Deborah began Pilates without any past dance, gymnastics or exercise experience. She never did physical activities of any kind prior to finding Pilates. At 29, she was thrown from her vehicle in a car wreck and cracked three vertebrae.
In 1982, Deborah graduated with a Masters in Social Work from University of Michigan and worked in the field for 30 years.
Leila’s first contact with Pilates began as a teenager and an old VHS Tape — yep, no DVDs or YouTube back then! “At that time, I was a young ballet dancer getting the unhelpful cues, ‘hold your abs!’ and, ‘use your turn-out!’ without a real education as to how the body functions. So I was trying to get it from Pilates.” She continued to work on her goals of being a professional dancer, using Pilates as a cross-training tool rather than as its own discipline.
Stephanie began taking Pilates at the age of 12, when her ballet teacher “brainwashed her” into it. She was one of the first students in Oklahoma.
“Pilates didn’t really exist in Oklahoma at the time. So my ballet instructor, Barby Spates, went to California to be trained by Elizabeth Larkam. When she came back, my friends and I were her guinea pigs. I remember when she got her first reformer and it was just in a quaint, small room in her house. And we would go over for private lessons. That was my introduction.”
Born in India, Vidya moved to America with her family Christmas Eve of 1988.
“I was 14 and a sophomore in high school. We moved here to enhance our educational possibilities and I’m very grateful to my parents for providing me with the support system to have accomplished that.”
In 2001, Vidya graduated from The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center with a Physician Associate Degree and a Masters in Health Sciences. Vidya became a Physician’s Assistant in 2001 and has practiced mostly in the Urgent Care Industry.