How did you get into Pilates, and what do you like about it?
I learned about Pilates when reading Dance Australia as teenager in Adelaide and took my first session at seventeen. I didn’t like it at the start so didn’t continue. A year later I started a full-time dance programme at Queensland University of Technology and after a great session, attended twice-weekly for about three years which helped my posture, memory retention and taught me how to use my body productively without fighting my natural structure. This laid an invaluable foundation for my first comprehensive training course.
What most excites you about this collaboration?
Pilates may be one of the few professions that is female dominated and to be part of a profession that has no gender pay-gap, offers flexible hours for those building a family or studying is wonderful. I love this. But also, products and apparel understandably are female-focussed. Rarely is anything created for Men (I get the irony in 2019 to be saying that men are left out)… but… Pilates is for everybody and men do need apparel that they are comfortable in. I’m excited because this colab goes beyond the superficial and provides a product that takes into account my needs as an instructor and also as a male client and Pilates lover.
Apart from Pilates, how do you wind down at the end of the day?
Honestly, I don’t do Pilates to wind down … it excites me and help me live my life beyond the Reformer. To wind down… I stroll with Dexter, read and more often than not, turn into a human blob watching ‘content’. I also love to drive aimlessly.
What’s your favourite treat or cheat meal?
I try not to reward myself with food but I do love anything with a potato.
If you had the chance to have dinner with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Oh, well … my deceased grandparents. I would like to know more about their lives in Greece and Malta, what it was like migrating at a time when they weren’t wanted in the new country but needed desperately to be here. It would be a delight to enjoy a cup of tea with them and share the evening. My paternal grandparents did everything they could to keep their family fed and clothed and had many small businesses over the years, some a success, some not. My maternal grandparents came travelled from Malta via the convent … it’s a long story.
What do you want people to know who are considering giving Pilates a go?
I want prospective clients to know what they are getting into. Are they doing a version of Classical Pilates, Reformer fitness class for a cracking workout, rehabilitative movement education to help with injuries/pathologies/dysfunction, soft C Classical, a bit of this and a bit of that? I think clients have a right to know what they are paying for and how their teachers are trained. It’s not a case of one ‘type’ being better than another, not at all. It is however important that a client’s objectives are matched by their training style and teaching method. This will lead to success and a greater understanding of how specialised our best teachers are!
It’s also important that a client understands that Pilates involves concentrating, receiving feedback from the teacher and connecting to your body in a mindful, technical way. It’s a collaboration, not a passive treatment. It should be uplifting and you should enjoy your session on a few levels. If not, don’t abandon Pilates and jump into spin class… find another studio (or six) where the instructors are trained through alternate educators and give them all a go and rinse and repeat until you find the trifecta (teacher, studio, results).
If you could time travel, what era would you go to and why?
Easy. The Great Exhibition, Paris, 1900. What a time and place to be alive …. innovation, fashion, celebration!
What’s your go-to quick and easy breakfast meal?
Oats, berries, nuts, yoghurt (or similar) often prepared the night before and refrigerated for a faux-Bircher effect. Perfect when I’m up yet again at 5am.
Sunday: Croissant. No question.
What are the best Pilates accessories you couldn't live without?
All of Joe’s gizmos get me pretty excited …. Foot corrector, the tensometers (hand, toe, neck) and the foot strap on the mat helps me tremendously.
What do you wish you knew 5 years ago, and why?
The planets align when they do and no amount of force will make this happen even a second earlier. Also, haters gonna hate.
What colours, prints and trends do you like for the Pilates accessories you use?
I am a fan of colour and movement … black or standard is not an option. My studio, The Movement Refinery uses a crisp blue (Fjord Blue) as the base and builds in shades of purple, peach and dusty rose, accented with black and brass. I’d love to see some jaw-dropping large scale florals on a Wundachair or Barrel! I appreciate innovation where it’s required and I look forward to sustainable practice becoming de rigueur in our industry. I like to keep it simple and don’t purchase junk-equipment or toys - these days at least!
Favourite place in the world to travel and why?
Current obsession is London. I am starting to know my way around and I love that it’s essentially a buffet of villages and experiences… you can sample or feast on museums, theatre, and enjoy food from a genuinely multi-cultural metropolis. Other cities are just a quick trip away by train or plane. BRILL! Next obsession: Portugal.