Inside the Pilates Studio: Tiziana Trovati
Tiziana Trovati began her study of the Pilates Method in 1992. Originally from Milan, Italy, Tiziana came to New York City to continue her dance career and to study with Joe Pilates’ protégé, Romana Kryzanowska, at Drago’s Gymnasium, now True Pilates NY.
Although I first met Tiziana in California, I saw her again in 2005 when I had my Romana’s Pilates entrance assessment at Drago’s in New York City. I recognized her while she was having a spectacular lesson with Sari. Tiziana was quite the powerhouse and she went on and on doing all kinds of super-advanced fancy exercises.
We got to know each other a little more at the Romana’s Pilates conference in New Orleans in 2008. Before we had to leave for the airport I got to talk with Tiziana about her time with Romana.
Fridays @ 11
Tiziana is a 2nd-generation instructor who studied with Romana every week for many years. Her duet lesson which she lovingly calls ‘Fridays at 11’ earned her the nickname ‘Mighty Mouse’. Petite Tiziana worked in tandem with over-6-feet-tall Peter Fiasca even in exercises considered to be mainly for men. How fun it must have been for Romana to teach this powerhouse duet.
Recently I learned of Tiziana’s study of Ballroom Dancing. In the midst of soliciting images and videos for this post I came across…dance competition videos! So enjoy a little extra surprise at the end of this post…the Mambo!
1. What is your favorite Pilates exercise and why?
Tiziana Trovati: My favorite Pilates exercise is the Roll Up. It is basic and simple, but so yummy. I love how it articulates the spine and stretches the back and legs.
2. What exercise is your least favorite? Pick only one.
TT: Really? One only? LOL! The Round and Reach Up of the Stomach Massage Series. My hips and lower back are tight so it’s hard for me to lift out of it.
3. What turns you on creatively, mentally or physically about the Pilates method?
TT: Yesterday, I had a client come in saying that while she was caring for her grandchildren she kept hearing my voice, “scoop your stomach”, “use your powerhouse”, so she didn’t hurt her back. Changing peoples’ bodies and health has been very rewarding and inspiring to me. As for my personal inspiration, I like that in Pilates you can do your routine over and over again, but there’s always a little more “juice” to squeeze out of the exercise. Oh and the fact that there’s always something more: either a more advanced version or a variation. Fun! Fun!
4. What is your idea of earthly happiness?
TT: Making a difference in people’s lives. I get so happy when people come to me tired, unhealthy and hurt and after a few weeks they have found that it is rewarding to take care of themselves.
5. What to your mind would be the greatest misfortune?
TT: When people are too lazy and set into their old ways of unhealthy living (lack of exercise and bad diet) and they make every excuse and fall off the “Pilates wagon.”
6. What is your favorite Pilates word?
TT: The classic scoop your stomach. It is the perfect image of how to engage the abdominals in the Pilates method. I also liked when Romana used Spanish words like arriba, or when Sari says, cha cha cha, when doing the Seal.
7. What is your least favorite Pilates word?
TT: “Yogalates” or “Poolates” or anything that implies Pilates but is not real Pilates. I’m a big believer that, like Romana says, “if it wasn’t created by Joseph Pilates you can’t call it Pilates.” So when I hear words like those my stomach turns!!
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
TT: Actually something very similar to my present career. I’d like to be a physical therapist and open a clinic that incorporates Pilates and body work.
9. If Heaven exists, and by some chance when you arrive at the pearly gates Joseph Pilates is also there, what would you like to hear him say to you?
TT: “Good job, I see you have a Pilates body.”
10. What did you learn today?
TT: This question reminds me of what Romana used to ask us at the end of every day: “did you learn anything today? If you learned one thing, you are a genius!” I learn something every day from my clients and people close to me in my personal life… I love how life is a journey.
Tiziana has lots of wonderful classes on Pilatesology, even one where she neatly, sweetly kicks my own popo. (Romana’s word for the seat, posterior, buttocks. She very much discouraged her teachers from the using the word ‘butt’ – oops, sorry)
Speaking of popo…