Alan Herdman studied at the London School of Contemporary Dance and was working as a teacher and dancer when, in the late 1960s, he was invited to New York to learn about the Joseph Pilates Method. There he worked intensively with Carola Trier and Bob Fitzgerald, two instructors who had been trained by Pilates himself.
Although well-regarded amongst New York’s dance fraternity, Pilates was unknown in the UK at that time and Alan returned in 1970 to set up Britain’s first-ever Pilates studio. Among his first clients were actors, dancers and singers, but word soon spread as doctors and physiotherapists began recommending Pilates to patients struggling with chronic injuries. Alan now lectures on Pilates around the world, and he has written several successful books, including The Pilates Directory (2004), The Gaia Busy Person’s Guide to Pilates (2003), Pilates for Men (2007) and The Complete Pilates Tutor (2014). He runs a training course for Pilates instructors in London and supervises courses in both Athens and Istanbul. As well as running his own studios, he and his assistants teach in dance schools and designated Pilates studios internationally.
Alan is the Chair of Pilates Method Alliance UK Chapter, designed to foster professional interaction and continuing education opportunities for Pilates professionals. He is invited each year to present at the PMA Conference, as well as Balanced Body’s international Pilates On Tour.
JOAKIM VALSINGER Joakim is an Award Winning Fitness Instructor and a Lolita San Miguel disciple having graduated from her Pilates Master Mentor Program in 2015. He runs Bälans Pilates Studio and Treatment Rooms in Perth where he lives with his wife and baby daughter. Joakim was the first person in the UK to become an Educator for Lolita’s Legacy, Comprehensive Pilates teacher Training.
In 2014 Joakim received a Fitness Industry Award, the Spirit of Flame, in recognition for going the extra mile in getting more people exercising more often.
Joakim Trained as a Pilates Instructor with the Pilates Foundation, before qualifying as an Instructor with Body Control Pilates in 2004. He also has a Level 4 Lower Back Pain Specialist accreditation with REPs, the Register of Exercise Professionals.
A Swedish born Australian, Joakim came to the UK in 1998. He is a former Australian Army Reserve SF Commando, Bondi Beach Surf Life Saver and Territorial Army Physical Training Instructor. A Military background is relatively unusual in the Pilates industry and Joakim manages to combine the physical and mental fitness techniques used in the Military with the mind-body awareness and sensitivity that can be found in the Pilates Method. Many of the techniques and strategies used in training of Military personnel are very useful in the setting of a Pilates Studio and Joakim hopes to share as much as he can from his experiences and observations.
Steve graduated as a physiotherapist many years ago and has had a diverse career working with professional sports teams, recreational athletes as well as the general public. Steve is currently the lead clinical physiotherapist in Scotland for the armed forces, a demanding and varied post well suited to his expertise in movement analysis and post injury rehabilitation. Steve, as a much sought after therapist and lecturer in sports injuries, also has his own physiotherapy practice in the Scottish Borders.
It is Steve’s firm belief that no injury is fully addressed or successful rehabilitation achievable without restoring normal movement, to this end Steve is obsessive about the correct execution of prescribed exercise, empowering clients to safely return to independent training after the rehabilitation period. Although not Pilates trained Steve shares the Pilates belief that moving correctly, having a body in balance and maintaining strength through out life is essential to keep us active, as well as injury and pain free.
Steve enjoys an active lifestyle taking full advantage of his hometown being a mountain biking haven and can often be found riding the trails of Glentress. Steve coaches the local 9/10 year old football team as well as providing physiotherapy to the town’s rugby team.
Anatomy Paint Shop
A fabulous group of anatomy teachers from various university anatomy departments, who love to teach and share their passion for anatomy and how the body works. Learn more about Janet, Karen, Kat and Gabrielle on Twitter at
Michael has been working with the Pilates technique for 40 years. He originally worked with the technique as a dancer at the London School of Contemporary Dance. In 1982 he opened his own studio, Body Control, in connection with the newly formed Pineapple Dance Studios in Covent Garden London.
Two years later he was offered a position in Texas managing the Pilates studio at the Houston Ballet Company where he stayed until 1990. During this time sponsored by the Houston Ballet Michael travelled across the USA visiting and training at studios. In New York with Carla Trier and with Romana Kryzanowska at the original Pilates Studio in New York.
