This month we’re celebrating our mindful movement community with stories highlighting your accomplishments and experiences bringing fitness and joy to people around the world. Healthy communities are happy communities. Thank you!
Anneliese Burns Wilson, the owner and director of ABC for Dance in New Jersey, U.S., didn’t set out to complete all nine STOTT PILATES® Specialty Tracks, she just wanted to expand her knowledge so she could pass on more education to her students.
But by 2018, after taking 75 workshops within the nine categories, she gained Specialty designations in all nine Specialty Tracks, becoming only the second person in Merrithew™ history to do so. Vivian Zapanta, a Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer in the Philippines, was the first.
The Specialty Tracks were developed to help instructors gain in-depth knowledge of a specific demographic or sport, allowing them to build on their existing skills to design specialty programming and reach new clients with specific fitness needs.
Anneliese says that by continuing her education through the Specialty Tracks, where students learn how to modify exercises, cue effectively and address the necessary anatomical and biomechanical issues of specialty clients, she was able to offer more value to her clients.
“When I was a Merrithew Instructor Trainer, it provided me with a range of workshops that I could share with other instructors to help further their education and expand the resources they could then offer their clients. Now that I am just instructing private clients, it has benefitted me by giving me a broad repertoire of movement, beyond what was taught in the standard coursework,” Anneliese says.
In order to gain the STOTT PILATES® Specialist designation, instructors must be certified in STOTT PILATES at any level and must complete a total of eight workshops per track. There are currently nine tracks available: Active for Life, Athletic Conditioning, Dance, Golf Conditioning, Group Equipment, Group Matwork, Interdisciplinary, Pre-and Post-natal and Post-Rehabilitation Conditioning.
As a result of taking workshops in those areas of focus, among dozens of others, Anneliese gained additional credentials, earned CECs and learned practical knowledge that she was able to integrate into her work as a movement educator and facilitator.
Anneliese has worked with a diverse range of clients, from those looking to tone up to those with rehabilitation needs post-surgery, illness and injury. She’s also worked with dance students, professional dancers, teen athletes, seniors and clients dealing with neurological issues.
“With this diversity in my client population, the variations taught through different workshops gave me a broader repertoire of movement to choose from. By taking the STOTT PILATES Specialty Tracks workshops, I also had the chance to study with about 20 different Instructor Trainers and hear their experiences and explanations which further broadened my knowledge base,” she says.
“I found all of the tracks interesting and beneficial for working with different populations depending on where I was located and the clientele I was working with at the time.”
Want to become a Specialist? Find out more.