Plan your education – path of development at
Diamond Pilates Academy (DPA)
The work of Pilates instructor brings a lot of satisfaction and joy. At the same time it’s responsible occupation associated with constant development. Whether you already work as an instructor and think about further education or you’re at the beginning of your professional path, this article was created to help you answer the question “what should be my next step?”. We’ll outline how you can plan your education, gain confidence in working with a client and keep inspiration and curiosity on further stage of development. We’ll give you tips on what skills to hone and what kind of experiences to look for to sufficiently lead your clients as well as yourself on the Pilates path.
Diamond Pilates Academy was established in 2008. Since then the teacher training program have been enhanced to meet above-mentioned reflections and to answer them in education process through consecutive courses. We’d like to explain the process ahead, so you’ll be able to feel more confident and gain an image of what you can achieve. We’ll specify what you’ll receive from us and what kind of contribution is required form you to fulfill the process of studying at our Academy. Even if at the moment some skills are difficult for you and you feel overwhelmed and uncertain before the next step in your professional progress, we’d like to show you that educating instructor is a process and lead you in a way that brings next challenges at the right time.
Courses: Modular and Comprehensive
Our course system offers two education paths: Modular courses that can be great as a beginning and Comprehensive courses that are our main path of education. Modular courses are focused on introducing one kind of equipment on basic and intermediate level. It can be an option for a student who is not yet sure if he/she wants to engage in professional Pilates studies. You can start Modular courses with Mat, Reformer or Chairs. After you finish these Modules, you can continue your education on Cadillac or Barrels courses.
The other option are Comprehensive courses where you learn some kinds of equipment during single course. It’s a course for students that already know that they want to be an instructor and are ready to delve in an intensive education process. When you pass the exam after the first part of the Comprehensive course, you’ll skills to teach classes on Mat, Reformer & Chairs. After the second part – on Cadillac and Barrels. The first two parts cover basic and intermediate level. The last, third part covers all of the equipment on advanced level.
The path of development
Comprehensive courses are divided into three parts. Modular courses are divided into two parts. Part I includes Mat, Reformer and Chairs. This part teaches Pilates method from the basics. Besides studying exercise repertoire on basic and intermediate level, students learn basic principles of the Pilates method, movement principles and how to access posture. They gain teaching skills and knowledge about building programs suitable for various clients. They get to know Pilates and they get to know their body through the practice of this method. Part II includes Barrels and Cadillac. During this part you’ll discover complementarity of Pilates system, experiencing how all kinds of equipment complete each other and what are the similarities and differences of work on each Pilates equipment. You’ll learn to build program on each equipment and pick the kind that’s suitable for your client’s needs. You’ll get deeper understanding of the method’s basics finding them in each exercise. You’ll notice how knowledge and experience of previous courses help you to understand better what you’re studying in the next parts. You’ll find out that education in Pilates method is continuous process; when you achieve progress and overcome your challenges, you’ll find space to perfect another skills, you’ll notice new elements. Instructor’s development is an individual process and it’s going to differ among course participants. Just as the process of your work with each client will be different.
Courses at ADP – how do they look like?
Each course, regardless of equipment type and the level, is a process which following stages where thoroughly planned so they can support student’s development in the best way possible. The goal of the Academy is to educate professional instructors that maintain their knowledge and skills through their whole life and that never stop learning.
Stage I – Weekend meetings
The first stage of each course are weekend meetings. Whole group meets at Diamond Pilates Studio and participates in meetings taught by Ilona Włodarczyk. Each course is dedicated for a medium size group of students. That allows us for more individual approach and gives the time for asking questions and interesting discussions. Students experience the exercises in their bodies and learn from one another, also through observing other participants. They gain skills of teaching each exercise to clients and adjusting exercises and their modifications for various people. They learn how to adjust equipment setting for particular client and what kind of small equipment should be used sometimes. After finishing the meetings, students can perform the exercises in the extent adequate for themselves, they know the essence of the exercises and how can they further work on them.
Stage II – Credits Card
Next stage is completing Credits Card. During this crucial part of the course, you’ll consolidate knowledge and hone skills gained during the course meetings. One of the credits is “Individual practice” through which you perfect learned exercise repertoire, you have the time to adjust equipment settings to your needs and work on the exercises that are still a challenge. Personal work is important for instructor’s development and for gaining confidence that they understand each exercise. When you’re convinced and confident that you can perform the exercises, you move on to passing “Silent training”. It’s a preformance of learned exercises to the course teacher. After this performance, Ilona gives you feedback so you’ll know what can you improve and, most importantly, how to work on that. “Silent training” on basic level is done during weekend meetings in a group. Whereas “Silent trainings” on intermediate is done in a group after the weekend meetings are finished, because these exercises require more time to be learned.
