30 Jan Teacher Trainer Spotlight: Kristen Rizzuto!
Kristen Rizzuto shares her thoughts on being a Kane School teacher trainer:
Q: What inspired or led you to be a teacher trainer?
A: The seed was planted on my first day of Basic Training as a student. The teacher trainer who led my first workshop, Anna, was so passionate and knowledgeable about the details of the modality. The effect was contagious, and from that day I was hungry for as much information as I could get my hands on. I was full-up with excitement for what I was (and will forever be) learning, and I knew that, in addition to wanting to become as best a teacher of Pilates as I could be, I eventually wanted to be able to share the same depth of passion that Anna shared with me to future teachers. And the beat goes on.
Q: What have you learned thus far in your role as a teacher trainer?
A: Oh jeez. So many things. I’m learning so much every day. Definitely what’s stuck with me most so far within this role has been the importance of trimming away the fluff. It’s so easy to get caught up in the splendor of this complex movement style, and I’m constantly reminding myself to return to simplicity. I think this applies to life and teaching in general, but specifically in training future teachers, it’s been very important to communicate the bones of Pilates, the truly important take-aways, and do away with the mystique, intimidation, and frills.
Q: What have you learned teaching in different environments or in other styles that you are implementing at Kinected?
A: As a dancer and dance teacher, I’ve been very fortunate in having had the privilege of moving my body beyond the “normal” day-to-day range for almost my entire life. I first and foremost want to give students of Pilates a movement experience beyond the normal day-to-day range. Luckily, Pilates (even in it’s most primitive format) is designed to do just that. Additionally in dance, or at least the kind of dance I learned, the body moves through space as a whole entity. Yes, there are many different moving pieces and parts, but everything is connected to animate one living portrait. I feel like it’s so easy in everyday life to obsess over one portion of our bodies, and we forget to zoom out. To the best of my ability, I’m working to share an experience while teaching that promotes total-body awareness and success.
Q: How has being a teacher trainer – especially in a teaching studio like Kinected – changed you as a teacher, and as a student?
A: I think this for sure relates back to an earlier question. Being a teacher trainer in such an education-rich environment has helped me to simplify and find balance. I remember feeling overloaded and manic with all of the choreography and tools at my disposal when I finished my training…I wanted to do everything, all the time, with every client, with my own body, with any willing participant who had a pulse. This new role has really helped me to return to the foundations of the Kane School, back to the Core Principles, back to the whole point of this movement, and to the miraculous things Pilates (at it’s core) can do for the body.
Q: Any advice to students you’d like to pass along?
A: The more value you place on your time, the more vivid your Pilates spectrum will be. This isn’t a run-out-the-clock situation, and you’ll get soooo much more bang for your buck if you use the time you have to be truly present in the work. <3
The human body has always fascinated Kristen, who grew up dancing in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was this fascination & love of movement that led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Southern Mississippi, where she took courses in Anatomy, Kinesiotherapy, and Biomechanics. After moving to New York, Kristen was exposed to the superb awesomeness of Pilates as a means to work through injury, recondition the body, and improve overall posture & fitness. Kristen obtained her Pilates Mat & Apparatus Certifications from the Kane School of Core Integration and aims to provide movement experiences for clients that both challenge and empower. When Kristen isn’t dancing or Pilatesing, you’ll probably find her crouched over a bag of Haribo gummy bears, casually humming the score from Cats the Musical…for which she harbors a life-long obsession.