In this blog series, Becoming a STOTT PILATES® Instructor, we’ll be following Paige Schuman as she progresses through the STOTT PILATES Certification Program.
Over the next few months, we’ll be talking to her about everything from her classroom experience to practice teaching and exam prep. But first, we wanted to find out what made Paige want to become a Pilates instructor.
As someone who has built her life and livelihood around movement and body awareness— from starting out as a competitive dancer at a young age, to studying acting at university and then becoming a barre instructor— enrolling in the STOTT PILATES Certification Program seemed like a natural next step.
“Physical activity and fitness have always been part of my life and something that I’ve always felt very at home and comfortable with,” says Paige, who trained and competed in all forms of dance, including jazz, tap and hip hop. “I thrive in that atmosphere.”
When Paige, 23, became a barre instructor after graduating from the acting program at Ryerson University in Toronto, she quickly realized what a tangible impact she could have on people’s lives through exercise.
“It doesn’t feel like you’re going to work. It makes people happy and it just feels like you’re all having a good time and getting something positive out of it. I want to work in that kind of atmosphere all the time,” she says.
After discovering that the movement classes she’d loved so much at university were Pilates-based, she decided to explore this avenue further.
“I really enjoyed those classes; it was a very positive experience. They made me aware of my body and helped me fix my poor exercise habits.”
Why choose Merrithew® for your Pilates training?
Interested in other opportunities in the fitness industry, Paige got a job at Merrithew as a Studio Coordinator at its Corporate Training Center about a year ago.
After spending so much time interacting with clients one-on-one, seeing their progress and how much effort and attention the instructors put into their classes, Paige started to think seriously about taking the course.
Seeing eager students come from all over the world to train in the STOTT PILATES method was also inspiring, she says. It demonstrated to her how highly-respected the STOTT PILATES method is as the premium Pilates training.
“Merrithew has been doing this for 30 years. You can’t argue with that level of experience and expertise in the fitness world,” she says. “There’s something to be said about longevity and being a world leader in Pilates training and mindful movement— one that is still growing and thriving.”
Find what’s right for you
Paige opted to enroll in the full Comprehensive Program, which includes the Comprehensive Matwork and Reformer course followed by the Comprehensive Cadillac, Chair and Barrels course. In total, she’ll put in more than 400 hours of learning, observation, review and practice teaching hours.
She chose the full-time program because she had the time and flexibility to do so. She also felt that by fully immersing herself in the program with few distractions she would be able to better absorb and learn the information, especially the unfamiliar material like the functional anatomy portion of the course.
For those who are working full-time or have scheduling constraints, the Intensive Program, taught over several weekends, might be a better option. The Intensive Program is geared towards those who are already working in the field of fitness and movement or who have previous Pilates training from another Pilates method. They must also have completed a Functional Anatomy course and meet the Pilates class requirements.
Regardless of which program you choose, everyone will learn the biomechanical principles of STOTT PILATES, the Level 1 Essential and Intermediate repertoire and how to design, teach and modify the programming for different clients. Both programs require a minimum number of observation, physical review and practice teaching hours.
“Doing this course and becoming a Pilates instructor isn’t a side hustle. I like staying busy and doing things I’m passionate about. If you have the time and energy, why not? Why wait?” Paige says.
“In Pilates, the clients are so wonderful, they want to be there and they want your help. What a great job to have, to be able to help people and surround yourself with positivity.”
Find out how you too can launch your career in mindful movement.