2017 was a year of change for me, both physically and mentally. I decided to take control of my fitness and health through Cassey Ho’s blogilates and PIIT28, and I wanted to share that feeling of confidence and accomplishment with others. So, when I saw that a POP Pilates instructor training was coming to Massachusetts, I swallowed my self-doubt and took the leap and became certified.
“POP Pilates® is a total body, equipment-free workout that sculpts a rock solid core and a lean dancer’s body like nothing else can. A powerful fusion of music, strength, and choreography that takes classical Pilates to the next level. POP Pilates is a dance on the mat.” – http://www.poppilateslife.com
Prior to signing up I had an internal battle with myself. What if I wasn’t fit enough? What if I messed up? Would I be able to find a teaching job? What if I didn’t pass the evaluation? What if my future students hated me? All of these questions swirled around my brain like one big whirlpool. However, after talking with friends, family and the popster community (those within blogilates and PIIT28) I promptly told my brain to shut up, threw myself into the unknown, and signed up. I’m so glad I did.
The instructor training was a single 8 to 9 hour session held in 1 day in a beautiful little gym called Elite Fitness for Women in Taunton, MA. It honestly looked more like a spa than a gym! If I lived closer I’d probably become a member.
We were greeted by the very cheerful and welcoming POP Pilates Master Trainer, Maria, who took us through what made POP truly unique. There was a lot of emphasis on teaching safely, proper form, and cueing. We practiced with fellow classmates and each move was broken down for us with modifications. We got a chance to teach in front of one another and received feedback on the spot. It was an incredibly thorough class, and everyone bonded over their love for POP and the desire to bring that happiness to others! Everyone was so supportive of one another. I’ll never forget these wonderful ladies!
We even had a guest stop by! Mac is a POP Pilates instructor from the area who was actually IN the POP 10 choreography videos we were studying! He gave us some great advice and showed us how we could incorporate different pop music into the choreography. We were so happy (and surprised) he came!
After the training, you have 60 days to submit a 30 minute video that showcases your teaching skills. Essentially, you record a mini class with a few volunteers (slash victims…). If you are taking the Online Workshop you have 12 weeks to submit your video after your initial registration, and you must pass a quiz. For more answers see the POP Pilates FAQ section. After you submit your video, you will receive notification of pass or fail, as well as specific feedback. When I found out that I passed I was ecstatic! I couldn’t believe I did it!
Teaching and beyond
I currently teach at a small yoga studio here in Coventry, RI called The Lighthouse Yoga Studio on Thursday evenings (until they close on April 12th). I’m also teaching at Coventry Group Fitness on Friday evenings and Sunday mornings (the latter starting April 15th). For both positions, I reached out to the owners and explained that I was a certified POP Pilates instructor looking to teach a class. After meeting in-person and discussing what POP was all about, I held a demo class for each. Both were a success! I’m still in semi-disbelief! A year ago I’d never thought this was possible! What’s even more insane is that I think I was the first instructor to bring an official POP class to RI (at least according to the class locator at the time.)
How do I sign up (and get over my own fears)?
Becoming a certified POP Pilates instructor was one of the best decisions I’ve made. It may sound cliché, but it really was. I’ve found so much joy in teaching and spreading the POP love! I’ve had students of all fitness levels tell me with sweaty smiles on their faces that the class was a blast and that they’re “sore in all the right places” afterwards. That makes it worth it.
If you’re thinking about becoming certified, my advice to you is simply go for it. Don’t overthink it, and don’t hold yourself back. Don’t be afraid that you aren’t “fit enough” or “look fit.” Fit isn’t a size, and you can grow with your students. Teaching will also help build your confidence. It’s okay if you’re shy at first, but when you’re having fun, your students have fun. If you’re worried about finding a job afterwards, don’t be. Reach out to other instructors, studios, or gyms. You’ll be surprised by how interested they can be in POP because it’s so unique! So take the leap and sign up!
Sign up for an in-person POP Pilates training here
Sign up for the POP Pilates Online Workshop (international program) here