Get to know your pilates instructor – Mandy

Mandy was introduced to Pilates after suffering a dance injury while studying at Interlochen Arts Academy in high school. She liked that Pilates provided low-impact strength training that helped her grow as a dancer and prevent further injury. Mandy enjoys teaching all age groups skill levels and walks of life, from senior clients with hip and knee replacements to teenage athletes training at the professional level. Learn more about Mandy in our Q & A below!

What motivated you to become a Pilates instructor?

Right before I started my first year in college I suffered a pretty severe ankle sprain from dancing. I nearly tore the ligaments in my ankle and I worried I wouldn’t be able to dance during the beginning of my first semester that fall. Pilates completely rehabilitated my ankles and gave me the joint and core stability that I needed as a hyper flexible dancer. I found that the practice of Pilates was a great low impact cross training supplement to dancing. Once I was hooked Imstarted sharing my knowledge with other dancers, and found that helping people feel better with Pilates was really rewarding.

How would you describe your training personality?

I find that with each student I have my training personality finds new facets. I love to teach cardio Jumpboard classes, and later teach something slow and sustained. I think it’s all about variety with intensity and tempo, but alignment come first above all.

What advice do you have for people who are just getting into Pilates?

Have some patience with yourself. This is unlike a normal cardio based workout where endorphins kick in and that sense of instant gratification is achieved. Pilates is really about rebuilding your bodies patterns and alignment, and that takes time. But once you put the work and focus into your practice the reward (finding length in your spine and control in your center) is great and long lasting.

What’s your favorite Pilates exercise and why?

I love movements that integrate the whole body and have some flow like Advanced Mermaid, Circle Saw or advanced Bridging. All of these excercises are done on the Cadillac, and they make you feel like a kid on the monkey bars again.

What do you like to do for fun?

My fiancé and I enjoy going to the Grant Park Symphony in the summertime and having a little picnic while we listen to beautiful free music! It’s always so relaxing and fun to see art outside.

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