Why choose Grand Rapids Pilates?

With Grand Rapids Pilates you get Torey Prinsen with her extensive training as well as more than a decade of experience. 

Pilates is a unique system of exercise specifically designed to strengthen and stretch the body while improving coordination and control. Regular practice of the Pilates Method can have a dramatic effect on your overall well being by toning, lengthening, and strengthening and core muscles. 

Developed by Joseph Pilates early in the 20th century, the system was originally referred to as “contrology”. What is now commonly known as Pilates consists of specific movements which can be preformed with or without equipment.

When applied properly the Pilates Method can improve flexibility, build strength and develop control and endurance in the whole body. It emphases alignment, breathing and developing a strong ‘Powerhouse’. Intensity can be increased over time as the body becomes more conditioned and adapts to the exercises. 

The Pilates Method is suitable for people of all body types and with varying levels of fitness. You’re not too overweight, too old or too young, too injured or too weak to begin this work. 

Who was Joseph Pilates?
Joseph H. Pilates was born in Germany, in 1883. A sickly child who suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever, he dedicated his entire life to becoming physically stronger. Joe studied body building and gymnastics and by the age of 14 was fit enough to pose for anatomical charts. In 1914 he moved to England earning a living as a boxer, circus performer and self-defense trainer. During World War I he was interned with other German citizens in a camp near Lancaster where he trained other inmates in fitness and exercises. It was here that the beginnings of the True Pilates Method began to take shape. After the War, Pilates emigrated to the United States. On the ship to America he met his future wife Clara. The couple founded a studio in New York City and directly taught and supervised their students well into the 1960’s. Pilates and his method, which he and Clara called "Contrology", soon established a following in the dance and the performing arts community. Today, Pilates is practiced around the world by athletes, dancers, fitness professionals, as well as the general public.

About Romana's Pilates

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. Near the end of 1942 Romana developed a heel spur. She visited three doctors all of whom told her she needed surgery. Balanchine referred her to 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 was their chosen successor and inherited their New York City Studio. She vowed to preserve and continue Joe’s work and traveled the world teaching the method for six decades. 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 grandmother 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. Romana’s Pilates® instructors are handpicked, guided, and directly mentored by Master Instructors.