As a professional dancer in NYC with Martha Graham, Pilates was the buzzword for injury prevention and building functional strength and core stability. Taking a recommendation from friends, I sought out training with one of the Pilates elders “Robert Fitzgerald”. It was 1989, a hot, humid day. His studio, also his living quarters, was on the upper west side of Manhattan. As I entered the studio with all this Pilates equipment that resembled torture devices, I was greeted with Robert’s warm smile and embrace.
I will never forget my first time doing leg circles on the Reformer and thinking A) how good it felt, and B) how much it replicated a certain move we do in dance. I discovered so many similarities between Pilates exercises and the Martha Graham technique, which is the core vocabulary of the Martha Graham Dance company. It helped me avoid injury and definitely improved my performance. I took class with Robert regularly and at any given session, he’d have 4-5 people there, many of them luminaries from theater and dance, entering at different times overlapping each other. We all knew our warm ups and he’d offer suggestions and corrections as he supervised our workouts. We were very independent. I felt stronger than ever!