Steal from the Best (and now for something completely different…)


I am an ardent admirer of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. We recently celebrated our 40th birthdays together a *few* years ago. Python is sketch comedy writing at its tightest and silliest. I can watch these guys over and over again and laugh every single time. Choose to steal any bit from Monty Python and you have yourself an actor-proof sure-fire gem of comedy. They are simply the best!

Yup. Guilty.

Communication can be an enormous asset to a teacher. It is clear and precise direction that guides the client safely and efficiently through the entire lesson. Some things I come up with work well immediately and others for a myriad of reasons fall flat and cease to be helpful. More experience brings a teacher deeper into the study of humanity and what we respond to, how we behave and/or misbehave. 

Jay Grimes

For nearly a year now I have been fortunate enough to observe Jay Grimes up close and personal. Jay Grimes is the Monty Python of Pilates. No doubt over his many years of teaching he has gone through numerous corrections to get people to work and connect more deeply. He has seen it all: the good, the bad, the wildly tense, the ridiculously out of control. My favorite game is to watch his gaze follow the movement of his client. His eyes cover a lot of territory as the client moves, darting from one part of the body to the center and back again. I like to challenge myself to discover what he sees. What is he looking at??! He takes it all in, quietly, yes quietly observing. So when he does say something it is usually a goodie; his direction clear and simple, his material deftly edited by his wealth of experience in the Pilates method. Each line is a keeper. So of course I have to try one on and see how it feels. Right?

Be mercenary. Steal from the best! 

During Going Up Front on the Electric Chair there is a point where one is standing with one foot on the Electric Chair, one foot on the pedal. The heel of the pedal foot is up and one must reach the heel down as much as possible, lift it back up again and then continue the exercise. The tendency is that as the heel moves downwards, the back sways or sinks and the stomach goes on vacation, like it is a time for resting. So I usually spend a lot of energy trying to teach people to stay lifted and not let everything go at this point. Jay’s solution as you reach the heel down? “Don’t get any shorter!” 

And don’t you know, it works like a charm. It is very communicative and everybody gets it. Humanity it seems never intentionally desires to be shorter if they can help it…

All I had to do was simply say it. It is a magic correction (Gravitas not included).

Oh and I stole it, you know I did.  







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Andrea Maida

Andrea Maida

A native of Pittsburgh, Andrea began her study of the Pilates method in 2000. She holds two comprehensive certifications from Romana’s Pilates in New York and Excel Movement Studios in Washington, DC.  Andrea continues to study with numerous world-class instructors including Romana Kryzanowska, Jay Grimes, Sari Mejia-Santo, Junghee Kallander, Cynthia Lochard, and Kathryn Ross-Nash whenever possible. Andrea was privileged to be in the inaugural class of The Work at Vintage Pilates under the direction of Jay Grimes, 1st Generation Master Teacher and student of Joseph Pilates. 


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