Mentor Program Interview with Rael Isacowitz

by Anthony Lett

Thanks for joining me Rael. I wanted to ask a few questions about the Mentor Program.



AL: First, I must say I love the mentoring concept. As Pilates education has moved to a course structure model, it is nice to see the traditional Mentoring style of teaching being preserved. I think all of the initial teachers who learnt from Joe did so in this type of arrangement. Was preserving this legacy a conscious decision of yours, or do you think at some point in a teachers development mentoring is more appropriate?

RI: My answer is both; the concept of mentoring, which is certainly how the early generation learned from Joseph Pilates, is an important one to preserve. Also, as the community has matured over the years (and I myself has matured) it seemed pertinent to address and teach the deeper and more advanced layers of the work



AL: What kind of material do you cover in the mentoring program, as opposed to standard teaching certification material?

RI: In all honesty it is very different. The entire way I approach this course is different. Every person who is attending this course already has a Pilates qualification under his or her belt and has accumulated substantial experience. So the premise is that I am working with seasoned professionals who want to both seek a deeper understanding and knowledge of the work, as well as learn the Advanced and Master Level repertoire that is simply not appropriate to teach in the undergraduate program, as comprehensive as it may be.


AL: Do you cover other teaching issues as well as repertoire?

RI: Absolutely, I do not want this to be just about exercises and choreography. I want it to be about having a profound learning experience that will impact peoples teaching and lives in general. To learn choreography people do not need me, they can learn it from books, DVD’s, YouTube clips and other mediums. I bring to the work my years of experience and my passion for this method. This is what I want to share. The very advanced repertoire is just a vehicle, a means to an end, not the end itself.



AL: I guess you develop a closer working relationship with your students in a mentoring model, than in a formal class setting. Does this help to develop the teacher’s potential?

RI:The relationships forged in the Mentor Program are unique to say the least. I speak of those relationships forged between the students themselves, and the students and I. I have taught the Mentor Program probably 10 times, and each time it is different but equally as impactful and profound. It truly is a milestone in peoples’ careers, as it is always a milestone in mine.


AL: Are there certain “Take home “messages that you emphasize in the program?

RI: There are many and it would be hard to pin point one or two. I suppose if pressed to, the overriding message is that “the journey never ends”. As we explore the deeper levels of understanding, and higher levels of repertoire we realize how much more there still is to learn. That is the reason the Mentor is the first phase of a 3-part program called: BASI Pilates Ultimate. The exploration continues as does the learning and sharing.


AL: Can teachers of any lineage participate?

RI: A resounding, ABSOLUTELY! This is for anyone (with the required background) who has the drive and desire to learn and evolve.



Thank you Rael. I’m sure the Pilates teachers in the UK will be interested in this information, and I would encourage all of them to take this opportunity to participate while they can!


Register now for upcoming Mentor Program courses with Rael Isacowitz:





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