A long-time fitness enthusiast with a passion for rock climbing and kayaking, Josee Chen discovered STOTT PILATES® after injuring her shoulder during a training session. It was the beginning of a new career journey.
“Fortunately, my first Pilates instructor was a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor. After taking dozens of private lessons, I decided to enroll in the STOTT PILATES® Instructor Training courses and workshops through Merrithew™,” she says.
The quality of the STOTT PILATES Education and the high demand for mindful movement classes and training in China convinced her to establish her own professional Pilates studio, Beijing Body+, and partner with Merrithew to provide top-quality instructor training at her Host Training Center in Beijing.
Bringing her international experience in market management working for several multinational companies, Josee was undaunted by the idea of launching and expanding her instructor training business. She also received support from Merrithew, such as venue design/layout, equipment configuration, and knowledge of the fitness education market, to help get her started.
Beijing Body+ opened at the end of 2019 during the COVID-19 pandemic. While it was a challenging time, Josee says the pandemic has also presented a silver lining— it’s motivated people to start paying more attention to their health.
“Mindful movement satisfies the need for physical and mental balance,” she says. “The pandemic prompted a surge in market demand for mindful movement instructor training. More people are leaving the corporate world to pursue self-realization, and they’re looking for a safe, scientific and effective form of exercise education, just like STOTT PILATES.”
Through her Host Training Center, Josee hopes to introduce students and instructors from Beijing and around the country to Merrithew’s high-quality education and equipment, so they can learn the proper scientific-based techniques and skills needed to teach their clients how to move more mindfully in class and at home.
Even though it might have seemed like a big risk at the time, Josee believes her decision to pursue Pilates as a career was a smart choice that will have lifelong benefits.
“With the development of China’s economy, the Chinese have higher demands for a better quality of life. Pilates is known and loved by more and more Chinese people. Clients who practice Pilates usually have higher standards and expectations of their coach’s skills and abilities, which leads to a huge gap in the demand for professional Pilates instructors in the Chinese market. A certification with a reputable organization like Merrithew is a globally recognized designation and is the seal of professionalism.
“Professional Pilates instructors have a very long career life. Many European and American Pilates instructors in their 60s are still active in the classroom. That means investing in a reputable certification in the earlier stages of one’s career will bring an instructor decades of meaningful work opportunities.”
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