A big thank you to everyone who completed our Pilates Client Survey. It has been a very useful exercise, and I will do my best to use the information collected to improve my classes for you all. Here are the results, and what I intend to do…

Survey Completion

people completed the survey

  • Tuesday 7.00 pm – The Beacon School 13% 13%
  • Wednesday 9.45 am – Sellindge Sports Club 13% 13%
  • Wednesday 6.00 pm – The Beacon School 27% 27%
  • Thursday 9.30 am – Hythe Cricket Club 21% 21%
  • Thursday 10.45 am – Hythe Cricket Club 17% 17%
  • Thursday 6.00 pm – Hythe Cricket Club 10% 10%

How do you feel about how HARD you are able to work in class?

  • I am ALWAYS ABLE to work as hard as I would like 60% 60%
  • I am MOSTLY ABLE to work as hard as I would like 31% 31%
  • I am only able to work as hard as I would like SOMETIMES 8% 8%
  • I am MOSTLY UNABLE to work as hard as I would like 0% 0%

Action we will take

More than 90% of you told us that you are always or mostly able to work as hard as you would like in class. As well as ensuring you all continue to do so, I will refocus on the remainder, especially those people I know to be more advanced, offering more challenging variations and additional encouragement. Remember – always feel free to come and have a chat with me after class if you feel you need to work harder! Advanced participants may also wish to consider a One-to-One Pilates session to augment their group work. During this I can work with you to identify the best exercise variations for you personally.

How do you feel about how GENTLY you are able to work in class?

  • I am ALWAYS ABLE to work as gently as I would like 90% 90%
  • I am MOSTLY ABLE to work as gently as I would like 10% 10%
  • I am only able to work as gently as I would like SOMETIMES 0% 0%
  • I am MOSTLY UNABLE to work as gently as I would like 0% 0%

Action we will take

You told us that you are always or mostly able to work as gently as you need to, which is great! Remember that it is important to listen to your bodies, and ease up a little if you are feeling tired, or have a niggling injury. As always, I will continue to do my best to ensure no-one works too hard and risks injuring themselves.

For how many weeks would you like to do the same Pilates routine before changing to a new one?

  • No particular preference 51% 51%
  • I would like a different routine every week 33% 33%
  • I would like a new routine every two weeks 12% 12%
  • I would like a new routine every three weeks 4% 4%

Action we will take

About half of you don’t have a particular preference regarding how frequently we change class routines. Of the remainder, the majority would prefer a new routine every week. This is therefore what I shall do, although occasionally I may run a class over for two weeks, just for a change!

How regularly would you like us to use the trigger point balls?

  • Every week 37% 37%
  • No particular preference 29% 29%
  • Every two weeks 18% 18%
  • Once a month 14% 14%
  • Never 2% 2%

Action we will take

Opinion varied about how often we should do trigger point massage during class, although the vast majority of you do want to do at least some. For the time being, I shall therefore be incorporating some trigger point massage into approximately half of my sessions.

How much of each one hour class would you ideally like to spend doing trigger point massage?

  • 5 minutes 37% 37%
  • No particular preference 24% 24%
  • 10 minutes 18% 18%
  • 2 minutes 16% 16%
  • None 4% 4%

Action we will take

Again, opinion varied about how much time we should spend doing trigger point massage during class, although the most popular was 5 minutes. I shall therefore generally do approximately 5 minutes of trigger point massage at a time, but will vary the duration sometimes as well for the rest of you.

How do you feel about working in pairs in order to do trigger point massage?

  • I prefer not to work in pairs 49% 49%
  • No particular preference 30% 30%
  • I enjoy working in pairs 21% 21%

Action we will take

Nearly half of you prefer not to work in pairs to do trigger point massage, and a third of you have no particular preference. Whilst I acknowledge that 20% of you do enjoy working in pairs, there are sufficient who do not like doing so that I shall no longer be suggesting working in pairs to do trigger point massage. I will instead provide individual massage techniques. It is very important that no-one feels uncomfortable during our classes. Of course, if you want to pair up, and you know someone else in your group who also likes to do so, then do feel free!

How do you feel about using a Pilates Soft Ball in class?

  • I mostly or always like using a Soft Ball when suggested 77% 77%
  • I sometimes like using a Soft Ball when suggested 23% 23%
  • I prefer not to use a Soft Ball at all 0% 0%

Action we will take

Three quarters of you like using a soft ball most or all the time when I suggest variations using them. I shall therefore continue to suggest soft ball variations into exercises most weeks, as well as incorporating new ones from time to time. Remember though, that using a soft ball is optional, and if you would rather do an exercise without, always feel free to do so.

In general, how do you feel about the music played during classes?

  • It is just right 96% 96%
  • It is a bit too relaxing 2% 2%
  • It is a bit irritating or too stimulating 2% 2%

Action we will take

Fantastic, almost everyone likes the music I currently play, so I shall continue to source music of a similar style. If anyone does feel a little too ‘relaxed’ in class, just let me know and I’ll make sure to suggest some exercise variations to wake you up! 😉

Your Feedback

Many of you added comments to your survey responses, and the overwhelming majority were positive. I would therefore like to thank you sincerely for your kind words. It means a great deal to me to hear that you enjoy my classes.

Some of you also provided me with constructive criticisms, which I have noted, and have commented on below:

“Always enjoy the class and feel Jane is an expert, experienced teacher. Sometimes however I am aware she has to repeat basic introductions for new participants every few weeks and this can be a little tedious for those who attend regularly but is i guess inevitable. I do wonder sometimes are we progressing and building on our skills over the months? On the whole though I feel the balance is about right of repeating certain moves and exercises couple with introducing new ones each week to ensure both variety and progression.”

