue to take at least one private or duet lesson each week with a member of the certifying staff. (The lesson fee not included in your tuition).
Exam at 600 hours includes teaching an advanced lesson, performing selected advanced exercises and an extensive written exam on the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning.
The final exam is pass/fail.


First failure requires an additional 25 hours before retesting. There is an additional charge of $150 for a practical and $150 for a written exam.
Second failure requires an additional 50 hours before retesting. Re-test fees are the same as above.
A third failure is grounds for dismissal from the program with no refunds of tuition.

A Classical Certified Instructor must sign apprentice logs.
All testing must take place at The Pilates Center@TR Dance.


The cost of tuition is $6,000. Tuition includes the following:
Cost of the course curriculum
Training manual
600 hours of apprenticeship
The testing at 200, 400, and 600 hours
Books for required reading
Use of equipment at the Pilates Center for self-practice & practice teaching, providing there is space available
Liability insurance while enrolled in the Certification Program

Tuition does not include:
Cost of practical assessment before entering the program ($150.00)
Cost of one private or duet lesson once a week while enrolled in the program.
Discounted apprentice rates are available.

Payment Options
Pay in full ($6,000) at time of passing the assessment.
Three installments of $2,200. First payment due at passed assessment.
Second payment due after passing 200 hour test.
Third payment due after passing 400 hour test.
Grace period for late payment is 2 weeks.
A missed payment will result in suspension from the program.

Cancellation Policy
Once the apprenticeship begins no refunds will be given.
Students must complete the 600 hour apprenticeship within one year from their start date.
The Pilates Center will grant a student up to 3 additional months to complete the certification at
an additional cost of $300 per month.

All Certified Instructors are strongly encouraged to participate in any continuing education workshops with Pilates@TRDance or another approved classical program.


Date of Assessment:



City: State: Zip:

Home Phone: Cell Phone:

Email Address: Date of Birth (mm/dd/year):

Emergency Contact:
Name: Phone:

Photos may be taken of me while I am enrolled in The Pilates Center Certification Program and may be used by the studio in brochures, ads or other types of publicity.

I have read and completely understand and agree to all the terms and conditions of the Pilates Certification Program. In addition, I agree to conduct myself in a professional manner during my apprenticeship. Repeated tardiness, abuse of drugs/alcohol, sexual harassment, verbal or physical abuse, or theft will be grounds for immediate dismissal. There will be no refund of tuition.

By checking this box you agree to the photo release agreement and all terms and conditions.

Note: Form will not submit unless box is checked.

Download the Teacher Certification Registration form.



Are you taking any medications? If so, please list:

Do you have any injuries or conditions that would prevent you from completing the rigors of the certification program?

Please list any major surgeries including the dates:

Is there a history of heart trouble in the family?

Emergency Contacts
Name: Address:

Phone: Cell:


Download Medical History and Emergency Contact form.




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