Meet Pilates Instructor Nancy Bright
STUDIO BE: Nancy, would you tell our readers a little about yourself?
NANCY: I have been fortunate to have participated in many sports and physical activities throughout my life, and I have concluded that Pilates is by far the single most effective and safe physical training for all ages. I am passionate about Pilates so being able to teach and share it with others is the perfect outlet for that passion! Nothing makes me happier than a student telling me they feel better! Well maybe hanging out with my teenage twins and my husband makes me as happy.
STUDIO BE: Who or what have been the biggest influences in your Pilates teaching style, and how has it evolved over time?
NANCY: My own curiosity and desire to continue to learn and understand the multitude of connections in the body has been the biggest influence on my teaching over the past nine years. I think it is natural for every teacher to evolve over time as they learn better ways to communicate. Each teacher takes what makes sense to them and adapts it for their own purposes, which are aimed at effectively conveying ideas and information to the student. Often just keeping it simple is a challenge because there is so much going on. I love the mental work of Pilates, it is what keeps Pilates interesting and challenging. After 16 years of my own Pilates practice, I still experience those “light bulb” moments, and they are always thrilling. So I love it when I can help students experience them also. I can always see it in their eyes!
STUDIO BE: Describe how you view the teacher/student relationship and the role each plays in Pilates.
NANCY: My job as a Pilates teacher is to guide the student thru the Pilates repertoire. The work is absolutely brilliant, and it is through the work that we reap the benefits. If any movement is too challenging or unsafe to begin with, then I break it down to manageable pieces or stepping stones so the student can succeed. I need to find the right words to enable the student to understand the movement. It is the student’s job to focus and be open to finding new connections in their bodies.
STUDIO BE: What are your strengths as a Pilates instructors.
NANCY: When I teach I am 100 percent focused on the person or people in front of me. I put a lot of energy into my teaching. Over the years, I have learned to trust my intuition, and the students have taught me to be more compassionate. I am grateful to my students for sharing with me. I want very much to help them achieve their goals.
STUDIO BE: Generally speaking, how many classes a week should students take to see consistent progress?
NANCY: Once is not enough! Seriously, what else do we do in our lives where we gain competency or progress by doing that thing one time a week! At least twice is better, and three times a week is better yet. Pilates is safe enough to do every day. It is great if you can mix it up with classes and privates. My body complains (and I listen) if I don’t get in my regular Pilates and I hear this from students as well!
STUDIO BE: What else would you like our readers to know about you or Pilates?
NANCY: One of the key benefits of Pilates is that it is so functional. It will help you better perform your everyday activities and enjoy other physical activities. I discovered this yet again recently as I started riding horses seriously. I was able to make rapid progress largely because I had a base level of fitness and strength from Pilates. It helps that the cues the instructor gives me are similar to those we use in Pilates, such as “Widen your collarbones,” or “Sit tall on your sitz bones.” I don’t think I would have taken up that challenge if I didn’t have the strong foundation and confidence that Pilates has given me! And I have to admit I love that feeling of flying over those jumps.