Written by Zoey Trapp, MS
Years ago, early in our Peak Pilates® education history we held a Master Instructor Camp with the theme of Cherish the Tradition. We reminded all of our MIs how important it was to adhere to our classical roots, to preserve the Pilates Principles, Session Format, orders, transitions, and unique exercise rhythms… We expressed our classical passion throughout educational materials, lesson plans and assessments.
Twenty years later we are still evolving, and while we hold true to those classical tenants, we now cherish our own unique Peak Pilates® heritage. As I spoke with some of the MIs this week about which traditions were meaningful to them, many expressed pride over how we have maintained our classical emphasis, while others spoke of our unique teaching methodology, coaching and mentoring , and PES (Pilates Empowerment Summit).
What started as a good teaching system, The 5-Part Formula for Success, has been honed and polished over the years. While the words on paper are the same, the way we bring things to life through audio and video tutorials, drills and workshops, is unparalleled. The learning is in the doing, the bringing to life of concepts that when read seem mysterious. And as attendees receive coaching, they benefit from how to hone their teaching skills and bring the formula from the pages of the manual to real life teaching.
At Peak we have a proud tradition of teaching coaching and feedback skills that can accelerate learning and growth. This focus begins at MI Camp, is carried through the co-teaching process, and continues to grow as MIs receive more coaching on professional development and at reunions. Mentoring is received by each MI during camp where they work one-to-one over four months with a Senior Master Instructor who has special training in developing MI talent. No MI at Peak is left on their own to figure things out. They are all fostered by a mentor as well as the Executive Director of Education & Training. This system is demanding for both MI and Mentor but reaps huge rewards and is exemplified by the hugely talented MI team who are the front line of Peak education.
PES has become a tradition full of Peak pride, fun, top presenters, diverse educational offerings, and community. Since the first year, we dedicated the Saturday evening cocktail party to not just building community and having social time, but sitting quietly and exploring classical history with speakers like Mary Bowen, Lolita San Miguel, Kathy Grant, Michael Fritzke, and Ton Voot, as well as large panels of Pilates luminaries, who shared their perspectives and answered questions.
COVID has created new challenges and at Peak we have led the way by going virtual. We host online workshops and provide Free First Friday workouts to reach our community and uplift them during these difficult times. New traditions dictated by circumstance have become part of our educational web. This year, we also launched our new PeakU platform, allowing us to broaden and deepen our education through an amazing mix of online assets, which prepare the attendee to come to the live training and maximize the time together.
At Peak, we believe in continuous improvement. We believe in building community, and we believe in cherishing the tradition of classical and Peak history! If you are a Peak Pilates® Certified Instructor, join our Facebook Group called Peak Pilates® Certified Instructors. Or check out our Peak Pilates® Facebook and Instagram pages —let’s stay connected.