Who Are the Iconic Pilates Instructors?

At Sheppard Method Pilates, our goal is to help you achieve the perfect, balanced body. Whether it’s through private Pilates sessions or classes with others with our skilled Pilates instructors, we want you to get the most out of what Pilates can offer.

When it comes to Pilates instructors, there are a few who helped to shape and guide the various forms of Pilates enough that they are respected or remembered to this day. Who are these instructors? Who helped make Pilates become the popular form of effective, versatile exercise it is today?

In this blog entry, Sheppard Method Pilates takes a look at some of the most iconic Pilates instructors through the history of Pilates.

Joseph Pilates

We couldn’t look back at iconic Pilates instructors without mentioning the man who started it all, Joseph Pilates. If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably learned at least a little about Joseph Pilates by now. But a brief summary for anyone unfamiliar, Pilates was born in Germany in the late 1800s. The son of a metal-worker and gymnast, Joseph began life as a sickly child but grew into an avid gymnast, skier, and boxer. Joseph developed his unique exercise regime while he was interned in Britain as a German citizen during World War I. Joseph moved back to Germany following the end of the war, before moving to the US in the 1920s, going on to become the Pilates icon he is today. The full story of Joseph Pilates is a long and fascinating one, and we’ll be covering it in more depth in future blogs.

Ron Fletcher

Ron Fletcher was an American Pilates instructor and student of Joseph Pilates in the 1920s. One of the first generation of Pilates teachers following its originator, Fletcher was also a noted choreographer for Broadway, network TV, and ice skating, and worked with countless stars of both stage and screen.

The Ron Fletcher Studio in Beverly Hills became a hub for the teaching and popularizing of Pilates from the 70s onwards. Even after his death in 2011, Ron Fletcher has remained one of the biggest names in Pilates.

Kristin McGee

Moving to some of the more recent Pilates instructors who have made an impact as influencers and fitness gurus, there are few whose names pop up as often as Kristin McGee. McGee has become a leading example of teaching Pilates in the digital age, having starred in MTV Pilates and MTV Yoga in the early 2000s, her own Pilates weight loss series, and moving her teaching to online platforms like Instagram and YouTube.

McGee was one of the instructors who paved the way for the newest generation of social-media-driven Pilates enthusiasts who continue to bring Pilates to a wider, younger audience.

Risa Sheppard

Again, it wouldn’t be right to list iconic instructors without naming Risa Sheppard, developer of Sheppard Method Pilates. An instructor of celebrities, people with life-changing injuries and disabilities, and those who just want to learn how Pilates can benefit them, Risa has been teaching her spin on Pilates for many years.

With her focus on the connection between mind, body, and spirit, Risa has instructed celebrities like James Earl Jones and Jack Lalanne and continues to inspire thousands of people today.

Contact a Pilates Instructor

If you’re looking for a skilled instructor to help you make the most of Pilates, contact Sheppard Method Pilates today. Through a regime of mindful exercise, we can give you a workout that soothes your mind, body, and spirit, gives you leaner muscles and more flexibility, and give you a brand new sense of health and wellbeing.