My name is Johan Zwaenepoel and my full-time, long-term career has been teaching the Alexander Technique and teaching and helping to develop Pilates in the UK and now here on the Isle of Man. "ZW" was my nickname since childhood, originating from my surname. I am pleased to incorporate this into the name of my business on the Isle of Man.
I moved from London to the Isle of Man in 2014 when I set up my studio in Ramsey and I have continued to teach both Pilates and the Alexander Technique on the Isle of Man since then.
Pilates is at its best when it is taught in a way which is tailored to each individual's anatomical structure. This requires expert guidance, precise teaching and the right environment. I have over 30 years' experience in Pilates and my teaching is also influenced by the Alexander Technique to bring general awareness in your movements.
I first started learning Pilates under Gordon Thomson in 1989 (Gordon was apprenticed under Alan Herdman who originally brought Pilates to the UK). I then qualified with Body Control Pilates to teach Pilates to every level of expertise, from beginners to advanced, including teacher training. Since then I have gained many years' experience of teaching Pilates at every level, assisting in training courses, leading workshops and mentoring, supervising and assessing Pilates teachers in the UK. I have also taught modules of anatomy with movement around the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal and Canada and have respected clientele in Saudi Arabia.
Body Control Pilates was instrumental in making Pilates popular in the UK. Pilates was originally designed and developed for dancers and athletes and Body Control worked at breaking down the original Pilates movements to make them more achievable for the average body, ensuring a safe and beneficial practice. Attention is given to developing and strengthening the correct muscles in order, before requiring the body to move on to the next level of Pilates exercises. Many physiotherapists became enthusiastic and endorsed Pilates after the movements were tailored to non-dancers.
After completing a 4 year full-time course in the Alexander Technique under the direction of Shoshana Kaminitz, I became a fully qualified member of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT).
As well as teaching private clients, I have assisted in training courses and workshops on the Alexander Technique and continue to study under Ted McNamara.