Pilates Excel
Pilates Excel Curriculum
Rebecca Elizabeth Leone

Praise for Rebecca and the Pilates Excel curriculum

From August 2009 Pilates Excel

I've been through Pilates Excel two times, and I would love to go twice a year forever! It's one of the most rewarding, inspiring and entertaining ways I can think of to spend a few days.

My first time through Pilates Excel brought into focus gaps in my Pilates education that I had more-or-less-vaguely suspected but hadn't been able to get a real view of, in spite of all the various Pilates workshops and books and online forums I had pursued. With 3 years of teaching, I still felt like I was flailing around in some basic respects. So I was thrilled, startled, disturbed and exhilarated within my first day in that glamorous but homey Seattle Pilates studio, when I saw these fuzzy areas in my understanding begin to come into focus.

The thing is with Rebecca -- you get to ask questions! And ask more questions. And keep asking questions. And listen to others' questions, and the discussions that follow. No one looks at you like you are stupid. This is where you can bring your list of issues and get down into the thick of it and figure out what is fuzzy to you and what is clear. And then when you leave and realize it's not as clear as you thought it was, Rebecca is not kidding when she says she is there for you. I don't know how she does it, but she does always get back to you, and she throws herself into helping you solve problems.

Pilates Excel the second time, half a year later, felt so luxurious to me! I was able to get deeper into details of the material. I wasn't startled or disturbed by anything this time, but I was still tremendously excited and galvanized by Rebecca's depth of knowledge and experience, and the atmosphere of camaraderie and sharing (not to mention the hilarity).
Rebecca is really here to help, and she expects the same from each of us for each other, setting the tone for an open-hearted and fun environment.

The two biggest reasons to go all the way to Seattle for Pilates Excel:
One is that you get to be around Heidi, with her lovely, calm and steady spirit, warming that vast and amazing studio. She is teaching clients way over there, organizing equipment off yonder, and coming in close to welcome each person with her own clear and calm perspective. Her presence helps tie it all together.

The other is the chance to attend the Cadaver Anatomy Class at Bastyr University. What an adventure! I was a little apprehensive about it beforehand, having had one other experience in a school setting that I had found unsatisfying, a bit alienating, and toxic-fumed. I thought I would have to steel myself for a stultifying, oxygen-deprived, but ultimately "good-for-me" ordeal. It turned out to be one of the most awesome and exhilarating days in my whole life. Dr. Rebecca Love rivals even Rebecca Leone for most entertaining and informative (but deeply loving and respectful) educator about the human body. We were encouraged to satisfy any questions or curiosity we could come up with. With the beautifully-prepared, pre-dissected and above all truly real human bodies before us, I grasped things I had halfway known in a way that burned them into my brain more solidly than I could have imagined. I am so grateful to Rebecca for making it happen. I do advise that you study up on your book-learning as much as possible beforehand, so that you will get the maximum benefit when you're faced with the real thing! And the formaldehyde I was so worried about? The lab is truly so well-equipped with filters that I wasn't bothered at all.

- Sarah Kotzamani, Berkeley, California

The program gave me tools and ideas to address a variety of issues. It also sparked ideas about business organization, class organization and personal organization so I can be more effective for my clients.

I thought it was the best organized presentation I have attended. Everything was pertinent and I love the fact that I didn't have to furiously write notes (because the materials are so extensive) but had time to wwrite the small "extra's" next to what you gave us. As far as the Cadaver Anatomy Class, you and Dr. Love explained the anatomy in a very easy to understand way and made it immediately applicable.

I loved the fact that you are able to back up all your teaching scientifically and medically and have given us the resources to do the same. I think that's very impressive to clients particularly when I explain to existing clients why we are changing some things. It was the best organized, well presented workshop I have ever attended. Thank you so much, it was worth the time and money!

- Kim Butters, Chattanooga, Tennessee

From Tru Pilates, July 2009

It's now been two months since you were here in July and I cannot tell you ENOUGH how good I feel in my body. I was having moderate back pain DAILY, I couldn't wait to get on the calf balls after one hour of standing and teaching a class and I was waking up with pain every single day and it is TOTALLY GONE since you have been here. I honestly cannot thank you enough! As well, I am still reaping the benefits of your visit each and every time I teach and especially when faced with a more difficult client or someone that has been in pain for a long time. Truly, you are at the top of your game, Joe would be so proud and honored at the way you are carrying on his work.

