Pilates was first introduced to me in 2000 when I was in graduate school working on a PhD in Performance as Public Practice. Because I had already been working as a personal trainer, the department placed me as the teaching assistant for the pilates and physical conditioning laboratory.
There I had six years of apprenticing with Andrea Beckham, a Polestar Pilates (Pilates-Feldenkrais blend) trained instructor. From there I went on to get my full certification through Stott Pilates at John Garey Pilates in Long Beach, CA. The Stott Pilates approach is athletic based and offers modifications and variations that will allow for many different fitness levels and physical abilities.
In addition to over twenty years of practicing, teaching, and continuing education in fitness and pilates, I also have experience in a number of somatic practices including, Alexander technique, Body-Mind Centering, Bartenieff Fundamentals, contact improvisational dance, and DanceAbility which inform my teaching.
Before returning to Austin, I worked as a personal trainer and taught large, high-energy group mat classes at Gold’s Gym Hollywood and Downtown LA. I also spent eight years affiliated with a studio in Pasadena, California called Bodyscape that offers physical therapy, pilates, gyrotonic and yoga. There I worked with clients of a wide variety of age ranges and ability levels, including people with neurological issues like MS and Parkinsons, doing post-rehab and long-term training. In addition, I developed and taught what became known as the Core class, a mat-based class combining movements inspired by pilates, Buti yoga, and gyrokinesis, at One Down Dog in Silverlake and Eagle Rock in Los Angeles.
Established in January of 2011, Pilates by Olivia is a space where I continue to explore how we all can re-educate our bodies to move with ease and efficiency.