Lesley A. Powell – Master Teacher and Balanced Body Faculty
Lesley A. Powell brings together her unique career as a dancer, choreographer, world acclaimed Pilates instructor, movement educator and artist.
Lesley Powell’s Movements Afoot, 1993-2014, was founded with the philosophy of teaching people the basic concepts of movement theory: proper movement initiation, integrating breath with movement and spinal integrity, by equipping people with the necessary tools for a lifetime of fitness and wellness. Besides being a Pilates studio, Lesley incorporated the best education in the somatics field: Bartenieff Fundamentals, BodyMind Centering, Franklin Method, Feldenkrais and yoga. Lesley Powell has appeared in many articles about Mind Body Fitness including Elle, Newsday, the Village Voice, Shape Magazine, etc.
Lesley Powell has been a private fitness trainer since 1986. She received her CMA/Certification as a Movement Analyst from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute, and shares her knowledge and wisdom in movement therapy with physical therapists, medical practitioners and sports training institutes as an adjunct modality for re-educating patients approach to fitness. She has been a trainer at Sports Training Institute, Doral Fitness, Plus One, Dr. Bacharach’s Osteopathic Center for Sports and Dance Medicine. Since she knew how to work with injured clients, Lesley was invited by JRW, a physical therapy practice to learn Pilates for rehabilitation.
Lesley was on the faculty of Drew University from 1991-2001, teaching classes in modern dance, dance history and choreography. She also received a certificate in the Franklin Method March 2007. From 1988 – , Irene Dowd has been her teacher for anatomy and neuromuscular retraining.
Lesley is a leader in educating teachers about the body, improving function and ease of motion. She has been part of Pilates teacher programs since 2000 first with PhysicalMind Institute and now faculty for Balanced Body. She has assisted in developing programs for PhysicalMind and now herself of teaching professional teachers deeper levels of understanding about the body, neuromuscular retraining and post rehabilitation.
A decade ago, Lesley started writing and creating educational materials about the body. She travels internationally presenting workshops to Pilates teachers to take their teaching to the next level. She is working with FusionFitness online in creating teaching videos about the body and how to use the Pilates repertory to facilitate change.
Since she stopped dancing and choreographing as well, she also started back to art, a passion from high school. Originally her intention was to learn how to do anatomical drawing. Her teacher, Niki Orbach, inspired her to get back to her roots of creativity. Painting is Lesley’s new passion.
The decision to close the studio, was to allow Lesley to have more freedom to develop, write and create work about her love of the body: its potential and creativity. Now Lesley is able to concentrate on teaching, doing research for new projects for workshops, wellness programs and teaching videos. In New York City, she teaches privately,classes and workshops at Studio 26 and Westside Dance Physical Therapy.
Upcoming projects are:
With Fusionfitnessonline Lesley is creating an anatomy video for Pilates teachers. A lot of teachers get stuck in understanding one muscle at a time. This is not how the body moves. There is a constant dance of the body for any action to take place. Lesley created a series of paintings to give one an idea of movement with the actions of the muscles.
The video will include:
- identifying anatomy on a skeleton
- using drawing the structures as a learning tool of origins and insertions
- Identifying anatomy on a live model
- Using pilates repertoire to identify, problem solve how a client initiates a movement and physicalizes an action
Space harmony: seeing the body in 3D
Looking at the body through Laban, Bartenieff and Biotensegrity
Much of the present Pilates principles has roots to Irmgard Bartenieff’s Fundamentals. Eve Gentry had worked directly with Irmgard as well as Joseph Pilates.
With new information about fascia and new models of seeing the body, Laban’s theories of how the body moves in space is a rich framework for teachers. Lesley is working on a book and illustrations for movement teachers.
Lesley is working on programs to take Pilates teachers to the next level. This includes deeper levels of assessment of posture and gait, protocols for post rehabilitation, working with certain conditions and injuries.
Watercolor by Lesley A. Powell