The Pilates Elders

The Pilates elders are those who trained with Joseph Pilates in his studio in New York in the first part of the 20th century. They went on to found their own studios from where they taught the Pilates Method.

  • Clara Pilates – His wife, who taught alongside him and continued to run the studio after his death
  • Mary Bowen – A student who developed her Pilates teaching in conjunction with her work as a Jungian analyst
  • Robert Fitzgerald – A student and dancer who opened his own studio in New York catering to other dancers
  • Ron Fletcher – A dancer with the Martha Graham company, who opened a studio in Los Angeles where he developed his own style
  • Eve Gentry – Another dancer who developed her own Pilates approach
  • Kathy Grant – One of only two students who was certified to teach by Joseph Pilates himself
  • Jay Grimes – A dancer who studied with Joseph, Clara and later Romana, teaching alongside her
  • Bruce King – A member of the Merce Cunningham dance company who opened his own studio
  • Romana Kryzanowska – A student who later took over his studio focusing on the classical Pilates tradition
  • Lolita San Miguel – The second of the two students who were certified to teach by Joseph Pilates himself
  • Carola Trier – The first person to open her own studio with Joseph Pilates’ personal blessing

I am privileged to have attended training workshops with both Mary Bowen (b. 1930) and Lolita San Miguel (b. 1934), who continue to teach Pilates today.