- The Pilates profession
January 15, 2020
An Open Letter to the Pilates Community
For decades many have enjoyed the fruits of the efforts of the PMA. Because we want it to succeed far into the future, today we write to insist upon meaningful change.
The Pilates Method Alliance, as evidenced by its name, has tried to bridge historical divisions in our communities. The only not-for-profit professional association dedicated to the Pilates field, it exists to advocate for and support the profession - and those teachers, studios, administrators, aficionados, manufacturers and others with whom it works.
This year, the PMA’s actions and inactions were perceived and felt by the broader industry to have damaged the reputation of the organization and those with whom they associate. Both its flat-footed response to COVID-19, Blackout Tuesday, and its racist, hurtful and insufficient response to the Black Lives Matter movement and conversations have had a negative, embarrassing, and lasting impact on the standing of all in the industry.
As much of the country came together this year to fight COVID-19 and support critical efforts to rebuild businesses, we looked to the PMA for guidance and support. Simultaneously many committed time, effort and resources to fight racism in all of its forms while learning to be antiracist, yet the Pilates Method Alliance disappointed and divided our communities. Its lack of transparency, communication, and leadership in both action and response have sullied what could otherwise have been a transformative, unifying moment.
On December 29th, 2020, a Town Hall convened by the Diversity, Equity, and Community Committee intended to address issues of racism but only further exposed the limitations of the PMA and its current leadership. This further inflamed the issues that the community had been actively working to heal, and reinforced for many the toxic reputation the PMA had garnered.
On January 12th, four of nine newly appointed and elected members of the Board of Directors, each a black woman, resigned.
We are PMA members, non-members, presenters, former presenters, sponsors, former-sponsors, contributors, volunteers and vendors, and collectively we can no longer stand by the subversion of the PMA’s own mission “to provide a proactive voice for a unified community of Pilates professionals.”
As such, we ask the board to commit to a transition of leadership with the resignation of Elizabeth Anderson.
We also ask that the remaining Board members seek the active participation of the Board Members who have resigned: Nicky Taylor Steward, Tabatha Koylass, Stella Hull-Lampkin, and Eurona Tilley, in the hiring of a new Executive Director.
In addition we ask that this period of transition be conducted with the utmost transparency and communication in order to restore faith in the PMA and those it serves.
We believe these actions are necessary in order for the PMA to fulfil its purpose.
Jared Kaplan, Studio 26, New York
Alycea Ungaro, Real Pilates, New York
Marimba Gold-Watts, Articulating Body, New York
James Crader, EB Studio, California
Madeline Black, Madeline Black Method, California
Lesley Powell, Movements Afoot, New York
Jenna Zaffino, JZ Studio/Brink, Illinois
Heather Erdmann, Pure Body Studio, Texas
Trina Altman, California
Sarah Carrasco, Moontower Pilates, Texas
Jessica Kondrath, El Camino College, California
Trey Fry, Kinetic MKE, Wisconsin
Roxy Menzies, Toronto Ontario
Krista Loveless, Cascadia Pilates & Yoga Bhoga, Oregon
Nadia Brunner-Velasquez Roemer, Sanchez Street Studios, California
Chelsea Streifeneder, Body Be Well Pilates, New York
Brigette Duncan, Slam Duncan Wellness, New York
Nikki Naab-Levy, Tacoma, WA
Bianca Crystal, The Catalyst, New York
The Open Letter to the PMA petition to The Pilates profession was written by Jared Kaplan and is in the category The Pilates profession at GoPetition.