Plan your education – path of development at Diamond Pilates Academy
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 over ten years ago. 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.
Two education paths – Modular and Comprehensive Courses
Our course system offers two education paths. One are Modular Courses that focus on learning one selected kind of equipment on particular level. After each course you pass the exam and get certification. It’s a good option for a student that doesn’t need or doesn’t want to teach class on every equipment. You can also start your education with one of these courses if you’re not yet sure that you want to make teaching Pilates your profession. You have a possibility to test yourself as an instructor not devoting that much time and energy. In this situation you can begin with Mat, Reformer or Chairs course. After you finish these modules, you can continue studying on Cadillac or Barrels courses.
The other option are Comprehensive Courses where you learn a couple of kinds of equipment during single course. That course requires more time and more work. It’s a course for students that already know that they want to be an instructor and are ready to delve in intensive education process for a longer period of time. When you pass the exam after the first part of the Comprehensive Course, you’ll get qualification to teach class on. 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.
If you’d like to take a closer look at course system of the Academy and the program, check here: DiamondPilates.pl/en/szkolenia-courses-en
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. 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. Ilona has a Certified Pilates Teacher diploma granted by international organisation, Pilates Method Alliance. She is also the author of manuals, full of photos and exercise modifications, which our students are learning from.
Course 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.
During your first course at DPA, the part of the program is studying anatomy and biomechanics. For us, it’s important that learning anatomy is about knowing how functions of particular muscles result in specific movements of given body parts. In our opinion a good instructor should have the knowledge of how human body works and therefore better understanding of the essence of exercises and know how to build a program for people with various needs and how to apply suitable modifications.
The first stage of each course are weekend meetings. Whole group meets at the headquarters of our Academy, Diamond Pilates Studio and participates in meetings taught by Ilona Włodarczyk. Each course is dedicated for a small 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 can be helpful. 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.
Student’s individual work
Next stage is completing Tasks Card. During this crucial part of the course, you’ll consolidate knowledge and hone skills gained during the course meetings. One of the tasks 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 and that they have felt it in their body. When you’re convinced and confident that you can perform the exercises, you move on to passing “Silent training”. It’s a demonstration of learned exercises to the course teacher. After this task, 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 and advanced level are done individually after the meetings are finished, because these exercises require more time to be perfected.
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 Senior teacher. Then a group lesson for a couple of participants. It helps you to learn how to prepare the program for an individual as well as a group session and how to teach Pilates class. After each lesson there is time to discuss exercise program that you’ve prepared and your way of teaching classes. Feedback from participants is very valuable as it points your assets and directs you on what you can improve. Another important task is “Teaching a Client” that means individual sessions for a chosen person. This task helps to get practical teaching skills and teaches how to determine client’s needs and how to fulfill 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 (“Videos and literature” task). This is where you have 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 tasks. First are group work meetings focused on “Perfecting teaching and practical skills”. Another are “Mentor sessions” which means individual work with Senior Instructor, suitable for your needs and your learning process.
After completing all of the tasks, 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 tasks, you should be ready to the exam. After each exam you gain Pilates Instructor Certificate – intermediate or advanced program.
Bonus development opportunities for DPA members
Since you start your first course, you can benefit from bonus 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 regular Diamond Club meetings where our students and graduates work on perfecting Pilates exercises under Ilona’s supervision, inspiring each other and exploring Pilates technique together. Additionally, we organise Diamond Club seminars. During these meetings we discuss interesting topics basing on short literature selected by Ilona. Then Ilona guides the group through practical part regarding given issue. If you’d like to know the details, look here: DiamondPilates.pl/en/diamond-club-en
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 path of instructor’s development
Both, Modular and Comprehensive Courses are divided into three parts. Part I includes Mat, Reformer and Chairs. This part teaches Pilates method from the basics. Besides studying exercise repertoire, students learn basic principles of the Pilates method, gain teaching skills and building program for different 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 helps 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.
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 clients and able to answer to them. It’s important to us that you finish our courses with solid basics and that you constantly develop while staying invariably intrigued and curious of what Pilates system has to offer, on both professional and personal level. That way, your dedication to Pilates and conviction of it’s positive benefits will affect your clients. 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 overcome them in appropriate pace and with respect for your body.
You’re welcome to join the members of Diamond Pilates Academy!
If you have any questions, call + 48 664 352 117 or write us: akademia@DiamondPilates.pl.