Born and raised in sunny Southern California, it was almost a given that I would have aspirations of becoming an actress. But, acting is only good if you’re a working actor. I needed a day job and one that would let me bail out for auditions. So, it was right about then that I got a job at a gym and worked the 5am-12pm shift…ouch!
Being in a fitness environment sparked my interest in helping others become better. Better looking, better feeling, better moving. It was while working at said gym that I got a call from my agent saying a Pilates instructor was looking for a mentee that was dancer. Pilates? Sounds fun (especially if that means that I don’t have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn anymore!). So I met with this teacher and was immediately hooked. She saw my enthusiasm and threw me right into the fray, later sending me through my first certification at The Physical Mind Institute. I continued to teach out of her place as well as various studios around town. Sadly I still had crazy hours with the 6am clients, but I loved being a teacher instead of swiping membership cards and folding towels.
“It’s NOT a gym and that’s a good. I don’t feel like I’m being judged when I walk in, everyone is friendly.” ~John Frankenstein
I always had a burning desire to strike out on my own, be my own boss, and make my schedule (without working at dawn!) A part in a National McDonalds commercial funded my bank account with the means to buy my very first Pilates Reformer. At the time I lived in hip and trendy (and still grungy), Silverlake, CA. I had a sweet space- a 1920’s bungalow nestled on a hill with my own private garden. I put my new purchase in my home, my dining room became my studio, and FORM Pilates was born.
“Form Pilates is not the gimmicky studio I was used to. It’s Pilates plain and simple. No cheesy group-ons or bargain workouts, and you clearly get what you pay for.” ~Nina Loftspring
I taught out of my home for 6 years, offering clients coffee in the garden while they waited for their session. It was glorious and I knew that making Pilates more than an exercise program but instead an experience was in my DNA. Sadly, an unexpected move forced me to sell my reformer, as well as a brand new Gratz Cadillac (that one still stings!). I was back in studios working at 6:30am and dreaming of something new. It was here, in Venice Beach, that Broadway called, and when Broadway calls…you go!
I got the news on a Friday and by Monday I was on a plane on my way to NYC. I put FORM on hold and lived my dream for almost two years. Life set in, an injury stunted me, and I got back to teaching to pay the rent. I still had dreams of getting back on the Broad-way so I chose to work for Big Brother and got a job teaching at huge gym chain. At first being back in the gym world was cool, but after feeling like I was in Pilates Prison, busting my ass and teaching for peanuts, I started wondering if there was more?
“I used to be a member of a gym and take group Pilates classes. I found out the hard way that they didn’t care about levels. They didn’t pay attention to me at all. In the one-on-one sessions, I feel like the instructor really gets to know me.” ~Tiffany Berrier
I had the good fortune of inheriting the clientele of a good friend moved away. I found a little nest of a studio in USQ to bring them to, and dusted FORM off the shelf. I rented space for two years when the owner announced he was moving away and did I want to take over? Did I? When the universe speaks…you listen. I felt the call and rose to the occasion. I was ready to retire from performing and this was the perfect solution. In June of 2011 I took the reins from the previous owner. Union Square Pilates evolved into FORM Pilates Union Square! A coat or two of paint and lots of elbow grease later my little dream is humming away. I wanted to create a haven not only for clients to learn Pilates in, but also to break out teachers from their Pilates Prison. At FORM we focus on letting the teacher make what they deserve and incubate their business in mine. We have a beautiful, clean, high-end space with brand new equipment for their use. This year, I supplemented this service with my FORM Pilates Co-op that offers these teachers a world not just to continue their education but to gain support and community. Here’s to more growth, more entrepreneurship, and more PILATES!!!