What you need to know before choosing a pilates training school

My story of a spinal injury and the benefits of rehabilitative Pilates is well known.  My passion for Pilates led me to leave the practice of law and bring STOTT PILATES training to the United States where I opened Equilibrium in 1996 as the first licensed training and certification center in Michigan.

When I researched the Pilates education programs available in 1996 I was immediately drawn to STOTT PILATES.  They were the only training program that had a written curriculum, educational manuals, and a team of professionals who studied the original work of Joseph Pilates and made sure they upgraded it to incorporate current biomechanical principles of healthy body alignment.

Only certified instructors who had excelled and had advanced degrees in movement science were invited to take the specialized training that allowed them to teach the training courses.  One didn’t choose a career as a Pilates teacher trainer; they earned the invitation to take the training.

If you are contemplating a career change and thinking about investing financially into a Pilates training course, you should know that the process your instructor went through to become a STOTT PILATES teacher trainer was not easy. I want them to know that not anyone certified in STOTT PILATES can become an IT. We had to get at least a 92% on both our written and practical  exams  to be considered, we had to send in a video application of us teaching for the Education Directors of STOTT PILATES's to review, we needed to be recommended by an LTC owner or a Lead Instructor Trainer, we had to spend 5 days teaching every exercise at STOTT PILATES headquarters and THEN co-teach a full mat and reformer course before we were allowed to teach on our own as an instructor trainer.

Jenn Montie:  Owner of Allegro Dance School and STOTT PILATES Instructor Trainer


Whether you are a Pilates teacher who wants to become a teacher trainer, or you are just beginning your search for a Pilates training program, I know that it is more confusing for you today than for me twenty years ago when there were fewer choices.   In addition to the older internationally recognized education organizations, today there is the 2018 version of the fast-tracking pilates training studio.

There is a website that sells “training kits” so anyone can become a Pilates teacher trainer. The website advertises the following:

Pilates Reformer Teacher Training Business Kit
Included in your fully customizable Reformer Teacher Training Kit - your business logo and brand!!

In other words, anyone with several thousand dollars to spend can purchase a training kit and begin training future Pilates teachers.  There are instances where the teacher purchasing the kit designates themselves as a “master instructor” with no context.

Being a good Pilates teachers does not mean that you can become a great teacher trainer. In addition to superior medical and anatomical understanding and knowledge of injury rehabilitation, our STOTT PILATES teacher trainers have practical and clinical experience over years to support this knowledge.

We also require that our teacher trainers have:

  • physical and mental stamina,
  • the lengthy post graduate training described by Jenn Montie above
  • a comprehensive understanding of the curriculum they teach
  • great classroom skills including how to listen, explain, demonstrate, monitor class progress and recognize various learning styles
  • a passion for their own continuing education
  • ability to work with a team of professionals for constant feedback and challenge
  • ability to work with people for whom English is their second language
  • ability to make the material come alive
  • ability to challenge students and make students ask questions

If you are the person looking for a place to start your Pilates training be sure you know the qualifications of the people training you if they are not from an internationally recognized and established Pilates training organization.
The quality of your Pilates Course Instructor is critical to your success.

If you choose a STOTT PILATES education I am proud to say that our graduates can elect to take the elite STOTT PILATES exam that includes a written and a practical portion, or they can take the written only PMA exam.  *The new fast-track programs make you eligible for only the written PMA exam.

We of course feel strongly that the STOTT PILATES requirement of a written exam sets our teachers apart.

The practical exam is so important! Would you go to a heart surgeon if he didn't do a residency under the watchful eye of experienced doctors? No way! We have to see that you can teach a client safely, effectively, and professionally

Jenn Montie:  Owner of Allegro Dance School and STOTT PILATES Instructor Trainer

Learning by the book is important and taking a written exam is important, but without the practical teaching experience and testing experience a student will not know if she or he is effective as a communicator and teacher.

Gayle Eubanks:  Dancer, former Ballet Instructor, STOTT PILATES Instructor Trainer

An investment in Pilates training should be evaluated as you would any investment in education or your future.  Choosing a Pilates school is not that much different than choosing a college or university. Two main considerations should be, who will be training me and who hired them to train me, and who has developed the material I will be taught.

I have never looked back and regretted the decision to choose STOTT PILATES, often called the Ivy League of Pilates education. Their reputation, philosophy, and methods provide the tools and foundation for our graduates to enjoy great careers.

Merrithews’s premier Pilates brand, STOTT PILATES delivers high caliber education with over 50,000 students trained from more than 100 countries.

Whether you live in Atlanta, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, Dubai or anywhere around the globe you should seriously consider STOTT PILATES as your Pilates education provider.

We are here at Equilibrium Studio to explain the STOTT PILATES difference when you are ready to begin your journey.

Nancy Hodari


100 locations around the globe