bePilates

"I’m actually quite proud of our clients.  bePilates has been open since 2012 and since that time we have been trying to work within the tradition of pilates in the UK, in terms of group classes, which is all clients doing the same workout at the same time ..."

Wanderlust WeeklyCongrats on the growth of bePilates! What inspired its creation? Dawne Likhodedova: Thank you!  I had been practicing pilates for many years in the US and when I moved to the UK in 2006, I found it difficult to find a studio that resonated with my past experience.  I was dancing professionally at the time, and so opening a pilates studio was the last thing on my mind but as my dancing career was winding down in 2011/2012, I was looking for my next move and opening a pilates studio seemed like a great match for me.

Wanderlust Weekly: You've built a strong community following in London, what are you most proud of? Dawne Likhodedova: I’m actually quite proud of our clients.  bePilates has been open since 2012 and since that time we have been trying to work within the tradition of pilates in the UK, in terms of group classes, which is all clients doing the same workout at the same time.  But this model for pilates doesn’t really work and is a better fit for group fitness.  For example, clients who had been coming to the studio for over two years for classes still didn’t know the names of exercises that are fundamental to the method and it got me thinking… we are allowing clients to come in and just “shut off”!  Pilates is supposed to be mindful movement!  So in our experience, this one-size-fits-all style of training seemed a bit inconsistent with our aims of building a sound pilates practice for our clients.  We decided in January to eliminate this style of training from our timetable completely and allow clients to experience pilates in the tradition of Joe Pilates’ original style in New York - where clients come in and have their own workout while the teacher guides and challenges their movements but where the client works at their own pace and progresses appropriately.  To be honest, we are lucky - the clients have stuck with us through this big change.  But watching them practice now, they are working harder, progressing and in complete control of their own practice.  They are super inspiring.  I’m so proud of them.  

Wanderlust Weekly: The wellness field is constantly evolving, what upcoming news or developments can we look forward to from bePilates? Dawne Likhodedova: One of the great things with pilates is that it is timeless.  As your body evolves, so does the method along with you - it just keeps getting better and more amazing for your body!  We’re going to continue to grow our studio style of training throughout the rest of the year and into 2018 and just keep doing what we love - pilates!  [ learn more ]