This past August 2013 we lost our beloved teacher, Romana Kryzanowska. Lisa attended her memorial service which was held at St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. It was an outpouring of love and respect for this remarkable woman with her students and and friends from all over the world attending. She was recognized throughout the world as Joseph Pilates protégé and keeper of the flame. According to Pilates elder Jay Grimes, “nobody knew Joe’s work better than Romana.” Our story would not be complete without Romana’s story.
Romana Kryzanowska was born June 30, 1923 in Farmington, just outside of Detroit. In 1942, at the age of 19 she began studying dance at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet. According to Joseph Hubertus Pilates, The Biography, written by Javier Perez & Esperanza Aparicio Romero, towards the end of 1942 Romana suffered from a heel spur that prevented her from continuing to dance. She visited three doctors all of whom told her she had to have surgery. Mister B, as George Balanchine was called, finally told her he would take her to meet someone. It was his friend Joe Pilates. Joe told Romana to stop taking ballet classes for two weeks and train with him in his studio three times a week. Joe promised to refund her money if after three classes she did not feel better. By the third class with Joe, Romana fell “in love with the man, the method and all going to Joe’s studio entailed.” As a result, Romana returned to her ballet classes sooner than expected not only having improved her ankle but also jumping, spinning and in better physical condition than before.
After Joe and his wife, Clara, died Romana inherited their New York City Studio. Romana vowed to preserve and continue Joe’s work and traveled the world teaching the method for six decades. Romana dedicated her life to educating the next generation of Pilates instructors. Romana’s daughter, Sari Mejia Santo, who also trained with Joseph Pilates taught at her Mother’s side for more than three decades. Sari’s daughter, Daria Pace, later joined her Mother and Grand Mother teaching the (True Pilates) method as Pilates intended. Together the three generations have endeavored to keep Joseph Pilates work alive by teaching the original exercises and philosophies of Joseph Pilates as handed down by him to Romana.
Romana’s Pilates® instructors are handpicked, guided and directly mentored by Master Instructors Sari Mejia Santo, Juanita Lopez, and Cynthia Lochard. Instructor trainees go through a rigorous and comprehensive training and certification program designed to offer you, the client, Pilates as Joeseph Pilaes intended.
When you work with a Romana’s Pilates® certified instructor you can be certain you are getting quality and experience, not an instructor who achieved certification over a weekend or using a fast track approach. When you work with a Romana’s Pilates® certified instructor you are training with the best.
At Touchstone Pilates, you will work only with Romana’s Pilates® trained and certified instructors. Lisa and Heather are the only currently accredited Romana’s Pilates® certified instructors in the Pittsburgh area.