- Robin Truxel, Tru Pilates.

From Signal Mountain Pilates workshops, July 2009

I loved working with you. My back is so much better plus I can fix it when it bothers me. Teaching makes more sense to me and my clients. My goal is to work with you more when I can clear some money. Thank you for your generous spirit, knowledge, direction.

- Jan Cochran, Chattanooga, Tennessee

From June 2009 Pilates Excel & Open Studio Week

I have only been home from Seattle for two days and in the past two days of teaching I have employed well over a dozen techniques, cues, concepts . . . in my teaching. I helped one of my clients identify and begin to reign in the hypermobility in the thoracolumbar part of her spine. I taught my client with an autoimmune disease which makes her muscles tight to release using PNF technique with the strap and spiky balls. I was able to get one omy my mat classes to breathe deeper and more fully than I have ever seen or heard them by starting off the first 10 minutes of class with balloon breathing. I was able to confidently tell a client who is usually a bit snotty and picky why it was important for her to do something and she came right on board without any back talk. Yeah! To be 100% honest, I think Open Studio Week and Pilates Excel are at the top of their game in content, presentation style and Rebecca's teaching performance. Each time I leave Seattle and Rebecca's studio Pilates Powerhouse NW, the whole experience always far exceeds my expectations. Thanks for a wonderful week and for helping me to be the best Pilates teacher and professional I can be.

- Jenny Agnew, Portland, Oregon.

This workshop made me LOVE Pilates again. I seriously feel so much better about my teaching since going up to Open Studio week. I just taught I client tonight who I haven't seen in a couple of months and she was blown away with the changes I made. I could almost feel her body changing under my hands. I'm feeling so energized and not burnt out at all! Thanks Rebecca, you're a lifesaver!

- McKenzie Petterson, Moving Moxie Studio, Portland, Oregon.

Rebecca is an incredible teacher. She answered questions I didn't even know I had and she made sense of so many things that didn't make sense at all before and this has given me confidence to teach all the things she covered. I just love Rebecca's studio - it is ultra-cool.

- Lee Hodder, Townesville, Australia.

From Open Studio Week April 2009

I most enjoyed Rebecca's availability to answer questions or any and all kinds, meeting wonderful teachers from all over the world who have many of the same concerns as I do and watching Rebecca teach Developmental Privates was amazing.

- Merianne Haug, New Jersey

The depth of the information and the hospitality of the entire experience was my favorite thing about the workshop. I can leave to go home feeling sound in my instincts and in my body. I feel safe, knowing your hand is holding mine the whole time.

- Anonymous

I loved the encouragement that with careful thought some basic tools can make a huge difference. The hospitality is second to none.

Sarah Hunt, Inverness Scotland

I loved that the safety elements of the work were emphasized. Things make so much more sense.

- Kelly Curry, Edmonton Alberta Canada

I've been through Rebecca's Pilates Excel program but coming to Open Studio Week has reinforced what I learned in Pilates Excel and now I have an even better understanding of how to directly apply the fundamentals. Bonus: I have a better understanding of my own back and what I need to do to make it better. I also loved watching Rebecca teach Developmental Privates because it really showed me the Fundamentals in action. It also showed me how tried and true they really are. And, as soon as I got back to my own studio I finally fired a particularly difficult client and man, it felt good. (Note from Rebecca: Firing clients is a big step toward achieving your teaching potential and firing clients is part of my Pilates Excel program) I did it with a smile on my face and the client's friend actually told me she was proud of me! It's amazing how light I feel. You really don't realize how much they bring you down until they are gone! Woo and two hoos!!! Thank you Rebecca! I love you! I plan to make this an annual trip! You make me happy!

