Interview with Alycea Ungaro | Plans for Returning to the Pilates Studio

alycea ungaro

We interviewed Alycea Ungaro on her comprehensive plan for reopening her Real Pilates studios in NYC. The video was lost when my phone died as I was saving 😣so we put together our Q&A here with links to everything we talked about. 

I’ll be following up with Alycea in a few weeks with an update so stay tuned!

Just a little background about Alycea Ungaro – she owns several studios in New York City, is the author of many books, a trainer to loads of celebrities and runs an international training program all under the umbrella of Real Pilates©.

Alisa Wyatt:

You own several studios that are on the larger side in terms of space. How many clients/teachers will be working at a time? 

Alycea Ungaro:

– Alycea shared that when they open the studio the ‘we’ is important – it needs to be about the clients and the studio cooperating and working together.

– The studio will be communicating the plan in advance both through email and on the website

– They will start with a two-week plan because the situation evolves and changes rapidly.

– They will shift scheduling so fewer people are in the studio for more hours of the day rather than just in peak hours – for a less crowded space.

– They are separating cubbies so people are not together as they come in or leave.

– Any teacher who doesn’t feel ready to return will not be asked to come into the studio and will be able to continue teaching from home virtually.

Alisa Wyatt: 

Are you marking off areas on the floor the way stores and restaurants have to remind everyone of spacing?

Alycea Ungaro:

– Alycea created “lanes” in the studio to minimize the amount of crossover of people in the studio.  Her studio will have sticky signs on the wall to indicate Tower 1, Wunda 1, Spine Corrector 1, etc.

– The teacher and the client stay in that “lane” for that 50 to 55 minute lesson.  At the end of the hour, the client cleans that lane.  The next hour that lane will be empty for extra cleaning by the front desk staff.

– Clients will do first clean and desk staff will do a second deep clean during the off hour so teachers can focus on teaching.

Alisa Wyatt: 

What about Face masks? Do clients need to wear them? Teachers?

Alycea Ungaro:

– Teachers will wear face shields so they can be seen and heard by the client. Alycea will provide the shields and they will stay in the studio and be sanitized every night. They are using to provide shields.

– Clients will be responsible for bringing in their own masks and will wear them throughout the lesson. They will have extra available for purchase in the studio in case someone forgets theirs.

– There may be a change in type of workouts because it’s unappealing to do the 100s or other endurance type of exercises in a mask. So they’ll be working less on endurance and more on strength and flexibility. 

– Old Navy is doing a good job of making inexpensive cloth masks to have on hand.

– Socks will be required in the studio.

Alisa Wyatt: 

There’s plastic stuff they use to cover handles in doctors offices – what about that? 

Alycea Ungaro:

– Some studios are using Medical Barrier Film which can be peeled off after a client uses it. This may not be the time to be “green.”

Alisa Wyatt: 

Are you monitoring the temperatures of your teachers and clients? And what about keeping records for contact tracing?

Alycea Ungaro:

– Please always consult your local ordinances and recommendations.

– Alycea bought contact-free thermometer “guns” – and they are looking at the disposable ones as well. Likely will find a hybrid. Teachers will be monitored every day.

– Clients will fill out forms and self-report. She asked MindBody about reporting software and they are working on integration with Waiver King which she’s using for her studios. The data will be collected in the event the CDC requests the information.

– Note that you may already have software you can use without buying another.

Alisa Wyatt:

Will you cover items that clients touch like the foot straps and leather straps?

Alycea Ungaro:

– No. From what has been reported, the virus doesn’t live as long on natural and porous surfaces such as leather and fabric and since there will be a double cleaning and an hour between clients, we don’t believe that is necessary. Again, you should check your local ordinances and the CDC.

Alisa Wyatt: 

What about asking clients to buy those cloth covers that fit over the Reformer? 

Alycea Ungaro:

– Alycea’s studios are offering a drawstring bag available for purchase that contains, a blanket to cover the reformer carriage (available at, a pair of cheap handles (available on amazon – search reformer handles), and a sticky pad. 

– Ideally these bags will live on pegs on the wall of the studio so they don’t go home with the client.

Alisa Wyatt: 

How much to charge for lessons?  

Alycea Ungaro:

– She put packages on hold to get through the stay at home. That kept money coming in during that time as 60% of her clients continued with virtual workouts.  

– When people come back, there will be a reduced rate for a period of time (say 2 weeks) then back up to the regular price.

Alisa Wyatt: 

Should we prepare to start teaching clients without spotting? 

Alycea Ungaro: 

– Alycea is hosting a workshop on non-touch cuing. 

Alisa Wyatt: 

Some people have been reporting difficulties finding the wipes, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, and other supplies you need to keep the studio clean?

Alycea Ungaro:

– Look for janitorial, medical, and clinical supplies as well as gym supplies.

– Shipping is actually happening faster than listed.

Thanks Alycea for sharing and thanks to all of you who joined us for this live Q&A – we will be doing more so please stay tuned to your inbox for announcements.


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Alisa Wyatt

Alisa Wyatt

From the Community

  1. Sean Gallagher

    Sean Gallagher

    Member since 2013

    to bad about the technical issues

    • Alisa Wyatt

      Alisa Wyatt

      Member since 2011

      Thanks Sean!

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