Wade Edwell - Proper Pilates, Victoria, Australia

Jan 01, 2020

Photo courtesy of Proper Pilates.


Wade Edwell Says: Go Beyond Workshops to Become "Fluent" in Pilates

The most distinctive characteristic that we noticed about Wade Edwell—graduate of THE WORK™ and committed student of Vintage Pilates—was his persistence. Even before he was in THE WORK™, he made regular pilgrimages to the Vintage Pilates studio to take several lessons a day over the course of several days. He immersed himself in all the group classes and private lessons. And he wasn’t obsessive or frantic about it. He just patiently went through his studies— cheerfully and persistently.

Even when he was back home in Australia where he co-owns Proper Pilates, he always scheduled regular online private lessons. He continues to do this, even as his business has grown to become a nexus of teacher training. He maintains a busy schedule of workshops, a mentorship program and other training opportunities to share what he has learned from Vintage Pilates.

We wanted to hear his perspective on what it takes to really learn the work. What drives his persistence. And what advice he has for people new to Vintage Pilates, who want to understand Joseph Pilates teaching, as learned from Vintage Pilates. Read on!

Think of Pilates as a language. For the purpose of this metaphor lets say French.

Workshops give you guidebook French. A great start, but really it’s rudimentary learning, just enough to ensure you don’t accidentally invite a waiter back to your hotel when all you meant to order was a steak and fries.

On the other hand, having the best, intuitive Pilates practice is like being totally fluent in French. You’re smooth, can whip out the most appropriate phrases where necessary, know all the dirty words—it’s what we all aspire to!

Workshops are thrilling, but too often teachers leave without the skill set to put what they’ve experienced into real world practice for their clients and themselves. The point being: endeavor to speak Pilates like a native, not like a tourist. What we need to start doing as teachers is to go beyond the workshop.

Mais comment” you ask?

“Teachers Clubhouses, “ I answer.

When I completed THE WORK™ Teachers Clubhouses (TCHs) were honestly the most valuable part of my experience. They started the process of demystification off by giving me the skills to intuit what a body needs, and the tools to coach that same body strategically. TCHs are the key to helping you understand what Jay means by “it depends on the body.”

To make the most sense of what Jay remembers, and how he and Sandy teach, you need to go a step deeper to learn their strategies. Herein lies the real value of the TCH. These study sessions help to unlock the mystery around the incredibly important principles that underpin the work of Vintage Pilates and Jay’s memory of how Joe taught him to do, see, and deliver Contrology.

So if you get an opportunity to dive in, don’t miss it. The incredible learning experience these gem-like sessions gave me have meant all the difference in how I am now confidently carrying forward the work. Every time I visit LA they are the first thing I book into. They’ve helped me to speak Pilates fluently, so now I never invite the waiter back to my room…unless I want to!

Lastly, as for what Jay means when he says “Cacapoopooshishi,” well, that one you’ll have to look up in your guide book… I think there’s a French translation for it..


About Proper Pilates

About Proper Pilates:

Don’t be fooled by Proper Pilates‘ small town location—this studio is one of the most equipped facilities in Australia. At PP you’ll work across far more than the Reformer and Mat. You’ll have access to the Guillotine, Arm and Electric Chairs and an archival size 80’ Reformer. All the equipment is built to original specifications by Pilates Designs and GRATZ Pilates.

Proper Pilates is the only Pilates studio in Australia that runs an open studio platform, and the studio consults with teachers and studio owners around the world to help them transition their own facilities to run this format. In an open studio you can book to come in when it suits you, and stay as little or long as you like, and all the while you’re supported closely by exceptional staff—the way Joe Pilates ran his studio. Proper Pilates is as much a neighborhood exercise studio for locals as it is a training facility for the Australian Pilates teacher community. It is a place of energy, fun, vitality and sweat, where exercise is enjoyable. A place where clients drop in regularly, teachers visit for training, and International guest trainers come to present workshops and lessons. There’s a lot of life going on at Proper Pilates!