Today in Black Pilates History

Updated: Feb 19

It’s easy to talk just about Kathleen Stanford Grant during Black history month however there is so much more history going on that needs to be acknowledged in the Pilates community. So let’s start:


1. Black Girl Pilates™️ is the first group to acknowledge/represent Blackness (female identifying) within the Pilates industry.


2. The Melanin Brothers of Pilates was the first group to acknowledge male identifying Blackness within the Pilates industry.


3. Marimba Gold Watts was the first Black woman to ever win the Pilates Anytime teacher contest


4. Nicky Taylor Steward Grayson, Eurona Tilley Stella Hull Lampkin and Tabatha Koylass were the first Black women to be on the board of the Pilates Method Alliance


5. Zola Williams was the first Black woman Instructor to be on the front of Pilates Style magazine, after that was Emilie Battle and Marimba Gold Watts


6. Sarita Allen, Wendy Amos, Dr. Jacqueline Sawyer are the first Black assistants to Kathleen Stanford Grant


7. Kathleen Stanford Grant was the first and only Black person to be certified by Joseph Pilates


8. Kathleen Stanford Grant was the first Black woman to manage/run a Pilates studio


9. Teresa R. Ellis is the first and ONLY Black, Queer, Femme woman to own a studio for Black/Brown LGBTQAI+, Fat peeps, sex workers etc.


10. Jason Williams is the first Black man to write a children’s story book/coloring book on Pilates.


11. Tonya Amos, Misty Lynn Cauthen, Fabrice Lamego, Labriece Oschner, Tiza Wynn Riley and Sylvia Byrd-Leitner were the first Black advisory board to a major certify/equipment organization - Balanced Body


12. Tonya Amos developed the first and only Pilates scholarship program specifically for Black people who want to teach Pilates through Balanced Body


13. Chris Robinson was the first Black person to write a book highlighting Pilates - The Core Connection.


14. Marjorie Oron, Cynthia Shipely and Cynthia Lochard are the only and first Black top teacher trainers in Romana’s Pilates


15. Gia Calhoun was the first Black woman to be vice president at Pilates Anytime


16. Terricka Thomas Basar was the first Black woman to create Pilates cartoons in our likeness.


17. Ali Matlock is the first Black man to be Managing Director at Power Pilates

18. Joshua Keith was the first Black man/person to receive scholarship from Gratz/Equinox.


19. Rodrick Covington is the first Black man to have a successful online Pilates platform with nutrition and other strength training.


20. Kim Carruthers was the first Black woman to own and operate a Pilates studio in Hollywood California which was established in 2004. Kim Carruthers was the First Black woman to be featured in and on the Today Show, E News, Extra TV Show, Newsweek, O Magazine and Vogue.


21. Nicole Alvarez Smith was the first Black woman to appear in a Gratz ad.


22. Maria Earle was the first Black Pilates instructor to write a dissertation about Kathleen Stanford Grant.


23. I am the first Black woman to develop a Pilates mentorship Program (Decolonizing Pilates ™ Mentorship Program) specifically for white and non-Black POCs from an antiracism standpoint. I am also the first Black woman to develop a mentorship program specifically for Black people who are interested in, currently in an apprentice program or teaching ( The Black Pilates Mentorship Program)


24. First and only Black woman to teach antiracism for the Pilates industry .


25. Brett Howard was the first Black person to be on the cover of a book on Pilates.


The Black Pilates community is responsible for the changes you see in this industry ( don’t come on here talking about “but said ⚪️ folks helped” either 🙄)


Although celebratory, these FIRSTS say A LOT about the Pilates industry ... I’ll let you figure that out ...


Happy Black History EVERY DAMN DAY!


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