Interview with Alan Herdman. By K.Smirnova

Interview with Alan Herdman. By K.Smirnova

Interview with Alan Herdman. By K.Smirnova

What did you know about Pilates before you came to New York? Did you know about Joe?

I hadn’t the slightest notion of Pilates. And I had no interest at all. So I didn’t come to Pilates that way. It was simply my fate. I flew to NY, not knowing what to expect.

Had you ever heard of Joe?

No, not at all! And you know, it’s interesting. We spoke very little about that. I missed Joe by 2 years. I went to NY in 1969 and he died in 1967.

What was your first impression when you got there?

It took a few weeks to get used to it. The first few weeks, I was just observing and doing simple  classes. And then I start realizing how useful, how ben- eficial it would be for dancers I  trained and worked with and also for regular people. I saw the benefit for nonprofessional people.

Who were your first Pilates teachers?

My first teacher was Robert Fitzgerald. He had trained with Carola Trier. And Carola had  been with Joseph Pilates for many years before she set up her own studio. After he trained with Carola, he went back to work with Pilates for a while. So, Bob Fitzgerald was my main one. Then when I went back to New York I worked with Carola Trier.

  Robert Fitzgerald and Carola Trier

Who from the Elders was there when you were there?

Unfortunately, the people who were around, like Kathy Grant, who was just up the road the  next block from our studio; Clara – his wife was down the street from where I was. Bob Seed  was another one who was around. But they didn’t talk to each other. For example, I found  Carola not from Bob Fitzgerald, who had trained with her, but from asking someone else.
They kept themselves in little pockets. Carola was the most famous one but I had to find her by myself.

Competitors?
Yes, absolutely.

How did you meet Carola?
I made an appointment at her studio. Arriving, I introduced myself. And she started teaching me – in her own interesting way.

Did you like her?

I did! I liked her and I think…because people would say she is this, she is that but I think  we got on well because I was a European male and I think that made a difference. And also…I  didn’t fight against it. I was there to take information. So, even if at times, it was a bit rough – it was fine with me. If she shouted at me – no problem. It didn’t affect my masculinity to have this little bird-like woman screeching up at me.

 

Full text available in 'Pilates4you Journal «The Pilates Englishman»'

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