Recently, I was interviewed for a local Petaluma radio show, and the first question was what initially drew me to Pilates. My answer came easily as I told the interviewer I was working as a professional dancer and a member of Jazzantiqua, a LA based dance company, when one of the dancers invited me to take a Pilates lesson with her. It was 1993 before the explosion of the internet, and Pilates information was word of mouth, and the word was, the Pilates method improves your dancing.
Our semi-private lesson took place in a Beverly Hills home and maybe because I had been a former gymnast and used large pieces of equipment, it didn’t seem odd to me that there was so much Pilates apparatus in the living and dining rooms. In fact, as my friend and I stood to the side of each of our reformers, originally named the Universal reformer, it all felt very familiar. I listened and watched my teacher intently as she had us lie down on the reformer, the “carriage,” as she called it, and gave us our first cue – Feet on the foot bar and push the carriage away. As we extended our bodies out straight, I was aware of a buzzing sound and a strange sensation in my head. In my mind’s eye, I saw a pure white light, though not bright, it muted out all other colors in the room. I wasn’t aware of any external sound, either, and though the sensation only lasted a moment, as quickly as the carriage came “home,” I knew that I, too, had come home.
And though it’s true as I shared with the interviewer’s audience, my dancing did improve incredibly, more astonishing for me was the sense of already knowing and understanding Mr. Pilates’ inspiring method.