Joseph Pilates died without actually having putting his name to a program for certifying his technique. Among the pupils who studied at 'Jacob's Pillow', his studio on New York's Eighth Ave., Carola Trier was the first to open another center in the 1950's, sustained by Pilates himself, where she taught her technical skills enriched by her own personal experience.
Later, on Pilates' death, his wife Clara continued his work and then passed on his studio to Romana Kryzanowska, another of the first generation pupils.
In the 1970's, Clara gave her approval to Ron Fletcher, a Martha Graham ballerina who had studied with Pilates in the 1940's when he had had a knee problem, who wanted to open a teaching studio in Los Angeles. Fletcher greatly modified the original Pilates 'corpus' and created his own specific program called 'The Ron Fletcher Work'.
There were other first generation pupils who continued teaching the method - Eve Gentry, a ballerina who taught for Pilates from 1938 to 1968 before opening her own studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Mary Bowen, who began teaching in 1975 and opened her own studio in Massachusetts, Lolita San Miguel, who has now been teaching in the Ballet Concierto of Puerto Rico for many years, and Robert Fitzgerald, Kathy Grant and Bruce King who each opened a studio in New York in the 1970's.
All this has meant that numerous schools have grown up, each contributing to the evolution of the Pilates method by venturing in new directions. Core Dynamics Plus, Body Control, Stott Pilates, Balanced Body and The Ron Fletcher Work are all names defining methods whose roots lie in the work of J.H. Pilates.
In Italy, Anna Maria Cova, who studied in New York with Romana Kryzanowska and then collaborated until 2003 with Sean Gallagher, head of the Pilates studio in New York, has created the CovaTech Pilates method out of her constant implementation of the Pilates technique, her years of teaching experience and her rehabilitation theraphy work, together with her interaction with other disciplines and teachers. The CovaTech Pilates method takes advantage of new intuitions, without detracting from the original 'corpus' of the technique. And so the original method, rare in the fact that it promotes static posture tecniques together with dynamic movement, has been enriched and completed through the birth of new protocols. Just consider 'Pilates with the Tender Ball', free body exercises using a 20 cm soft ball, and 'Pilates in a Smile', exercises which fill you with a sense of well-being, relaxing and putting a smile on your face - what better way to find the right balance of mind and body.