What was your path to Pilates? What inspired you to take it up as a profession?
I was first introduced to Pilates through my training as a dancer. I had bits and pieces of the matwork as an adolescent, then I got my first experience on the Pilates Reformer when I was in University. As part of a "Conditioning for Dancers" course, I was taught how to use the Reformer so that I could continue to cross-train between technique classes and rehearsals. I also took a Kinesiology for Dancers course which sparked my interest in anatomy. These, plus a need for a profession which could be flexible around my ever-changing rehearsal schedule led me to become a Pilates Instructor.
Can you explain what you do and your philosophy?
In my students' sessions, I assist and educate them toward more efficient ways of moving while exercising in a way which provides minimal wear and tear to their body. I help my students work toward their individual fitness goals, whether it's recovering from an injury, training for an athletic event or keeping their body generally fit and healthy. I've been described as a detail-oriented instructor, often stressing specificity, which I feel creates more mindful movement and greater results. Ultimately, I hope that my students end each session feeling stronger, pain-free and invigorated.
What advice to you have to novice students?
My advice for novice students is to be patient. It takes time to develop body awareness and to re-train movement patterns. In the beginning, you may not feel the same big sensations we're used to having from exercise, but if you stick with it, you'll find a new satisfaction in challenging your body without tearing it up. With the development of body awareness, you'll find new sensations in your body that are even more satisfying.
How would you challenge longtime students to advance their practice?
I challenge my longtime students to advance their practice by shaking it up, so to speak. I challenge them with different variations of the standard exercises. While repetition is great, it can sometime make an exercise go stale. By changing it slightly, say adding a Fitness Circle or Stability Ball, you can renew your attention and find new challenges in the same exercise.
Who are three colleagues/practioners in the community whose work you admire?
Honestly, I strongly admire each of my colleagues at Bodycenter Studios. They are all such amazing instructors - attentive, inquisitive, inventive. I'm constantly learning new things from all of them. They really help to keep me inspired as an instructor.
Has a student ever surprised you? If so, how?
My students often surprise me, in great ways. It's especially interesting to me to see how each student interprets what I say, often quite differently. It's even more fun when I see my clients invent new exercise variations, usually by accident because of how they interpreted what I said, but I often find what they invent to be super cool. I've even been known to then re-use their inventions.
What's the greatest moment you've experienced in a class or on the mat?
I think the greatest moments are when you see the "light bulb" go off in a client's head. That moment when you see they had an epiphany hit and they understand "it", may for the first time. It's a super proud moment for me; I'm so excited to see my client make positive changes in their body.
When you're not teaching, what is your personal practice? Do you have goals for your personal practice?
When I'm not teaching, I'm often in the dance studio, either taking technique class or rehearsing, so I find it a challenge to find extra time for my own Pilates practice. I would say my number one goal, is to find some time to fit Pilates in, even if just for a short session. Additionally, when I do find the time, my goals are to either balance or cross-train the high-intensity/high-impact nature of the dancing I do. When immersed in a rigorous rehearsal schedule, I do gentler, more recuperative Pilates training. However, when my rehearsal schedule is lighter, I may do a more vigorous Pilates routine to maintain my strength.
What do you do for fun?
I mostly a homebody, so for fun, I snuggle with my little pup, Ollie-he's a 10-11 lb Chiweenie (Chihuahua/Dachshund mix). When it's nice outside we go for long walks along the Burke Gilman Trail. In the summers, we enjoy Standup Paddle Boarding-including Ollie.
I've also become quite the plant mama and have been slowing turning my home into an indoor jungle, of sorts.
In today's fast-paced world, what advice to you have for people who don't think they have time to practice?
Make sure to take some time for yourself. However much time, 5 minutes or 60 minutes, just take it.
What is something you'd like to share that people might not know about you?
Most people don't know that I'm a big fan of Sci-Fi and a bit of a Trekkie. I've seen almost every episode of the various Star Trek Series.
Stacy teaches both Reformer & Mat classes as well as Private Sessions.
She is currently teaching 2 live online mat classes Monday's 6pm & Saturday's at 8:30am • Register with BCS just like normal.
She is also seeing private clients online. Contact Stacy for an appointment