On this episode of Industry Change we sit down with Sharon Simmons from Pilates Association of Australia. Pilates has come a long way from obscurity and burst onto the mainstream fitness scene in the last few years and the PAA does a great job in setting the standards for the industry as well as supporting Pilates Studio’s and Instructors.
If you’re unfamiliar with Pilates – where have you been hiding? Pilates actually covers a wide range of styles from your basic Mat Pilates to Reformer, Studio and now more of a fitness focused group classes.
The PAA is a not for profit organisation that provides professional membership for it’s members. The provide advocacy to the government for the Pilates industry as well as supporting studio’s and instructors with education and general issues. They also recommend accredited courses for Pilates Instructors to ensure that there is a certain level of quality being practiced throughout the industry.
Pilates is a great addition to the industry for many people who are not the kind of people who like to go and ‘smash out a session’ at their local gym. PIlates works more with mindful movement and trying to connect the movement you are doing with the body. And it’s great for everyone! Including your regular gym go-ers who want to incorporate it into their more heavy sessions, through to people with injuries and even elite athletes are getting into it.
In such a crowded marketplace it’s important to be seen to partner with the right associations. It elevates you above the competition and also gives the consumer confidence in the instructors abilities to teach a class that is a high standard and in line with the industry standard.
So, what do you need to be successful as a Pilates Instructor or Studio? For instructors Sharan suggests that it’s always better to know what you’re good at and promote that only. In other words – don’t try to be all things to all people. If you’re at your best when you’re working with the older population and people with injuries – stick to that and do it really well.
For studio’s owners success often comes through providing a variety of classes for your members. A variety of classes gives people options for trying out different styles because with Pilates it is often better to do more variations of things, than more reps.
The biggest prediction that Sharan has for the rest of 2020 is that there will be even more diversity within the Pilates space. More and more consumers are choosing Pilates classes and studio’s as part of a real move towards health and wellness and using movement as medicine. The challenge for the industry will be keeping the quality as the industry continues to grow.
If you want to know more about Pilates Alliance Austrlia you can visit their website pilates.org.au