The first event I organised was Hamburg, Germany. It featured both International Presenters and local teachers who presented a range of workshops. Not a single person was paid for their time; everyone gave their time for free. What an amazing breath of fresh air! The event was over a weekend and was attended by over 100 Pilates teachers. I made no charge to those attending. It was an amazing success with openess and cooperation that I had never seen before at a Pilates event.
After Hamburg, and having proved people wrong, I decided I had a winning formula. The next Pilates Carnival I organised was in Krakow, Poland. This time I did charge people to attend the weekend, but only 40€, a very small amount. Again no teacher was paid to appear. All the profits I gave to a local children’s charity in Krakow. It was another humbling and amazing experience.
To my amazement, I was heavily critisized by some senior people within the Pilates community. I was told that I was devaluing Pilates. What total nonsense!!! How can opening up new training to teachers, breaking down barriers and raising money for charity be a bad thing? Of course the truth is that these teachers were scared. They were scared to lose their easy income, scared that new ideas might undermine their usual teaching methods, and mostly they were insecure about themselves and their knowledge.
Now Pilates Carnivals have taken place in several countries and have raised a lot of money for children’s charities. They have spread new ideas, created lasting friendships and new presenters. They have proved that the spirit of human-kind outweighs the commercial greed and igotism of parts of the fitness industry.
It proves that good does prevail, and it proves that we can all make a difference.
Chris Hunt, creator of Pilates Carnival©.