Spring Camp Anecdotes

Have you ever been curious about Vintage Pilates’ Seasonal Camps, but never made the jump to attend? Below, two Spring Camp participants from last year share what motivated them to take part in the program, and what they got out of their experiences.

Some people come for the chance to take workshops from Jay Grimes and other Vintage Pilates instructors. Some come to commune with Pilates practitioners from all over the world. And, some come because they are interested in applying to our Masters Program: The Work.

No matter what your reason, you are bound to have fun, work hard and get exposed to the Vintage Pilates philosophy, as passed down from Joe Pilates via Jay Grimes. Seasonal Camps welcomes practitioners from all backgrounds and levels.

Alison Mannheim’s Story

Alison practicing teaching with her hands during last year’s Spring Camp

Alison is a long-time client of ours, and is a Senior Pilates instructor at Equinox. Before dedicating her career to Pilates, she was a writer, which is evident in her observational powers and witty banter. Here, she writes a beautiful essay on her Spring Camp experience last year:I am a total Vintage Pilates groupie and will attend the opening of an envelope if they host one, so of course I try to come to the workshops! I always feel lucky to live so near to a resource that other people fly halfway around the world to take advantage of. We’re spoiled in L.A.

Last year I took a workshop with Karen on ‘Seeing the Body in Front of You’ [it was called “Visual Teaching”] that involved making quick sketches and gesture drawings. Because I’m not an intuitive ‘body person’ (as a former writer, I’m a words person!), this really helped me focus on the body in front of me and quickly discover postural imbalances that I could address with my teaching. It gave me much more confidence in my ability as a teacher because I learned to trust my vision. It also reminded me of how much I enjoyed gesture drawings and sketches, something I had not done since arts camp as a kid in the 1980’s!

I don’t see myself doing The Work (I’m still tackling Long Spine Stretch!) but I do value being a part of the Vintage community, and the community is an international one. I love to meet Pilates instructors from around the world, in particular Latin America, because I am learning Spanish and I’d like to be able to teach in Spanish one day. I feel like a member of the hippest, coolest and smartest Pilates community around.

I also get excited seeing bodies I know from Pilatesology in the flesh! It’s like when you’re at Gelson’s and you see a character actor you recognize from HBO in the yogurt aisle. Thrilling!

It’s wonderful to learn and practice alongside teachers who have decades of experience and still seek to understand this work even more and continually refine their teaching. My Equinox colleague Lesley Logan says, ‘Never stop learning’ and I feel like the Spring Camps are a great way to do that. The worst part? Getting over my stage fright in front of such distinguished fellow students!

Alison Manheim

Noam Gagnon’s Story

Noam at Spring Camp

Jay makes an adjustment on Noam’s body during Spring Camp 2015.

Noam runs his own Pilates studio in Vancouver, Canada (Beyond Pilates). He is also the founder, Artistic Director and choreographer of Holy Body Tattoo dance company. As of this writing, he is in the process of putting the finishing touches to a full-length dance production titled “Monumental”, which will make a stop at UCLA’s Royce Hall this Fall.

What was amazing about Spring Camp at Vintage Pilates was that no matter who you are or how long you have been doing Pilates I guarantee you, you will learn something. Another plus is that it is also a great way to meet other amazing practitioners from around the world.

The caliber of the Camps offered at Vintage Pilates is world class. I have always learned new things and sometimes it is amazing to simply realize how much you already know. It inspired my own personal practice and elevated it to a new level. I found myself incorporating what I have learned naturally and instinctively into my daily teaching of my clients.

I came to Spring Camp to prepare for The Work and to work with Jay Grimes. I wanted to learn about his approach and his views on Pilates. Jay and everyone at Vintage are amazingly generous. It’s a world like no other. I highly recommend it even if you are not planning to prepare for
The Work.

The best thing was to be part of a positive sharing environment and to discover Jay Grimes, who is delightful and hilarious. He shares his many years of Pilates experience in the most effective and simplest way possible, which is also true for everyone who teaches at Vintage Pilates.

Vintage Pilates has successfully been able to create a generous learning environment where everyone’s experiences are welcome and valued.

Noam Gagnon