İt’s a fantasy many Pilates pros entertain—teaching the method in an exotic location. Four instructors recount how they made the dream come true
One of the advantages of being a Pilates teacher is that it’s a profession that can be practiced almost anywhere in the world, from Antarctica to Amsterdam to Argentina. teaching in a foreign country is on the bucket list of both veteran studio owners and instructors with freshly minted it’s a fantasy many Pilates pros entertain—teaching the method in an exotic location. Four instructors recount here’s how to make a teaching experience abroad a trip to remember—not the Pilates version of a chevy chase Vacation movie.
Exotic Pilates Movements Photo Gallery
Opposite page: Almquist does A teAser on the beAch in turks And cAicos, where she taught A beach PilAtes clAss. “working on the sAnd would chAllenge our balance like crazy,” she sAys.
Overseas Outpost: turks and caicos Pilates training: the kane school in new york city
CAREER: i taught Pilates for six years at various studios in brooklyn and manhattan.
HOW SHE GOT THE TRAVEL BUG: Although wonderful, my new york lifestyle was becoming exhausting and imbalanced. i was looking for an adventurous life change.
PERSONAL BENEFİTS OF RAVEL TEACHiNG: traveling has truly been one of the best experiences of my life. i have met amazing people, and learned to be more adaptable and poised in all areas of my life. the most exciting outcome has been meeting my fiance—I gave him a Pilates session, and the rest is history!
PROFESSİONAL ADVANTAGES: my schedule in turks and caicos was lighter than in new york, allowing me to experience more joy in teaching Pilates because i was not overworked and had more balance in my life. i was also looking for a fresh perspective on the Pilates studio business model. my thoughts about the company i founded, bodymoxie, which teaches private.
Pilates to entrepreneurial clients who travel the world frequently, were percolating well before i started teaching abroad, but my nomadic career provided me with new inspiration and time to sort out the details.
DOWNSİDES: traveling has really only boosted my Pilates career, though i sometimes did miss the buzz of other teachers and clients in the room.
ADVİCE: this type of work lacks structure, so it’s great if you want a job where every day is different. no matter how much research you do, you’ll never really know what the experience will be like until you actually do it. be flexible, as things won’t always go as planned. if the adventure is calling you, do it while you can!
OBERSEAS OUTPOSTS: bali, Vietnam and the Philippines
Pilates Training: balanced body university and mentorship with donna Parsons of Pilates of north county in solana beach, cA
HOW SHE GOT THE TRAVEL BUG: growing up, i traveled frequently with my family. we went
How to Find a Traveling Teaching Job
Two veterans who have taught around the world reveal the secrets to fiinding your dream job abroad.
Reach out to resorts.
Introduce yourself. “Write a letter stating a brief history of your teaching experience and what you are looking for, along with your resume,” recommends laszlo. Craigslist and conferences are other great places to seek out opportunities, she adds. j
Get a contract! Usually the host studio or resort will provide this; and i asked if it would be possible to connect with one of the five locations in bali, since i was already there. next thing i knew, i had an interview with the regional sales manager— and things went from there. i worked at Amankila resort in bali for seven months in 2014 and then did two stints at Amanoi resort in Vietnam last year. i’m currently teaching at Amanpulo resort on Pamalican island in the Philippines, one of the most beautiful places i’ve ever been! And i may possibly be going to europe after this.
PERSONAL BENEFİTS Of TRAVEL TEACHiNG: when we’re pulled out of our comfort zone, we have an opportunity to develop both personally and professionally. but i won’t lie, it can be a little scary at first! the things you have the opportunity to experience will be life¬changing if you allow them to be.
THIS PAGE: LArsen does A version OF the scorpion on the Ladder barrel At the Amanpulo resort in the Philippines. Photo courtesy of the AmanpuLo resort.
All over the U.s., Vexico and europe, including a few months in greece, Turkey, Italy, Holland, switzerland, France and england. When I got into surfing, i ventured to surf spots like costa rica, new zealand, Australia, hawaii, thailand and sri Lanka. While in college, i spent a semester in Australia.
