Teacher Feature: Melanie Petri

Melanie Petri recently started working as a staff instructor at Vintage Pilates – but she is no stranger to our studio! She is a graduate of our Master’s Program THE WORK and has diligently continued her studies with weekly lessons at Vintage. Learn more about this Renaissance woman below!

How did you discover Pilates?
For many years I worked in the day spa industry. My last spa, in about 1999, had an amazing Pilates room with a beautiful view of the Santa Monica bay. From my desk, I could watch the Pilates lessons and was instantly drawn to the beauty of the movement. I noticed how happy everyone was coming and going and how strong and healthy the students and teachers looked. We had plenty of students but could never staff the studio properly. That was before Pilates really grew in popularity and there were only a few teacher training programs. I was in love with Pilates by then and had a studio at my disposal for practice, so I took advantage of the opportunity and entered the training program in Boulder at the Pilates Center as much to further my appetite for knowledge about Pilates as to learn to teach.

Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher out of my love for health. In college and in grad school I studied dietetics and nutrition so I had a base knowledge of the human body and anatomy and physiology. I also had studied as much exercise physiology as I could pack into my college schedule. Through my experience as a nutritionist, I gained an appreciation for preventative medicine and for modalities that maximize health. I see Pilates as a way of increasing quality of life and maximizing vitality. I love watching students breath more freely, walk taller, move with ease and with less pain, have more color in their skin, and smile more. I am more and more excited by the Pilates system every day and am so thankful that I am able to share it.

What are your other passions, and how do they dovetail with Pilates?
My number one love is Pilates. I enjoy taking lessons, watching lessons, dissecting exercises, and talking about Pilates. As far as other physical pursuits, I have started beach volleyball in the last few years and it is a perfect day if I get to go to the beach to play. I love walking my dog, playing tennis, and hiking. Pilates will help me be able to do all of these activities for more years with less pain. I also am learning the Italian language. It would be amazing to be able to teach in Italian. I also enjoy cooking and write a nutrition blog for Pilatesology.

What is your favorite work of art?
I am an avid music fan. My children learned to play instruments when they were young and were steeped in classical music. I introduced them to Led Zeppelin and other classic rock bands as they were growing up. Later, they taught me about more contemporary musicians. Now I enjoy discovering new music and go to concerts often. I also love dance and wish I had learned more about dance. Who knows? Maybe I still will!

Why are you at Vintage Pilates?
I am at Vintage Pilates because my teachers at Vintage have made me love Pilates all over again. I feel like Vintage has illuminated the most vital parts of learning and teaching Pilates so that it is actually more simple yet better and more effective. I couldn’t teach without Gratz equipment anymore. I am grateful to be able to work with my co-workers, who I consider to be among the best teachers I know. Plus, I love being in the studio – everyone is so great! It’s a lot of fun!