Katie Ewald and Joseph Pilates

Katie Ewald

With a background in professional dance, Katie came to Pilates out of a deep appreciation for the potential of the human body.  For thirteen years, alongside her study of the Pilates method, she was rehearsing and touring across Canada and Europe. In 2007 she suffered a substantial dance-related injury, and experienced, first-hand, the rehabilitative power of Pilates.  This intensified her passion to help others on their own journey towards greater mobility and freedom from chronic physical pain. Now living and teaching in beautiful Guelph, Ontario she spends her energy helping people transform their discomfort into pain and feel like themselves again!

Through her dance training she has had the privilege of studying many physical techniques, including Franklin, Yoga, Skinner Releasing, Klein and Alexander, which inform her one-on-one and group classes.

  • BFA Contemporary Dance, Concordia University, Montreal

  • First Cycle Graduate, Performing Arts Research Training Studios, Brussles

  • Equipment Intensive (Reformer, Cadillac, Chair), Body Harmonics, Toronto

  • Pilates on the Reformer, Structural Studies Institute, Montreal

  • Rehab Through Pilates, Core Basics, Montreal

  • Pilates on the Mat, Structural Studies Institute, Montreal

*****

My Dear Students,

When I was three years old (yes!! three!!) I knew I wanted to be a dancer. Let me restate that. I knew I was a dancer! I loved to move and make up stories and dance them. I was constantly twirling about. My mom was always warning me about things I might knock over, but the thing was that I knew where they were and I never knocked them over. My body told me. My body knew how to move about with abandon and not get hurt. I could see and feel the space around me in great detail during the movement.

I went to professional dance school years later. I was told many things. Often I was told I was disappointing in some way. I knew I was a dancer, but the teachers thought I should be different... more this, less that. I was weird and different, yet I persisted and found my way through a very fulfilling career that lasts today. And you know what? These things that were weird and different made me the dancer people wanted to work with later. These things that were disappointing to some people ended up being what inspired fellow artists I later worked with.

At dance school I was taught a Pilates class. My teachers name was Allison and I HATED it... but something about it intrigued me... why do I hate this!? A couple of years later that curiosity transformed into a deeper connection and admiration for this exercise form called Pilates. I did my first teachers training the summer of 1999. I wanted to know how best to say the things that would communicate the movements I wanted students to do and how those movements would feel. My main interest in this career has been to spark the imagination of the student’s mind and body so that they could feel a physical change for the positive. I have worked for almost twenty years collecting images and turns of phrases that spark the embodiment of movements.

Then I got injured. My body told me I hadn't been listening and I had been moving in patterns that were unhealthy. I was a sore and cranky lady for almost two years. Boy did that teach me patience, compassion, and that every tiny drop of effort you put into your bucket will eventually add up. Slow and steady guides us to health. When I coach people into better patterns for their bodies, my attitude is: take it one step at a time. Why? My body told me. I have found through all my personal and teaching experience something that sounds perhaps counterintuitive at first: that you will fly into achievement if you focus on learning one step at a time and do not get wound up with the results before they occur. All of our bodies will move towards healthy patterns if we get out of our own way and deeply listen. I like to say, "follow your breath!" and, "your breath is the boss!" because I want us to realize that we already know. We know how to breathe and we know how to move.

In my classes, whether it's one-on-one or group, I create a space for self-discovery and investigation. I draw on all of my years of moving. If you count from age three, that is 39 years of listening, experimenting and figuring out movement. I constantly encourage self honouring, deep listening and play. And if you can't do or feel something, you can tell me and I will have 5 other ways you can try it or imagine it. My catalogue is like the universe: ever expanding! With all of my hours in the studio, my teacher trainings, the workshops I take with other movers and my interest in the science of Anatomy, I have devoted thousands of hours to learning how to get out of my way, follow my breath and move. I teach you how to hear what your body is telling you.

I love Pilates, I love coaching, and I love teaching movement.

I LOVE my students. It has been a pleasure, honour and a generous life-affirming twenty years of witnessing you move. I have been lucky to watch you learn, change and grow into a healthier version of yourself.

Thank you for being on this journey with me.

For my twenty year anniversary I am asking you two things: to share with me how I taught you to hear what your body is telling you, and to share my story with someone you just know in your heart will benefit from it!

Cheers to the next twenty years!!!