Another valuable experience are “Observations” of lessons taught by professional instructors. It’s an example how to build program on given equipment and how other instructors teach classes. Next task is “Teaching classes”. First you teach individual lesson for Master teacher. Then a group lesson for other participants of your course. It helps you to learn how to prepare the program for an individual as well as a group sessions and how to teach Pilates class. After each lesson there is time to discuss exercise program that you’ve conducted and your style of teaching. Feedback from participants is very valuable as it points your assets and directs you on what you can improve. All materials, that are necessary to prepare for this credit: Teaching classes, are available in the Student Zone.
Each student who begins courses receives log in to the Student Zone. It’s a website that serves as kind of convenient course pack. It contains materials that help understand and complete courses’ credits. Moreover you can find there other attractive texts and movies, which complete information acquired during course meetings. In Student Zone there are also stored documents with organizational information, for example about preparation for the exams. The access to Student Zone is easy and you are able to use it whenever you need.
Another important credit is “Teaching a Client” that means that you give individual sessions for a chosen by yourself client/person. This credit helps you to get practical teaching skills and teaches how to determine client’s needs and how to fullfill them, how to build session program for particular person and how to continue the work based on observed changes and needs. In the end you’ll prepare a “Presentation” about your process of working with the client and present it to the course teacher. Through that you’ll gain confidence that you know how to manage working with a client and that you’re able to observe and shape their progress.
Your task is also deeper exploration beyond the course through reading books and articles and watching videos on Pilates method. Credit “Videos and literature” gives you a chance to focus on what interests you the most or to search for more information on the topics that are challenging for you.
Courses on advanced level include additional credits. There are ,,Master classes” ,which means group practice of advanced excercises during class conducted by Master Teacher. Second credit intended for students on advanced level are “Mentor meetings” ,which means individual work with Senior Instructor. They are meant to meet individual needs of students and fit their educational process that may vary among students.
Stage III – Exams and Certificates
After completing all of the credits, you can take an exam. Described process, in large part, prepares you to the exam. Usually, there is no need to “pore over books”. If you’ve committed to the credits, you should be ready for the exam. After completing both intermediate parts (Part I and II) and passing the exams, you’ll receive Certificate: Pilates Instructor – Comprehensive Program – Intermediate. After completing advanced part (Part III) and passing the exam, you’ll receive Certificate: Pilates Instructor – Comprehensive Program – Advanced.
In a case of participating in Modules, after each Module, you can take the exam. After you’ll pass an exam then you’ll get congratulatory letter, which confirms that you are familiar with material of a particular module. Courses Part I and Part II consist of 5 Modules in total. Therefore after you pass exams after each of 5 modules then you’ll get Pilates Instructor Certificate – Intermediate program. Afterwards you can take part in Comprehensive course Part III. As mentioned earlier that part is not available in form of Modular sourses.
Certificates are being issued in polish and in english. Our education program is compatible with international standards. To the certificates we add supplement, in which there are written parts of the course program and numbers of hours of the whole course.
Development opportunities for DPA members
Since you start your first course, you can benefit from other opportunities created by the Academy for our students. You’ll get invited to the facebook group – Clear Pilates Vision, which is a space for instructors to exchange knowledge and experience. We’ll also invite you to participate in workshops that we organize. They cover various interesting topics and serve as a great addition to the courses. During workshops you will broaden your knowledge and practice new skills.
Here you can look at upcoming workshops:
Through these efforts we want to create instructor’s community, which is developing Pilates system in Poland and abroad, motivating and supporting each other so the Pilates method can reach everyone who needs that.
The author of teacher training program – Ilona Włodarczyk
All of the courses at DPA are taught by Ilona Włodarczyk.
Ilona is the author of the system and the program of our courses. Since the beginning she develops and perfects the courses drawing from experiences of working with her students and from her own ongoing development with some international Pilates Mentors. Ilona approaches to teaching with remarkable dedication and sensitivity. She supports anyone, who wants to learn and she makes Pilates world even more interesting.
In 2004, with her sister, Bożena, she established first professional Pilates Studio in Poland and in 2008 – Diamond Pilates Academy. Ilona is certificated teacher of two renowned Pilates schools: Polestar and Stott. She has a “Master Teacher” title of one of the oldest classical Pilates schools in USA, The Pilates Center. She is also the author of some articles in life style and healthy magazines and all the manuals, full of photos and exercise modifications, which our students are learning from during courses.
Our mission is to educate instructors inspired by their work
Our mission is to educate instructors competent on theoretical and practical level, sensitive to the needs of different people and able to answer to them. It’s important for us that you finish our courses with a solid basics and usefull skills on all levels of advancement. We support constant development and curiosity of what Pilates system has to offer both on professional and personal level. If you’re fully dedicated to Pilates your conviction of it’s positive benefits will affect your clients you will be working with. Equally, you’ll explore your body better and better and grow yourself, thanks to Pilates practice. Regardless of our level of advancement, everyone faces something more challenging. At our Academy you’ll learn how to recognize these challenges and how to work on them and eventually overcome them in appropriate pace and with respect for your body.
You’re welcome to join Diamond Pilates Academy!
If you have any questions, call + 48 664 352 117 or write us: akademia@DiamondPilates.pl.