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Next level up

Basic Exam - ArrowPilates

Whoop, I passed my first exams for the Authentic Pilates Education bridging program in Auckland! The picture above was taken right after I finished the practical test with client Sarah. But before I knew I had passed that test so that explains my awkward look.

The exam also consisted of a written anatomy test which I passed earlier in the day. After I heard I had passed the practical and were given lots of feedback I then took out a private session with seasoned teacher Beth. Quite a full-on Monday morning...

Two more seminars

The program continues with two more seminars. In November I will attend the Intermediate Seminar over a 3-day weekend. Guided by a manual and teacher trainer Katie Agnew, with two more apprentices, we will go through countless exercises on all the Pilates apparatus. A weekend like this certainly involves teaching on other apprentices, asking questions and discussing client cases.

Bridging into a program like this has its pros and cons. As a bridging apprentice you already have teaching experience and some sort of certification. But you may have picked up bad habits along the way and they need to be removed. A fresh new apprentice may not be so experienced working with bodies but at least no bad habits. Our group consists of two bridging apprentices and one fresh student.

Planning carefully

After each Seminar the real training starts. Certification will only happen after successfully finishing all three Seminars, doing 300 hours for the bridging program (600 for the full program) of supervised training, self practise, observing other teachers, attending the apprenticeship meetings and of course passing all the tests.

The amount of practise hours before you can do the exam increase per seminar. So, for the basic exam that I passed it was 50 hours, for the intermediate test it is 100 hours and for the advanced it is 150 hours.

Since I am running a business in Arrowtown on my own, planning those hours requires careful planning. Ideally you would be up in the training studio (in Auckland) on a regular basis but that would be undoable in time and cost. Most probably I will be in Auckland every month next year for a few days to make the hours necessary and I am also considering going there for a full week each seminar to go the extra mile.

Immediate result

Doing a program like this has immediate results. I can implement everything I learn into my own studio practise and my clients benefit from this added (or new) knowledge. I like to think I am sharpening and deepening my Pilates knowledge which will make my clients enjoy their Pilates sessions even more.


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Marco Dingemans is a qualified Classical Pilates instructor and Studio Director of ArrowPilates


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