Joseph Pilates

How Pilates Began

Joe went to England in 1912, where he worked as a self-defense instructor for detectives at Scotland Yard. At the outbreak of World War I, Joe was interned as an “enemy alien” with other German nationals. During his internment, Joe refined his ideas and trained other internees in his system of exercise. He rigged springs to hospital beds, enabling bedridden patients to exercise against resistance, an innovation that led to his later equipment designs. An influenza epidemic struck England in 1918, killing thousands of people, but not a single one of Joe’s trainees died. This, he claimed, testified to the effectiveness of his system.

In 1926, Joe immigrated to the United States. During the voyage he met Clara, whom he later married. Joe and Clara opened a fitness studio in New York, sharing an address with the New York City Ballet.

By the early 1960s, Joe and Clara could count among their clients many New York dancers. George Balanchine studied “at Joe’s,” as he called it, and also invited Pilates to instruct his young ballerinas at the New York City Ballet.

“Pilates” was becoming popular outside of New York as well. As the New York Herald Tribune noted in 1964, “in dance classes around the United States, hundreds of young students limber up daily with an exercise they know as a pilates, without knowing that the word has a capital P, and was a living person.

Joe continued to train clients at his studio until his death in 1967, at the age of 87. In the 1970s, Hollywood celebrities discovered Pilates via Ron Fletcher’s studio in Beverly Hills.

Where the stars go, the media follows. In the late 1980s, the media began to cover Pilates extensively. The public took note, and the Pilates business boomed. “I’m fifty years ahead of my time,” Joe once claimed. He was right. No longer considered the workout of the elite, Pilates has entered the fitness mainstream. Today, over 10 million Americans practice Pilates, and the numbers continue to grow.

Go to www.pilates.com to learn more about the history of Pilates and the Pilates Elders.

Location

Pure Movement Pilates Studio:
A Pilates, Barre, and Bodhi Suspension System Studio

526 West Jefferson Boulevard
Fort Wayne, IN 46802

tel: 260-420-1000
email: info@puremovementstudio.com

Private & Personal Group Classes

Small and unique classes designed for your individual needs and goals.

Highly Trained Instructors

    Pure Movement is affiliated with Balanced Body, the Pilates Method Alliance and the Pink Ribbon Program. Find out more…

Copyright © 2015 Pure Movement Pilates Studio. All rights reserved. Pure Movement Studio | 526 W. Jefferson Blvd. Fort Wayne, IN 46802 | (260) 420-1000 | info@puremovementstudio.com