Michael also worked in the Voight Centre in LA for five years teaching fitness programs as as well as at many other Pilates Studios including Winsor Pilates in Los Angeles.
He moved back to Europe in 1995 where following a two year contract in Switzerland he returned to London. Michael was the founder and Director of the Pilates Institute UK until 2008 and has since been running his own training school MK Pilates
Michael 's reputation as a renowned presenter both in Fitness and Pilates has been established since 1980. His training programs are now taught in over 32 countries worldwide and has been instrumental in the development of national and international standards in recent years.
MSc MCSP MMACP
Cameron is renown for creating great ways to get people well through movement and positive attitude. His vast clinical, movement teacher, lecturing, cognitive and holistic experience has put him in a unique position.
A Clinical Specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapist with over 30 years experience, an international renown clinical teacher, lecturer and movement teacher. Trained as a fully certified studio pilates teacher and learning from the many schools and individuals in movement world, he now trains pilates and other movement related instructors himself at his own studio and around the world. He teaches on Pilates on Tour as part of the Balanced Body faculty, other major training organisations and to the medical world. he taught on the original Sports medicine post graduate course for doctors. Cameron has extensive experience in bodywork, performance (GB Triathlete) and rehabilitation. He has published research in rehabilitation. Widely travelled as a sports and military physiotherapist he was the first British Triathlon physiotherapist. He has held Olympic posts, Officer Commanding Physiotherapy at Headley Court, and other Military Rehabilitation units in London and Edinburgh. His team established the MOD Amputee service and many award winning clinical pathways. His operational service includes Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. These experiences profoundly shaped him. Cameron now runs his own Practice and Movement studio, Ergotonics, close to where he grew up in Stirling, Scotland and travels with his teaching. Camerons experience, knowledge and a positive approach create a unique blend to help professionals and clients foster their health and education needs.
Nora has lived in Edinburgh for the past 20 years and discovered Pilates 10 years ago during rehabilitation from a pelvic and lower back injury whilst marathon training! She has been hooked ever since and is convinced Pilates balanced her marathon training and helped her over the finish line all 4 times.
Nora firmly believes Pilates is for everyone and went on to train as a teacher with Body Control in London. Nora has also trained with Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute and Pilates Union.
Nora has been teaching Pilates in Scotland’s beautiful capital for the past 10 years with Edinburgh’s largest Pilates provider ‘Balanced’ at their main clinic in Stockbridge. She has established herself with a loyal client following and always ensures that her clients understand that good technique is key for achieving the results. Nora works with a wide range of clients with a variety of goals, injuries, medical conditions, and of all ages and stages. She strives to ensure everyone gets the maximum from their Pilates sessions. Nora is also a qualified a Barre Concept Teacher which has added variety to her movement teaching approach.
Noras personal passions are loves Pilates (especially on the reformer) as well as running and cycling round the streets of Edinburgh and the surrounding countryside. Always on the lookout for a challenge she fully advocates she wouldn’t be able to do as much without her regular pilates practice and developing a deeper understanding of the method.
Ken Endelman, CEO of Balanced Body, Pilates aficionado and industry innovator, designed hundreds of improvements to Pilates’ original equipment, many of which have since become industry standards. Balanced Body has been awarded 28 US patents, and numerous foreign patents for his inventions, with more patents pending.
Way back in 1976 Ken began his career as a designer and craftsman of fine custom furniture in Hollywood's fashionable Melrose Avenue district. That background is still evident in every piece of hand-finished equipment our company makes. One day a potential customer came into the store. She taught an exercise called Pilates and wanted Ken to build her a better version of something called a Reformer. Ken had never heard of this exercise or equipment, but he was intrigued. He studied the equipment and Joseph Pilates' original designs, then consulted with other instructors to design new features with new materials that would facilitate execution of the movements. The result? A modern Reformer that was smoother, quieter, safer and more user-friendly. And a new career for Ken.
Throughout the 1980s, Ken continued to refine Pilates equipment, consulting with the most influential people in the industry including some of the original students of Joseph Pilates himself: Ron Fletcher, Eve Gentry, Carola Trier and Kathy Grant. That refinement continues today and keeps Balanced Body at the forefront of Pilates equipment design.
