What brought you to Pilates?
During high school, I had a ballet teacher recommend I use Pilates to help my back since I was experiencing discomfort from scoliosis. I dabbled off and on throughout high school, and it wasn’t until I attended the University of Washington and took Ray Houle’s Mat Class at the university gym that I fell in love with how much Pilates helped strengthen and relieve pain in my back! There is so much to Pilates; I love the depth of the work. This was very intriguing as a dancer and mover.
What made you want to become a Pilates teacher?
I love teaching. I love working and connecting with individuals. I love learning new movements, physical tendencies, and testing multiple teaching methods to help something land for a client.
This was a way for me to continue developing myself as a mover and dancer, while also helping others find the same joy in Pilates.Dominique
Why did you choose Atlas Pilates teacher training program?
I met with Lori Coleman-Brown to discuss the teacher training program and to gain more information. Just in talking with her for ten minutes, I could feel her depth of knowledge, our common vocabulary with dance, and her ability to connect with an individual. Lori’s openness and excitement about teaching teachers helped me immediately know that I wanted to be trained by her.
When did you graduate?
What is one of your takeaways from training?
It takes time. It’s tempting to rush and try to do everything at once, but everything takes time. This applies not only to teaching methods, but to life in general for me. I’ve found myself being kinder and more patient with myself over time which has melted into my teaching as well!
Is there something post-graduation that you did not expect Pilates to give you?
I was not expecting how many instantaneous connections this would bring me! I was lucky enough to be able to join Lori to South Korea for a week of Pilates and amazing food/shopping. We went to The Control which is owned by Nan-Young Kim who trained with Jay Grimes. Right when we stepped into her studio, it felt like we were right at home, even though we were in a whole new country. The ability to communicate and bond with strangers over Pilates and movement was incredible! Also, bonding over all the amazing food they fed us! I also had the chance to travel to Nashville with Lori to visit Sonje Mayo, who is an incredible Pilates Teacher as well as a Certified Schroth practitioner. We learned so much about my scoliosis that we were able to bring back to Seattle. This not only shaped more of my workouts, but it also gave us lots of tools for all other clients.
Why do you like teaching Pilates now?
Who wouldn’t like teaching Pilates in a big beautiful studio with amazing clients and awesome coworkers?! My clients give me so much joy and keep me moving forward. Their interest in their own work feeds my excitement.
What Pilates exercise, concept or principle currently holds your attention and why?
Side Kicks! I’ve always loved side kicks. There’s so much to think about and focus on. For a long time I was so determined to keep everything upstream of my hip joint totally still. But I’m starting to explore how the upper body and lower body can move together while still holding true to the exercise. Can there be breath and freedom in the upper body so it’s not rigid? And how can it still be strong without totally falling apart? There is lots to play with and it can continue to evolve like everything else.
Why do you think people should do Pilates?
It is such a powerful tool to learn more about your body. Not only are you getting stronger and learning some cool party tricks, but you will understand and appreciate your body so much more.
Is there a particular exercise that has profoundly changed your body?
Anything on the Wunda Chair. As a dancer, I love having space and freedom in movement. With the Wunda Chair being small, there’s so much space around my body so I don’t feel constricted. And somehow that really helps me drop into my body to experience what it tends to do. I’ve learned the most about my body this way and I believe that the Wunda Chair has given me the most tools to carry over onto other apparatus.
What is your weekly workout routine?
Lots of dancing, Pilates, and boxing. I love the contrast of the three. Dancing is my true passion, and Pilates helps keep me strong and moving safely in rehearsals and in boxing. Boxing helps with stress and is a great hard workout in a different way! It’s a newer workout for me, and learning new movements is such a great way to keep growing.
What are you doing now?
I am teaching at Atlas Pilates, as well as working on the administrative team. I also teach dance at All That Dance and dance professionally for local dance companies.
What’s your favorite food?
Ramen and cake! Ordering ramen was the first full sentence I learned to speak Japanese when I was little, and cake was the first word I learned how to spell. I’ve always kept my priorities straight.
What do you do to unwind?
To unwind, I listen to murder/true crime podcasts while walking my dog. As well as lots of blankets, tea, and “The Office”.
What are 3 words that describe you?
Determined, Goofy, Authentic.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
What’s your signature phrase?
“Let’s dooooo ittttt!”
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