How did you come to work with Ron Fletcher?
Anne Hathaway In 1991, I wanted Eve to teach a workshop at my studio, but she was not well enough, so Michele suggested that I ask Ron. I gathered up my courage and called him. He was wonderful! After that, I brought him to my studio once or twice a year until 2001. He granted me the distinction of Master Teacher in 2000. Ron showed me the importance of breathing deeply and the breath’s connection to movement during the entire range of each exercise. Ron’s Spine Corrector work is what helped heal my back. Ron was definitely a character, though! My grandmother used to call me a spitfire—and that was Ron. He was complex and wonderful to work with. The Elders taught me the classical repertoire in various workshops and privately. Each taught it in their own way, which suggests they made it their own. When they worked with me individually, they modified the exercise if needed.
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You’ve run a number of teacher-training programs over the years, right?
Anne Hathaway In 1990, I developed a teacher-training program for Texas Woman’s University. At the end of the program, those students would come to my studio for a four-week summer intensive. In the mid ’90s, I worked with the Institute for the Pilates Method (now the PhysicalMind Institute). I realized I couldn’t train people in only three months. So I began codifying my own program, which was around 800 hours, and included both written and practical exams. An outside teacher graded the practical. PS What are your favorite workshops? Anne Hathaway My favorites include any that deal with low-back and sacroiliac dysfunction, and especially prenatal and postnatal. I also wrote a book with a companion DVD, Exercise for Pregnancy and Beyond. PS How did you end up moving to Spokane, WA? Anne Hathaway By 2001, I was getting lost—I wanted to develop my creative side and focus on my children. I consulted a friend who does astrocartography, and we decided on Spokane.
I wasn’t planning on teaching, but the house we bought had a perfect studio space, so Sam built me a studio. People heard I was a Pilates teacher, and I started teaching again—clients and teachers. I also taught and hosted workshops, bringing in Toni Beck and Michele Larsson, among others. PS You moved back to Houston in 2015? Anne Hathaway Yes. After the Great Recession, our businesses never really recovered. The kids had grown up; the youngest was 12. My mother had passed, and I wanted to spend more time with my dad and Sam’s family in Texas. I had clients begging for me to come back. I started teaching at Pilates Houston and quickly had a waitlist. That was pretty incredible. PS What’s next for your career? Anne Hathaway I am in the process of opening my own studio this fall. I like the challenge of growing and developing a program. Alan Herdman is presenting a workshop in Houston on February 9–11. Without Pilates and Alan Herdman’s work in particular, I could not have achieved my goals of having children or helping others. I am also teaching at The Women and a Certain Man workshop in Santa Fe on February 2–4. It’s about the various lineages—Eve, Carola, Romana Kryzanowska, Kathleen Stanford Grant and Ron.
FAVORITE APPARATUS Spine Corrector. Diane Severino was the first to put me on it. She said, “Go backwards.” I trusted her, and I heard all this cracking I hadn’t heard in years. The Spine Corrector has become my favorite piece of equipment. It truly helped my back problems and is so versatile.
FAVORITE MAT EXERCISE Teaser and Swan Dive.
HARDEST MOVE TO MASTER Teaser. It took me 15 years to be able to do a Teaser! I just didn’t have the strength to do it. Once when I was in Santa Fe, I worked for an hour with Eve on Teaser. Later that day, Michele decided we would also work on the Teaser. They had conspired! But I finally mastered it. Now I love it.
WHO INSPIRES YOU AS A TEACHER So many people! Alan, Ron, Eve and Michele. They inspire me because of their commitment to the work. As Ron used to say, the more you know, the more you don’t know. We keep learning and growing.
FAVORITE BRAND OF CLOTHING FOR PILATES Anything formfitting. I like Athleta.
HER 15 MINUTES OF FAME I worked on Jaclyn Smith’s 1994 video, Workout for Beauty and Balance. I did the floor work, and Mari Winsor did the aerobics section. Jaclyn is so beautiful, gracious and kind.
MOST SATISF YING MOMENT AS A TEACHER In 35 years, there have been so many. Seeing teachers I’ve trained open their own studios. Teaching my daughter to teach Pilates. Seeing people who’ve been in pain find a pain-free life. Watching a man who wanted to walk take his first two steps. Working with a woman who had been sexually abused as a child—it was too traumatizing for her to lie down to do any of the work, so I developed a seated program for her. My clients are my heroes. To this day, I love this work and am privileged to make a difference in others’ lives. For more information, visit Elizabeth’s website, pilatesrehab.org.