An advocate for the Pilates community
The more Ken continued his work the more fascinated he was by the Pilates method and what he saw it doing in people’s lives. He became deeply connected with the Pilates community and his vision for Balanced Body was to become not just a manufacturer of equipment, but an advocate of this special community. This commitment became dramatically evident when Ken took the lead in the Pilates trademark dispute, winning the lawsuit that made the Pilates name freely available to everyone.
Proud to partner with fantastic educators
Throughout the years Balanced Body has forged strong partnerships with the world’s leading Pilates educators and we are proud to be part of that at The Pilates Gathering.
Check out Ken introducing his talk with Joe Pilates on this video.
Karyn was introduced to Pilates through Dance Medicine at St. Francis Memorial Hospital, as a form of rehabilitation from an injury sustained during her competitive figure skating career. As a nationally ranked figure skater, Karyn had tried many different types of body connection and awareness training, yet during her rehabilitation at Dance Medicine with Nora St. John, she experienced transformations in her body which allowed her to return to the ice stronger and more centered than she had ever been. This “ah-ha” moment led Karyn to find her true passion: Pilates. Upon retirement from competitive figure skating, Karyn began to study and teach Pilates. Karyn has had the privilege of studying with world renowned Pilates teachers and specialists such as: Dr. James Garrick (Founder of Dance Medicine at St. Francis Memorial Hospital) Nora St. John, Joy Puelo, Karen Sanzo, Dr. Al Loosli, Marie Jose Bloom, Naomi Leiserson, Joy Petrash and Adrianne Wrightson.
In 2015, she became one of the select few Balanced Body Master Instructors under the tutelage of Nora St. John. “My devotion to Pilates began with my introduction through Dance Medicine at St. Francis Memorial Hospital. I came to Pilates as an injured athlete (Figure skater) who had tried many different types of body connection and awareness training; yet during my rehabilitation, I experienced transformations which lead to my true passion: Pilates. I deeply believe Pilates can change lives; allow me the chance to help you change yours.”
Karyn is now an International presenter for the Balanced Body Education programme and can be found presenting teaching, nurturing and spreading the pilates word around the world.
Gillian’s love of dance and movement from an early age led her into a career in physiotherapy. While working as a spinal specialist physiotherapist in Edinburgh Gillian became more aware of the relevance of Pilates for clients suffering with low back pain, acknowledging that in this population all too often the deep abdominal muscles as well as the spinal muscles became inefficient. At this point Gillian undertook Pilates training, initially at the home of the Birmingham Royal Ballet then with the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (APPI).
Gillian has been teaching mat based Pilates in the Scottish Borders for over 8 years now and has a loyal band of participants which has grown rapidly over the years from one class in a local music school to 17 classes in her own Physiotherapy and Pilates studio.
Gillian continues to work as a respected clinician and mentor within the NHS and whenever time permits attends dance class or takes to the easier mountain bike trails in the beautiful Scottish Borders.
“I continue to find the diverse movement patterns and faulty movement strategies adopted by clients truly fascinating and feel refreshed and satisfied in the ability to address this through Pilates to the advantage of the client”
My passion for sport and fitness started at an early age, representing rugby for Scottish Schools, before progressing to develop my sporting abilities and technical knowledge at Loughborough University. After spotting a gap in the Edinburgh market for children’s holiday camps with a sports focus, I set up Excel Sports Academy in my final year. This company in now 23yrs old, with a track record of progressive and attractive sales growth and profit margins, its reputation continues to attract more children each year. Excel expanded and I took on managing a sports centre to fully maximise my time. At this point I was increasingly aware of the new wave in professional sport of Pilates. This route took me back into a sporting life from a practical and theoretical sense, although one which required full commitment and dedication. Many years entailed working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day on some days, to build and develop the Pilates business it is today.
18 years later while my company changed its set up several times, it merged with Balanced Physiotherapy Ltd, I can happily say it is in the best strategic position to grow and develop. Balanced is a well-recognised and strong brand, well diversified, with a strong team and robust financials. For me personally I am proud of the companies I represent and this pride in both business brands is what drives my passion and business decisions. Financial strength of a business not only helps to grow and invest in the business, but also provides stability and opportunity for reward for those that work within the companies. I have had years of experience which have included challenging times but have helped me recognise how to manage the risks of running a business. Today my combined company turnover in Sept 2019 will be in excess of £1 million and I have great expectations for the future.