Instructor Bio: Natalie Shook NCPT
I am a graduate of the 950 hour Advanced Program at the internationally respected Pilates Center of Boulder, Colorado. This is one of the most highly respected Pilates teacher training programs in the world. TPC’s teacher training program is often referred to as the “Harvard” of Pilates for teacher training and is recognized as one of the most comprehensive and rigorous programs available. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from the best. I am a Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher.
I began student teaching in 2008. I had previously completed various teacher training programs, including a few other brands of full comprehensive 650 hour programs, two of which were contemporary style teaching, other programs I completed claimed to be classical but do not compare to TPC’s superior educational program that I completed later. In addition, I completed Pilates specialty workshops and certifications. These included balance training, neurological Pilates programming, pre-post natal, pink ribbon certification, three different osteoporosis safe Pilates programs, women’s health Pilates, Pilates for golfers, Pilates for runners, Pilates for skiers, Pilates for youth, Pilates for myofascial release, Anatomy Trains, and a few others. I spent years deeply involved with personal fitness and group gym training and I am now in the process of re-certification and the NASM-CES (National Academy of Sports Medicine Corrective Exercise Specialist) certificate.
I am also Stages Cycle Certified and have a love for spin class, where I love to incorporate the Pilates principles on the bike.
How My Teaching Evolved from Contemporary Style to the Classical / Traditional Style : It was actually after spending weekend workshops in the studio studying with a well known Pilates legacy teacher that awakened my curiosity about the classical vs contemporary pilates methods. She was a great teacher who instructs the classical method. As a wonderful bonus, she told stories about her days teaching Madonna and also informed us about safety in all aspects of the equipment use. Shortly after my time spent with her, I had a few private lessons and weekend workshops with another well known Romana’s legacy teacher who was also affiliated with the world famous Vintage Pilates Studio in Los Angeles, CA. After my experiences with classical Pilates taught by Romana personally certified teachers, I was convinced to convert my teaching style into the traditional classical method. With each classical lesson I was given, I became more impressed at how drastically the classical Pilates sessions changed my body in a just few weeks. The depth of this method was so impactful that I felt there was no turning back. It became very clear that I needed to study the classical method from it’s roots so that I could understand and share this information and technique with my students. These positive experiences fueled my passion for the way I currently teach Pilates.
After some thorough research into classical Pilates educational programs, I enrolled at The Pilates Center of Boulder, CO (earlier referenced as TPC ) to complete their 950 hour Advanced Program. While at The Pilates Center of Boulder, Amy Taylor Alpers, Rachel Taylor Segel, Leah Wecksler, Debora Kowley and others worked to help me sharpen my teaching skills. The program at TPC with these legacy teachers built my knowledge of understanding what it is to teach and coach vs just instruct choreography. Learning from the original 2nd generation legacy teachers at TPC gave me a new understanding of this meaningful body-changing method of traditional Pilates in its purest simplest form. After graduating from this program, I decided to add extra training and become a Host Advisor for The Pilates Center. I spent a few years in a role as host advisor and then knew I needed to make the choice to respectfully temporarily set that role aside while I am pursuing some of the items on my bucket list.
In my own Pilates practice, I am very grateful to have had in my past many weekly private lessons with a very special legacy teacher, MeJo Wiggin. She is exceptionally talented, possesses a sense of grace and humility in her character and is one of the most gifted teachers I have ever come across. Her eye for detail and simple word correction is immediate and change of the body comes quickly. Mejo’s style is unique and remarkable. I consider Mejo my mentor and friend who has deeply influenced my personal practice and Pilates teaching in a very positive way. In the distinct way the Mejo directs her straightforward cues, I can relate well to what she is saying in all aspects of her teaching. I look forward to each and every opportunity to have a Pilates lesson with Mejo. The lasting insight gained is a gift that I am able to pass on to each of my own students.
I believe we always have more to learn, we should always be curious and creative. I love movement and healthy lifestyle. With the fitness industry changing in 2020 due to covid, I made a decision to expand my education once again, this time as a NASM-CES (Corrective Exercise Specialist). While I am working very hard toward this difficult goal, I should be scheduling my testing for the CES title very soon. (I have completed the courses with ease, but delayed a test date for personal reasons).
Making the most of my hours during covid lockdown, I spent a good amount of time refreshing my Pilates study in the form of online classes and workshops with Kathi Ross Nash and her unique Red Thread Pilates Method. Exploring the depth of her fascinating teaching has become an addiction. With the shift to online classes, I finally had time to dig into my collection of several of the Red Thread books authored by Kathi. I have had these on my shelf since publication without much time to explore them. While experiencing her instructor only classes and books, I have learned that she is nothing short of a wealth of knowledge for Pilates teachers. I am always on the hunt for more continuing education and personal skill development. I am confident that if you happen to meet her online or in person, you will soon see that her knowledge with Pilates has no end, and no boredom. If not for KRN’s classes and Red Thread books during the pandemic I may have burnt out. I enjoyed the exploration, meeting her, finding kindness and a devoted teacher of Pilates teachers. She is one of the many true Pilates bad asses who is somewhat responsible for keeping me amused and joyfully fit, omitting the boredom during the lockdowns but mostly for renewing my passion, for this wonderful modality that is like none other.
My obsession with studying physical movement, and general fitness, correcting faulty movement patterns through healthy exercise keeps me searching for answers. Most of my emphasis is still Pilates but I love NASM’s corrective exercise specialist programming. I incorporate what I have learned in that program into my teaching of all modalities. I still spend several hours a week (after my own practice, hikes, bike rides and other activity) taking at least one movement workshop and private lesson for my own body, soaking in every bit of information so I can share it back with my own students.
In my pursuit of Pilates education, I have been trained with several of the most well known and respected original Pilates teachers who meticulously strived to preserve the authentic work and teaching of Joseph Pilates known as Contrology (the first name given to the Pilates method) as it was intended to be practiced.
Each one of these wonderful teachers have deeply influenced and enhanced my understanding of movement skills within the traditional Pilates Method. I have a great appreciation for each of these people of whom I could not possibly name individually here on my website. Thank you for who you are, for the knowledge of the Pilates Method in it’s purest form and way it was intended to be practiced. Thank you for the enlightenment, laughter and improved fitness. I hope to do the same for all of my students and preserve this wonderful work.
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