“I think you’re doing a great job in catering for all levels of experience and happily promote your classes to people who’ve never done Pilates and on the other hand those who know the exercises can push themselves. Sometimes there’s a lot of talking and explaining but that’s great for those not sure or New. All in all I really enjoy your classes and always feel better physically and mentally afterwards. Good job Jane!”

Yes, in mixed ability classes, it is necessary for me to cover the basics again for new people. However, it is never a bad thing for all of us to revisit the basics, as these are the foundations upon which all subsequent Pilates progressions are based. I have certainly noticed progression in everyone who attends regularly, and I am very proud of you all for your hard work. But please do come and speak to me if you feel that something is holding you back, and together we can work out how to break though plateaus.

“For me the classes have improved a lot. I used to find them too gentle quite often (although accepting that we are all at different levels) and felt I hadn’t really worked as hard as I’d like. However over the last few months the classes have definitely become more challenging. If I’m honest, I would prefer less time spent on warm up exercises (perhaps 5 mins rather than 10?) and a little more mat work instead, but others may feel differently!”

That’s great to hear – I’m always looking at new ways to help my more advanced clients work harder! As far as warm-up is concerned, there are professional guidelines to adhere to, and these exist for a reason. Exercising rigorously without warming up sufficiently not only limits the effectiveness of exercise, but increases the risk of injury, and safety must always be an instructors primary concern.

“It would be great if you could talk us through breathing, i.e. breath in through the nose out through nose when we are doing exercise as its difficult to remember otherwise.”

Hopefully you will have noticed that I have recently begun placing additional emphasis on correct breathing. As you say, it is a very important part of Pilates practice. The amount of emphasis I place on breathing does, however, depend on how I gauge the general experience level of each group and the complexity of the exercise we are doing on any particular week. Trying to do too many complex things at one time can be confusing and frustrating for people.

“Very grateful for class sizes not over about 15 as this allows for Jane to give sufficient coaching and advice as she walks round, especially for those with back issues who may need some positions altering or modifying. Fantastic classes, the hour flies by.”

Looking through my records, it is relatively rare that my class sizes go above 15. The occasions when they do mean that I don’t need to exclude people, forcing them to miss a week. And keeping my average numbers up with the odd busier class (remember that some weeks numbers are quite low, too) means I can continue to ensure my classes are economic for me to run.

“Given differing mobilities within the group, instructions given to cover all possibilities can sometimes become convoluted, too elongated and confusing.”

Teaching lots of different progressions within a diverse group whilst keeping everything clear and succinct can be very challenging. I will, of course, continue to re-evaluate my performance, and to train and develop my own skills as an instructor, in order to best serve all my clients.

“Sometimes feel we are a little late starting the classes. Would like a change in music please. Always feel confident that I am doing the exercises correctly as Jane is very observant.”

You are quite right that classes should never start late, and I shall take this on board. And yes, I will, of course change the music from time to time as well.

Other Comments

Finally, a selection of your very kind positive comments:

“Love these classes, always brings a smile to my face! Great atmosphere and friendly workout environment. An evening class at this venue would be good also, though guess there’s only so many hours in your day! Thanks for all your help, I’m feeling more flexible and better balanced for attending.”

“Love the classes and the pace is always right for the class in my opinion. Jane is very aware of each student and steps in to help support is position is wrong. Relaxed and friendly approach but also pushes you and you can certainly feel it the next day. Thank you Jane.”

“I enjoy your class as it is relaxed, informative, interesting and altogether very pleasant.”

“I find the class very enjoyable and appreciate the work that Jane does around the class checking what we are doing and being to ask questions to make sure we are doing everything correctly. Thoroughly enjoy the classes. Thank you.”

“I find it very helpful that you give us options on how to do the excise and that we are allowed to work at our own pace and to our own body strengths and weaknesses but with encouragement to push ourselves. I never feel I can’t ask questions etc., and I really enjoy the classes and have benefited (and continue to) from doing Pilates. My balance, posture and core strength has greatly improved. I believe that these excises will benefit me has I get older.”

“I have found the classes to be extremely beneficial and enjoy going. The exercises have helped me come a long way since I had surgery two years ago. Keep on doing the good work.”

“I think you’re doing a great job in catering for all levels of experience and happily promote your classes to people who’ve never done Pilates and on the other hand those who know the exercises can push themselves. Sometimes there’s a lot of talking and explaining but that’s great for those not sure or New. All in all I really enjoy your classes and always feel better physically and mentally afterwards. Good job Jane!”

“Exceptional quality to teaching, I like to understand what areas and muscles I am working and that each exercise can be adapted to individual needs.”

“I enjoy Jane’s classes and her attention to detail. She is encouraging and varies the work we do each week. Pilates has improved my strength and balance. Jane clearly takes a pride in her work and lesson preparation is clear for all to see. Thanks Jane.”

“I always enjoy Jane’s Pilates class along with it being fun I find it is also extremely beneficial at keeping me supple plus I always sleep well that night.”

“Thank you so much for being so attentive to our aches and pains! I cannot stress enough how helpful I’ve found your guidance when a move isn’t quite right and I’m always amazed when you’re able to suggest a new move that targets the same point in a much more comfortable way. This was also evident when you taught Aqua at Folkestone. I also love learning about the muscle groups and how a certain move is helping – it makes it much easier to check that we’re moving in the right way and being able to take what we’ve learnt in class home. Thanks Jane!”

“So lovely, particularly the meditation at Xmas and the relaxation. Jane has the right personality and temperament for teaching and being supportive.”

“Jane is a wonderful instructor, she is always smiling and watches everyone which I really like as many times I do things wrong and she corrects me. I have been in many Pilates classes but I really love Jane’s attitude and help she gives everyone. Thank you x”

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