Making Connections -Why community matters in your Pilates business
Generally, I like to think of myself as an introvert. I love to sit alone in quiet spaces to think, or work, or just hang out with myself. I joke that I don’t like people, but that is the opposite of the truth. I value true connection, and feel most in flow when I am with my people and engaging in social interaction. I one of the reasons why I enjoy my days teaching Pilates so much is because I get to be in conversation with people all day.
As Pilates teachers, we have two types of community, and I see them as a venn diagram of two circles overlapping in the middle. One circle is our circle of fellow Pilates teachers, and the other is our clients, or other members of the places we teach at. Their interests and interactions overlap with each other, and Pilates teachers, and clients alike all go to Pilates for more or less the same reason - to do Pilates!
Community is a tricky word- it means a couple of things to me. 1. A place where you share common interests with others, and 2. A place where you feel a feeling of fellowship and belonging with others. All Pilates teachers out there have a very obvious common interest, they teach Pilates! But I want to be able to take that a step further, and especially in online and social forums.
Although I currently live in New York, and there is pretty much a Pilates teacher on every corner of this city, it’s not like that everywhere you go. And even in the most Pilates crowded cities, I myself, and some of my colleagues have expressed that they are missing the feeling that they belong somewhere, and are seen as a person, and not just another body on a reformer. To me, this means Pilates teachers are missing a vehicle for connection, through their studios, in their classes, and through their online connections.
That is why I created #ThePilatesHappyHour. Right away, with just one post in IG saying that I wanted to connect with other Pilates teachers and engage and post more on social media, the response was enormous. It blew my mind how many people liked, shared and commented enthusiastically. More than that, it made me feel like I wasn’t alone in this, which is the best part!
Through #ThePilatesHappyHour and other events that I plan to organize, I want to continue to cultivate that supportive sense of belonging for Pilates teachers by providing a way to connect with each other. These connections are the most important thing, because they lead to meaningful relationships that are supportive and might turn into real life meetings someday!
If you, like me, are interested in engaging with the Pilates community in different ways, please join me on Instagram for #ThePilatesHappyHour. Any way that you engage will be meaningful to you and your community. I encourage you to drop in and say hello with a post or two. You can learn more and sign up to receive #ThePilateHappyHour posting calendar here.
And why does fostering a sense of community matter to you in your business, beyond individually feeling like you belong somewhere? The answer is buried in the question. You want all of your clients that come to your studio feeling like they belong there. Like it is their place, that they are safe and supported there by their Pilates teachers and other clients. That way they keep coming back because of the experience and feeling they have in your space, in addition to the bonus of a great Pilates session.
I want to know! What are you doing to create community with Pilates teachers and clients in your studios? Comment below.