- Sydney Craig, Chattanooga, Tennessee

There was hidden value in this workshop for me because I got to see Rebecca and Heidi work with clients, all with different issues yet all coming together virtually the same way - through Fundamentals. I really enjoyed the wonderful community of searching, like minds it brought together. I most enjoyed watching the simplicity of it all unfold like magic in those Developmental Privates.

- Kim Novotny, Edmonton Alberta Canada

I most liked the hospitality, warmth and generosity in spirit of all involved, the continuing learning curve, the confirmation that we as teachers are on the "right track." Rebecca is a gift from Joe and an inspirational teacher, her knowledge and quest for information is overwhelming and humbling. She has a fabulous and brilliant co-partner in Heidi.

- Claire Swanepoel, Inverness Scotland.

Thanks for an amazing week. You are truly unique in every way, a true saint and servant to others. I feel so blessed to have met you and to have you in my "Pilates" life. I hope you know how appreciated you are for your dedication to the work and to all of us. I really enjoyed watching Developmental Privates and I liked the fact that they weren't "private" and we could all be a part of learning from them. I loved this experience and I will forever remember this week. After recently completing my initial Pilates comprehensive training, I still felt like things were missing and I was frustrated that I might not be able to make it as a Pilates instructor. I have new hope and now I am confident I can. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

- Anonymous

I just wanted to write to thank you for an amazing week in Seattle, and for all the hard work and love you put into what you do. Your energy amazed me. I loved it! My experience at Open Studio week with you and Heidi was totally different than what I expected in the best way ever. I have never experienced such generosity and freedom to learn. I have a new appreciation for Pilates and a new passion for doing the work and teaching it. Even though I could have slept in this morning, I woke up at 6am thinking about all the things I learned last week and how I was going to go about using these things from this point forward in my own body and for others. I'm totally pumped about my Pilates future. I will definitely be back for Pilates Excel in either June or August (not sure which one yet) if there are still spots available.

- Jenny Agnew, Portland Oregon

There was unexpected value in Open Studio Week for me because I got to see your studio, feel the atmosphere and talk with your clients. The Cadaver Anatomy Lab was a stroke of genius - wonderful! Beyond the actual teaching of information during the week, I enjoyed getting to know other instructors; I have attended many trainings where I never ever learned the names of the other attendees.

- Colleen Carboni, Chattanooga Tennessee

And this from one of the housing hosts:

Just a quick note to let you know that these women are great in every respect - sense of humor, conversation, easy keepers and I'm sure very quietly understanding and tolerant of habits/behaviors and all things American that I'm certain they find absolutely appalling. If the rest of your group is as fun as Sarah, Claire and Anne-Marie, then you must be having a blast . . . but I know you're working your ass off! They were studying your materials this morning before I left for work and they're concerned that your voice will give out! Thanks for the wonderful house guests, I feel like I finally have sisters!

-John Vatcher, owner of the infamous #900 penthouse.

From March 2009 Workshops in York, England

Rebecca presented SO WELL and made me realize I DO IT RIGHT!

- Sarah Rosenfield

Very excited to return to teaching, I’m seeing clients with new eyes not just muscularly but also wondering “do I want to work with this person!?” You’ve left me full of ideas, it feels like I've been given a massive shot of support, energy, passion, clarity, and I get to bask in your reflected glory, too! The teens absolutely love you, as I knew they would, and all the clients are full of their experiences.

- Catriona Skidmore

Rebecca is just so inspiring, all good, well explained, loved it. You explain it so well. Fun, humor, intelligence, beauty. Seattle, here I come!

- Star Monroe

I feel inspired to go on and work with my clients tomorrow with new enthusiasm. Spending any time with you is a joy! Usable, ready to use information, Rebecca de-mystifies exercises and makes them user-friendly.

- Rachel Potter

And then again a few days later:

You have really changed and inspired a lot of teachers in York and the poor people of York don’t know what’s hit them. York is a small town and quite a few of us share clients so I’m hearing through the grapevine how each teacher feels inspired by your work and has made real changes in their classes. I thought you might like to know that. It’s a great feeling!

