Teacher Training Program FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About the Pilates Teacher Training Program at Excel Pilates DC

Why complete a Teacher Training Program?
The entire Pilates Method, both mat and apparatus, consists of over 500 exercises and is systematically ordered and layered. Pilates has been in existence for over 75 years. To preserve its power, it is important to study the complete Pilates Method. The exercises should be studied authentically and in person. Being a Pilates teacher offers the opportunity to assist individuals to be in control of their own health and well-being, and to provide an opportunity for clients to grow, learn, and pursue a fitter lifestyle. The Pilates Method of physical and mental conditioning is mutually empowering for clients and teachers.

Does the Pilates Teacher Training Program (TTP) at Excel involve both mat and apparatus work? 
Our TTP is a comprehensive, 700 hour, one-year training program. It covers all apparatus and mat exercises, anatomy, and session design. The program includes a teaching manual, required readings, and weekly apprentice meetings. Apprenticeship involves practice teaching, observation, and the continuation of the study and practice of Pilates.

There is written and practical testing at the 200-, 400-, and 600-hour intervals. There are four 20-hour weekend seminars. All hours are completed in the studio. We do not offer partial certifications, i.e., "mat certification."

What are the prerequisites?
To apply, one must practice at a strong intermediate/advanced level in all apparatus and mat work. Applicants need to have studied Pilates (not Pilates-based exercises) and possess excellent knowledge of at least the intermediate system. This enables the focus during the program to be on learning how to teach. If you are interested in applying but are not at the required level, you should take the time to better increase your knowledge and so as to gain significantly more from the program once you enroll. Prerequisite Workshops are offered at all three Excel Pilates locations. There are no exceptions to the qualifications necessary for admission.

What are the backgrounds of the directors?
Lesa McLaughlin and Kerry DeVivo offer over 40 years of combined Pilates experience. Kerry earned her certification from the Pilates Center in Colorado and the Pilates Studio in NY. Lesa earned her certification from the Pilates Studio in NY. Both Lesa and Kerry are considered second generation teachers. For full bios please visit the Program Directors and Faculty page.

What makes our program unique?
Excel is the ideal setting for a quality learning experience, providing access to a fully-equipped studio (reformers, cadillac, wall units/towers, wunda chairs, electric chair, ladder barrels, spine corrector, small barrel, foot corrector, toe exerciser, ped-o-pull, and more). Excel offers a small class enrollment for each apprentice session and therefore is able to provide substantial individual attention. Additionally, we have a dynamic teaching base and clientele. Each apprentice is assigned to an advisor in order to best utilize these resources and maximize learning potential.

Is our program affiliated with other programs?
Our program is affiliated with no other programs. We teach Pilates in its traditional form, which makes us similar to only a few other programs. Additionally, Excel's TTP offers comparatively more individual attention and significant coverage of anatomy and special client issues.

What kind of apparatus do we have?
In the Washington DC studio, we have traditional apparatus (leather straps, four springs, and single-level foot bar) from Balanced Body. In the Annapolis studio, our apparatus is from Gratz and Peak's classical line.  Excel Pilates Nova has apparatus from Gratz. At all studios, we have Reformers, Cadillac, Wall Units, Wunda Chairs, Barrels, High/Electric Chair, Pedi-Pull, Magic Circles and more.

How do I apply?

Click here for an application form. Please mail the completed application with required materials and a check for the evaluation session to Excel Pilates DC at 3407 8th Street, NE, Washington DC 20017. If your application is approved, an evaluation session will be scheduled. The cost of an evaluation session is $100. The evaluation session and interview will determine acceptance to program.