G is for surnames of Pilates elders

The 'elders' were just a few original students that studied directly under the supervision and guidance of Joseph Pilates.

School Of Pilates Posted Feb 19, 2015 Future Fit Training

G is for surnames of Pilates elders

Several elders are still well-known names in the world of Pilates today and many Pilates teachers can trace their ‘lineage’ back to one of these original students.

Eve Gentry (1909-1994) was an original disciple of Joseph Pilates and a master teacher of his technique to generations of instructors. Eve was studying in Los Angeles when Martha Graham saw her perform and offered her a scholarship in New York City. Eva had a successful dance career performing with Hanya Holm's New York company from 1936-1942 and she later founded her own group called The Eve Gentry Dancers. She danced under the name of Henrietta Greenhood until 1945, when she professionally adopted her husband's surname of Gentry.

Eve’s concern for preserving choreography led her to establishing the Dance Notation Bureau in New York in 1940 with Ann Hutchinson Guest, Janey Price and Helen Priest Rogers. She was also a charter faculty member of the High School for the Performing Arts.

Persistent back and knee problems led her to investigate, and later teach, a system of physical conditioning devised by Joseph Pilates. She taught ‘Contrology’ at the Pilates Studio in New York from 1938-1968. Eve also taught Pilates in the early 1960s at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Theater Department. In 1968 she moved to New Mexico where she established a Pilates Studio on Camino de la Luz and, in 1991, an institute devoted to the Pilates method.

You can watch Eve in these You Tube videos:

Eve Gentry talking about Pilates concept (3 minute video) here

Eve Gentry and Joseph Pilates (16 minute video) here

Eve Gentry teaching a class (16 minute video) here

Kathy Grant (1921-2010) - starting out as dancer, Kathy started teaching Pilates exercise in 1957 and was one of only two people to ever receive a certification to teach directly from Joseph Pilates. From 1988 Kathy was based at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where she taught a year- long Pilates course. Known for her strength and devotion to the precision of the Pilates method, Kathy touched and changed the lives of many students through private instruction and workshops around the country. She was an amazing woman and helped bodies move well, encouraged good movement and how to ride the breath as well as how to make the most of every minute of a Pilates workout.

Jay Grimes started his studies with Joseph Pilates in the mid-sixties. After Joseph’s death Jay continued his studies with Joseph’s wife, Clara, until she died 10 years later. Jay started teaching in the original 8th Avenue Studio in New York and has since taught all over the world. Jay danced ballet professionally including on Broadway for 18 years and never suffered an injury. He attributed this entirely to Pilates. Jay is valued in the Pilates community for his experience, humility and integrity in maintaining the work of Joseph Pilates. Over the years Jay’s clients have ranged from stars of Broadway and Hollywood, music and opera, to politicians, businessmen and housewives as well as Olympic athletes.


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