In a recent Pilates Style article (July/August 2011), BASI Pilates Certified Instructor Danielle Connor offers students tips to help evaluate a movement teacher. I have paraphrased some of her words.
1. Has the teacher asked important questions about your health and the condition of your body?
2. Have they given you any background about themselves aside from their certification?
3. Do they have extensive knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology? It's not just about teaching the exercises; it's about knowing how the body works so the exercises are applied correctly and safely. Not only will you see quicker and better results if the instructor is able to explain how your body works, but you'll learn how to apply what is being taught to you to your everyday life.
4. Do they have a deep understanding of the exercises and how to apply them to your body?
5. Do they demonstrate and cue the exercises clearly?
6. Does the instructor have a clear eye? Are they catching muscle imbalances, movement patterns, weaknesses and strengths, areas of tightness or hyper-mobility? Are they providing proper, appropriate, and timely alignment cues?
7. Do they recognize how you learn?
8. Are they personable? Do you get a warm vibe from them? You want to know that the instructor you are working with genuinely cares about your well-being and your results.