- Rachel Potte

I most enjoyed the freedom to explore and take time to think about and assessing people, ways of working to a solution. Initially, I felt somewhat disillusioned as my technique was so poor but I did feel by the end of the weekend I had a number of pointers to work on personally. I felt that Rebecca totally believed in and was passionate about the Method which was fantastic to see.

- Jo (illegible)

In addition to enjoying Rebecca, I also enjoyed the breakdown, her understanding, problem solving, it’s so rarely taught.

- Roseanne (like Cher & Madonna, no last name)

I learned from Rebecca’s philosophy and teaching style, very inspirational, there was plenty of time for discussion and questions, it was good that it was presented without technical jargon. I learned how to take familiar exercises to a new, more effective level. Overall, very inspirational teaching, gave us tools and enthusiasm to take into our classes.

- Lindsay Jewison

What I enjoyed least about the workshop is that it ended!

- Anonymous

I loved the discussions of Pilates history, I love to feel I’m working in a context. It’s fantastic to take simple stuff and peel off the layers to explore inner meanings of the movements. I loved the detailed work for realignments when we were working on Reformer. “Magic touches” for realignment. Thank you for your inspirational teaching. I felt I was in my church and I wanted to keep shouting “Hallelujah”!! Ha! Ha! It’s true!

- Patricia Issitt

There was hidden value in this workshop: The enormous enthusiasm for Pilates and taking it seriously but with humor, how to deal with clients and protect one’s own integrity as a teacher, clarifying and simplifying Pilates, letting me know I know what I am doing! I most enjoyed Rebecca’s inspiration, enthusiasm and emphasis on Pilates history. I enjoyed least that I couldn’t make it for the Friday Master Class or stay for a Developmental Private.

- Louisa Collyns

Thanks for a great weekend in York! I’ve been teaching all the new techniques I learned and you’re right, clients love it! They said it’s a bit hard to get their head’s around it but they can see the sense and reason behind it. I learned so much and especially in my Developmental Semi.

- Jo Stewart (yes, two Jo’s)

From Pilates Excel intensives in January and February 2009

Everything we did integrated into my system, my brain, everything we did was great, I went back to my studio and promoted a Fabulous Fundamentals Week and with every session, I returned to fundamentals, I put a 30-minute Focus Private on my fee schedule, created a March newsletter. A blast of new energy. In mat class this morning, I got on my knees between clients and got them working, breathing, moving their ribs and they loved it. That’s happening so much more to me now, I walk into class and I know instinctively how to break things down, how to help people.

- Petti Groth

In my studio, lots of things have changed and you know what, the clients recognize that I’m calmer and things are different since I’m back from Seattle. The sessions are “harder” and they sweat. Reading the archival articles has made my teaching even better.

- Catherine Wiget

I most enjoyed Rebecca’s total involvement and willingness to be milked for information. The whole experience of spending 4 days absolutely steeped in everything and anything having to do with how to be a better teacher. We would dive in first thing in the morning and look up at the end of the day wondering how those hours had passed. Plus, it was great getting to watch Rebecca teach a couple of introductory clients. Generally, the content, presentation and teaching performance were absolutely electrifying, jam-packed, funny, moving and engaging. Do you have questions about Pilates, or anything to do with Pilates? Here’s your chance. Ask Rebecca questions. And then ask her some more. I kept thinking “oh man, we are really milking her, that girl needs some rest” but she never did dry up. Everything she knows or hopes to find out comes pouring unstintingly out of her.

- Sarah Kotzamani

Feedback on the Pilates Nun & World Wide Pilates Mat websites

I’m having too much fun with the Bermuda Triangle, aka the Basement from your Pilates Nun site. I’ve been using different words to try and get clients there for some time now but this whole image of the Switzerland cross, way down low, is really making sense to a lot of my people . . . and ME!! I love it, the newer folks are having a tougher time but patience, patience, I tell them.

I just received this email from one of my clients after introducing this to her on Tuesday, she is very fit, a triathlete, whole bit, but relatively new to Pilates.