HOW SHE MADE İT HAPPEN: i moved to bali in 2010 shortly after finishing my Pilates training. i taught Pilates there, basically on a donation basis just for practice. (i was also very involved in volunteer work.) After four years in bali, i decided to try and find a job with a resort abroad, so that i would be able to get a work visa. i wanted to work for a resort chain that had locations all over the world. i contacted almost every one i could think of and ended up hearing back from my number-one choice, Aman resorts. We set up a phone interview,
PROFESSiONAL ADVANTAGES: these teaching opportunities have developed and diversified my abilities. you really have to become a chameleon of sorts because you need to be able to adjust to so many different types of personalities and cultures between the staff and the clients. this job has allowed me to grow personally in my confidence as well as abilities; there is never a moment that you don’t feel you’re being stretched in some way or another.
DOWNSİDES: i think the hardest part about working abroad specifically as a Pilates professional is that there is not a huge Pilates community everywhere. i’m very thankful to be able to go home to study with some incredible mentors like tracey mallett and Wendy Leblanc-Arbuckle. Also, thanks to both the internet and programs like Pilates
Anytime, my life abroad has become 100 times easier in terms of continuing to learn.
Advice: when you arrive in a new place, it’s so important to get to know the staff and build their trust, which means building relationships with them and not hiding out. People will always take care of you if you show them that you care about them first.
OVERSEAS OUTPOSTS: Antibes, France, and bangalore, india
Pilaes Training: Pilates center of boulder advanced teacher-training program and the Pilates workshop in san Francisco under erika groff and susanne staehr
CAREER: i owned my own personal training business for 10 years in maryland, north carolina and new zealand, and then taught Pilates in san Francisco.
HOW SHE GOt THE TRAVEL BUG: i grew up staring at the pages of National Geographic, and i knew i wanted to see all those places in my lifetime. i made it my mission to find a job that would take me around the world— teaching Pilates!
HOW SHE MADE İT HAPPEN: i first taught in the village of Antibes in the south of France. i absolutely adored my time there. my clients there were very fun, laughing a lot; they took Pilates so they could party later. they were very different from my san Francisco clients, who were very stressed out.
last october, kavita Prakash opened the first-ever classical studio in the south of india and maybe the second in all of india,
Pilates for well-being. she brought me over to bangalore for the initial launch of the studio; she took care of all things business related, while i taught privates, classes and workshops. Pilates is very new to india, so i had to do a lot of educating the public about what Pilates is and why it’s important for your well-being.
in india, it was difficult both finding the clients and keeping them. indians who can afford Pilates seem really keen at first, but then have a hard time committing. Also, saying you’ll be five minutes late in india means at least half an hour to 45 minutes.
Teaching abroad makes you put yourself
out there in the world; it allows you to
see what you’re made of and where there is potential for the biggest growth.
Another challenge has been teaching clients how to use their bodies—most are unaware of how their bodies work. literally, sometimes it was like teaching a baby what its hand was for.
PERSONAL BENEFİTS OF TRAVEL TEACHiNG: teaching abroad makes you put yourself out there in the world; it allows you to see what you’re made of and where there is potential for the biggest growth. not everyone thinks like you or acts like you, and hugs are not readily available when you need them, and that can be tough to handle. but it allowed me time to reflect on what i really wanted to create for myself.
PROFESSiONAL ADVANTAGES: i find it remarkable what a significant role environment and culture plays on the way we move and on our minds. i consider myself lucky to have worked with so many culturally different body types so early in my Pilates career, which i believe has helped my teaching.
DOWNSİDES: it has definitely hindered my bank account. every time i’ve picked up and left my san Francisco clients, i’ve taken a huge pay cut, but what i gained is invaluable and will only help me create the most magical life for myself in the long run.
ADViCE: Asking a ton of questions before you say yes is crucial. everything sounds so exciting initially, but stay curious the whole time through the decision-making process. iron out all the financial details before you get there, and make sure there is a sound.