Nicky Taylor Steward

Deborah Lessen Pilates Director of Education Programming

October 10-13, 2019
The Pilates Garage
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Nicole Taylor Steward,PMA®-CPT, began her study of bodywork during her professional dance career. She is a graduate of The Chicago School of Massage Therapy and a GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Instructor. She is a professional dancer and until summer of 2017 was on staff at the Chicago High School for the Performing &Visual Arts. In the summer of 2014 she developed the Pilates Teacher TrainingApprenticeship.

"My objective as an instructor is to empower clients and teachers to know and be better in their own bodies thus making the work an integral part of their lifestyle. I love teaching and being a part of the process that enables someone to take ownership for changing, bettering themselves.This is accomplished in client sessions and through workshops and mentoring for teachers, both new and experienced.

I have been a professional Pilates teacher for 19 years and teacher trainer for 10 years. Combined with my professional dance career, movement and teaching movement has been a part of my life for 32 years. In the fall of2011, I met Deborah Lessen at the PMA conference. The following spring I began a mentorship with her that has grown over the years. I have loved learning and teaching Pilates and through my mentorship with Deborah, this love has grown along with a greater understanding of Pilates, its origins and what I am now embracing as my lineage.

I continue studying with Deborah Lessen both privately and while assisting her in workshops she conducts for both new and seasoned teachers. In 2017, I was invited to teach Pilates as it was taught to Deborah by Carola Trier (Joseph Pilates protégé) in addition to the many ways she has explored and honed Pilates on her own. In 2019, I was named Program Director of DeborahLessen Pilates and look forward to continuing the journey."

Photo Credit: Claude-Aline Nazaire Miller

Blossom Leilani Crawford is the owner and director of Bridge Pilates in Brooklyn, New York. She is known for her playful and powerful teaching methods, which she developed during the seventeen years she worked with Pilates Elder Kathleen Stanford Grant. Since then, Blossom has made it her mission to expose each one of her students to the joy and satisfaction that comes from intelligent exercise.

Blossom had the good fortune to be introduced to Pilates by Kathy Grant in 1993, during her first year as a dance student at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. A venerated teacher, Kathy was one of only two people to personally receive her Pilates teaching certification from Joseph Pilates himself. Blossom was impressed by the effect that Kathy's exacting and intuitive approach to Pilates had on maintaining and healing her body, and continued to study with her throughout her rigorous dance program.

After three years of working with Kathy, Blossom became her Teaching Assistant at NYU, an honored position that she held for over a decade (1996-2007). With Kathy's encouragement, Blossom went on to pursue private study with Pilates Elder Romana Kryzanoyska. She received her Pilates teaching certification in 1999, after six hundred hours of practice and observation.

Blossom's current work is a blend of her own considerable experience, Romana's more traditional set of training methods, and Kathy's flexible and demanding style. She is known for her ability to seamlessly integrate Pilates lineages as the situation demands, and for her insight into Kathy's work. The diverse stylistic approaches Blossom can access on the spot has made her a sought after Pilates instructor at conferences throughout the United States and abroad.

In January of 2006, Blossom opened Bridge Pilates to ensure a space where all styles of Pilates are present and honored, as Kathy had always taught her. In addition to teaching private sessions, workshops, and conferences, Blossom is a faculty member at Mark Morris Dance Center in downtown Brooklyn, where her vigorous group mat classes are open to the community. Most importantly, Blossom is the fiercely proud mother of two children-which means balancing the career she loves with her desire to get dinner on the table in time!

Photo Courtesy of Pilates Anytime US