From the client email: I am sore and loving it! It’s the first time I am this sore, it’s deep and low, from the bottom of the rib cage down! Perhaps I stumbled in and out of the Bermuda Triangle. I’m feeling like less of a Pilates failure!!!!! ! Just thought I’d share my enthusiasm. (emphasis NOT added)

The other girl in the semi with her comes to my overcrowded class at the gym but decided she wanted more so has begun taking semis at my studio. She was also excited to venture down south! Of course, I told them the dates I would be away in April to attend Open Studio Week at your Seattle studio, they’ve heard me speak of you often, so when their eyes got big and their bellies screamed “hello!” I simply said “and THAT’S why I’m going to Seattle!”

I’ve also taught my seniors the Red Cross (57 – 70 years old) and they went crazy for it! I have been saying very similar words for years – deep scoop, low belly in and up, belly wide and deep, on and one, BUT THIS image of the cross, the whole emphasis on the importance of the basement, THAT makes sense to them and they get it. Not all may feel that much down there but they are really excited about it. They know you, or your name as they hear it often, and now they said “she should come see us!” Everyone is excited for me to come see you and bring home more goodies.

- Merianne Haug

I did Rebecca's course in London in 2008 and it blew my mind. I've been teaching ten years, have been taught by descendants of Joseph's original students, work as an Osteopath and teach regularly but Rebecca pushed me beyond all that. Her understanding of movement, function, anatomy and the Pilates method would challenge most therapists and I have shared my enthusiasm for her work amongst my Osteopathic colleagues and Pilates students until they are sick of my excitement! I am determined that they respect, honour and learn the true method and I always quote Joseph's knowledge as my career is dependent on it. Now, my career is challenged by Rebecca's knowledge and it is with such a seed that I shall continue to spread the word about this wonderful movement technique we have at our fingertips. Thankfully, she is one of the talented teachers in the world as she explores, questions and shares her abilities generously which I believe is the mark of a truly integral teacher.

- Jacquelyn Schirmer, London BBSc BOst
(Bach. of Behavioural Science and Bach. of Osteopathy (Distinction))
2 day workshop - London

Thank you for your generosity. I went back to work on Monday quite tired but with hope. I directly applied what I've learned from you, (coming back to the importance of the TA, keeping space between the ribs and the pelvis, footwork on Reformer coming from your center) and it was suddenly so obvious that I could not do the "old way" anymore. Some clients resisted, some were very open and happy. The client I spoke about during the workshop came back from the holidays suffering from back pain but she finally listened to me! In 2 weeks, her belly changed, she's using her TA and is working slower. Miracle!

- Sabrina Moser Burgat,
Geneva Full Pilates Excel curriculum - Geneva

I have just enjoyed a wonderful and hugely entertaining weekend with you in London. I thought of you today when I put a pair of glasses on, and realised I was already wearing some....a lot of people saw!!

I am in awe of the depth of your knowledge and your generosity in sharing it, and absolutely love your warmth.

I have 18 years experience as a nurse, mostly in intensive care, in 3 different countries, am a qualified swimming and lifesaving teacher. I then trained as a Pilates teacher 10 years ago but inspite of countless hours of professional development with some excellent trainers and extensive study, I have never felt like the "real thing." I am a black belt in karate, currently training for my black belt in kick boxing and am a master scuba diver. I love swimming and skiing and Pilates keeps me strong and supple enough to do the things I love at 50, but as a Pilates teacher I have never felt like the "real thing."

Until now!!!!! I woke up on Monday and saw with absolute certainty my place in this industry and with absolute clarity my way ahead. I feel like a million dollars.

You've had an amazing effect, not just on me but on the whole studio! In Pilates terms I`m happier and more comfortable in my skin than I`ve ever been, full of ideas, have joined the P.M.A. and booked into the Phoenix conference in November - I would NEVER have done that before!! Your influence and very exciting.

My mantra is "everything counts" and "stick to what you know," your words, and they`re stimulating and liberating at the same time. It's spilling over into everyday life, I`m grateful for what I can do instead of worrying about the stuff I can`t (or don`t) do.

That`s what I got from this weekend with you. You are a truely inspirational teacher. I look forward to coming to Pilates Excel with you in Geneva and bringing some of my pals from York.

