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Pilates Teaching Tips 1

In the upcoming BASI Pilates™ newsletters we’ll be looking at different teaching techniques and special teaching concepts to make conveying information from the instructor to the client easier and more effective.In this newsletter we’ll be looking at the instructor’s TONE OF VOICE.

We all agree that effective cueing forms an integral part for successful teaching. My concern very often is the HOW. How do we convey this information verbally to our clients for them to absorb it effectively and then to translate it into movement?

The use of your voice has a profound effect on how the client will receive and act on your instructions. Especially in mat classes where most of the time clients are in a supine or prone position and they depend on audio input to react upon.

Imagine attending a class where the instructor conducts a mat class, but his/her voice is constantly on the same frequency, no fluctuation in the voice, no moments of silence. The droning of his/her voice becomes a distant noise, difficult to listen to and to concentrate on the content thereof. It is almost guaranteed that you will not return to the class. Very often not knowing why, but had the experience that it was a dull and boring class. Like food without spice.

Use your voice to bring inspiration to movement. Your voice and use of language can inspire people to move beyond what they thought possible. You can literally energize people with your enthusiasm and encourage them to move through exercises, having a positive experience. Leaving the class with a sense of euphoria and returning for more week after week.

The flipside of the coin is also true… Don’t overdo it. Too much enthusiasm and energy can give the impression that Pilates is for highly strung people and can be the cause of strain and tension.

Fluctuate your voice… higher to lower, louder to softer, fast to slow. Your voice will promote the dynamic of the exercise, e.g. Pelvic Curl, a slow controlled exercise, cueing softer and slower vs Hamstring Pull 1, a faster, more dynamic exercise, cueing faster and louder. Create light and shade in the class through the use of your voice.

Build anticipation by having moments of silence. Not filling the air with countless words. Use your voice to set the tone of the class, calm, controlled and relaxed yet working hard to effectively move through the repertoire. It is up to the instructor and the use of a very valuable tool – THE VOICE – to promote the principles of Pilates and create an environment where Mind and Body can work in Harmony.

Have fun teaching.

Kind Regards,

Theo van der Riet – Botha
BASI Pilates™ Principal Instructor

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