The Open Studio Week was an absolute triumph. I loved everything about it, everyone there, and I love Seattle. It was a privilege to work with you , the lovely Heidi , all the lovely ladies such as ourselves and your wonderful clients in your own space. I was moved to tears on a couple of occasions by the warmth, kindness and hospitality of everyone involved, and have never been so well looked after. You thought of everything. All that and so much fun. The condo was brill and had expanding walls! The whole week with you has given me a very clear business model for my new studio, which opens on 1st September. A little out of my comfort zone, but I`ve got a great team, loyal clients and Rebecca`s got my back. The Open Studio Week was priceless.

- Catriona Skidmore,
2 day workshop - London and
Open Studio Week - Seattle

I just wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU to both you and Heidi for your generosity, kindness and infectious enthusiasm! During the time at your studio I have learnt so much and feel so much more confident in my teaching. My clients have embraced the changes I have made to their sessions and love working harder and really "feeling" the exercises. I now have hawk eyes trained to watch for any tucking of pelvises..poor things can't get away with anything! It was so inspiring watching you & Heidi teaching your clients in your own surroundings and it was a trip that I will never forget! Since been back in the UK I am brimming with new ideas and enthusiasm for Pilates and have started doing my own practice everyday (so I can get that bloody Roll Up!.. I'm so nearly there!) I can thoroughly recommend the Open Studio week to everyone, it was an experience I will hold dearly in my heart forever. Thanks again for everything!

- Rachel Potter,
Open Studio Week - Seattle

My name is Deanne Ashford, I own a Pilates studio in Helensburgh, NSW, Australia and I recently visited the US for a month and specifically, Rebecca's studio in Seattle for a week where I took daily privates with her, attended mat classes and observed she and Heidi teaching their regular schedules.

It was a wonderful week and I love Rebecca's work.

Everyone keeps asking me for the best part of my month away and I have got to say, it is being in Rebecca's studio. I picked up a copy of the Starbucks book for a read on the flight home and she could have written it; it talks a lot about the 'third place' - home, work and other. I think she has nailed it.

Visiting her studio has been one of the smartest things I have done for my business and one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had in my Pilates career. For me, Rebecca's studio is the embodiment of the Pilates spirit - Pilates for every body.

Her technical knowledge, business savvy and generosity of spirit make visiting her studio a delight for any Pilates instructor who owns or is thinking of owning their own studio. Rebecca has cultivated that elusive quality of making her studio an indispensible 'third place' for her clients. To visit her studio is to see client retention in action!

I loved Rebecca's Pilates 101 orientation lecture, I loved the resolution cards she made as part of goal setting for her clients and I loved the warm and friendly atmosphere of the studio ...it is more a community space.

But beyond that and over the course of our week together, I needed and had three areas developed : 1) a road map for self mastery taking into consideration my issues, 2) a deeper understanding of the origins and progressions of the work and 3) the development of my studio business as an indispensable third place for clients.

What I wasn't interested in was 'funky' repertoire or the 'progression' of Pilates through props. I love the fact that the work is strong, and fluff and props are not features of the work.

Rebecca's work is not cluttered. I have worked in a studio where they put me on a Wunda chair, on a Dura Disc doing side lying work with ankle weights on. That took about 8 minutes to set up. I felt stupid - that is not Pilates.

The way I see it, I could have gone to 4 Pilates conferences and two business conferences and still not been able to have my needs addressed.

And now that I'm back in my own studio, I feel more relaxed and confident that I am on the right track. My training has been surrounded by high achievers, which is a good thing, but I have felt that I needed to be a physiotherapist or have a degree in dance to be 'up there' as a Pilates teacher. The further along the Pilates journey I come, the less I feel the need to justify my training to myself. I feel that all my training so far has been perfect in positioning me for what and how I want to teach and run a business. I feel more equipped to make informed choices regarding my ongoing education and training having spent time with Rebecca. She has an amazing breadth of knowledge regarding the current state of the Pilates industry and I know I can always ask for her advice.

I am happy. I know what I want 'my Pilates' to look like now!

- Deanne Ashford,
Helensburgh, NSW, Australia

address pilates excel
  1 (727) 214-2140

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