PAA Conference 2017 – The Pilates event of the Year!

PAA 2017 – SOLD OUT!

Australia’s premiere Pilates conference, to be held in September 2017 at the new International Conference Centre, is now FULLY BOOKED.

Set in the heart of Sydney, amongst restaurants, retail outlets and a vibrant public domain, this wonderful venue occupies a prime waterfront location at the hub of Darling Harbour. You will feel the buzz in the air!

This is your opportunity to spend three days in the beautiful city of Sydney whilst experiencing a wide selection of Pilates workshops.

The PAA welcomes three international presenters to our shores this year: Madeline Black, Alan Herdman and Kathi Ross Nash. They will be joined by nine national presenters: Lisa Anthony, Raphael Bender, Ed Botha, Lanette Gavran, Lisa Jackson, Cynthia Lochard, Dina Matty, Tracey Nicholson and Olga Tamara.

A selection of small group classes will be held by national instructors: Kath Banks, Frances Cahill, Dav Cohen, Katrina Edwards, Catherine Giannitto, Stephanie Glickman, Bruce Hildebrand, Tamara O’Reilly, Marda Willey and Elizabeth Wilson.

Over the three day conference our presenters will share their knowledge and passion with instructors and students who want to grow professionally and have fun in the process!

Workshop Presenters

International Presenters

National Presenters


Please note the following important information for joining us at the PAA Conference 2017:


9.30am: WELCOME

See you all bright and early on Friday 15th!!

Optional Classes

Cafe Del Mar - Sydney CBD


Join us on Friday 15th September for a meet and greet event at the beautiful Cafe Del Mar in Darling Harbour. Enjoy drinks and canapés after our first day of learning.

Just a short walk from PAA Conference headquarters, come along and catch up with your Pilates colleagues. The Cafe Del Mar terrace offers panoramic views over Darling Harbour and is the perfect spot to unwind and regroup – it is also close to all of our recommended accommodation and parking.

Time: 6:30m – 8:30pm
Dress: Smart Casual
Contribution: $50 (paid for during registration)


If you would like to add the Meet & Greet event to your existing booking please email: support@pilates.org.au


Workshop Descriptions

print schedule and workshop descriptions  PRINT: Schedule & Workshop Descriptions

Alan Herdman

Standing Balance Reformer
Thinking outside the box with standing reformer exercises. We can use the reformer by standing on it, standing next to it, or standing in front of it. By changing the colours of the springs, we can find new ways to challenge our clients’ balance and muscles in the standing exercises.

Delivery: Practical demonstration and discussion

Pilates for Dancers
From the time Joseph Pilates opened his first studio in New York, his Method has attracted dancers. Dancers use Pilates to improve their performance, help their bodies recover, or for rehabilitation of injuries. Can you teach dancers if you don’t have a Ballet background? During this workshop you will learn how to look at and understand a dancer’s body and design classes tailored to their unique needs and abilities.

Delivery: Practical demonstration and discussion

From Mat to Trap
Using the trapeze table as an extension of the mat work. In this workshop we will:

  • look at ways to introduce the trap table exercises to the less able client
  • learn how to prepare clients for the more complex and acrobatic exercises in the trap table repertoire.

Examples of mat exercises that we will break down to simplify the learning process are: Roll-up, Bridge, Rollover, Jack Knife and Side Lying Series.

Delivery: Practical demonstration and discussion

Thinking Around the Box
The long/short box is a crucial piece of equipment for increasing the versatility and accessibility of the reformer. Are you using the box to its full potential? This workshop will explore the exercises that can be performed on top, in front of and on the side of the box. The versatility of the box allows clients from beginner to advanced, to progress from simple exercises to complicated routines. The box is also a great place to address muscle imbalances and bad habits.

Delivery: Practical demonstration and discussion

Pilates for the Mature Client
What is maturity? Is it related to chronological age or physical condition? Frailty does not necessarily mean mature or old.

It refers to a loss of physicality, which can relate to any age group that has suffered a disability or a chronic disorder. This workshop will help you design exercise regimes that take into consideration the needs of the mature or frail client, including posture, mobility, strength and balance.

Delivery: Practical demonstration and discussion

Madeline Black

Shoulder to Wrist
Weight bearing on the arms is challenging, especially if the connection is weakened between the upper spine and wrist. The arms are linked when using the Pilates apparatus, which enables full engagement of the limb. In this workshop you will learn:

  • how the shoulder becomes a more efficient mover when the relationship of the spine and the wrist are working in contrast and in balance
  • how alignment of the wrist affects the shoulder and thorax and
  • how to build arm strength and deal with issues, along the entire kinetic chain.

Madeline will help you with hands-on skills for reeducation of movement patterns. Exercises on Pilates apparatus and mat will be included and practiced.

Delivery: Lecture and demonstration

Pilates for the Abundant Body
The demographics of people participating in Pilates today are changing. We are seeing bodies of all shapes and sizes. Larger sized people, or abundant bodies are coming to Pilates to improve their health.  As teachers, our goals for a person with an abundant body should be to ensure safety, have compassion and inspire them to gain strength with confidence as they move towards improved health. The challenge for teachers is how to adapt the Pilates exercises to the proportions of an abundant body. We need to consider both the low level of physical conditioning and the movement restrictions associated with excess body weight. In this workshop we will:

  • address potential issues when working with a larger body
  • introduce effective exercises to improve muscle strength while protecting the joints and
  • demonstrate how to adapt the apparatus and mat movements to increase the benefits gained in Pilates.

Delivery: Lecture and demonstration

Pelvis in Motion
The pelvis is the bridge between the ground, our legs and the spine. The spine generates pelvic movement and the legs are extensions of this motion. This workshop explores the importance of:

  • balancing the pelvis through thoughtful movement and specific cueing
  • balancing the stability and mobility within the body in a synchronized way to create strength with grace.

Movement techniques and sequences will be presented for both non-apparatus and apparatus approaches for re-education and structural change.

Delivery: Lecture and demonstration

The Supple Neck
Learn how to work with neck issues effectively. Organising the head and neck in life is challenging for most people. In Pilates it can make or break a clients ability to connect into the core. A supple neck also strongly influences shoulder girdle function. In this workshop, Madeline will lecture on the anatomy and fascial relationship of the cervical spine into the upper trunk and shoulder region. You will learn specific neck exercises, with and without Pilates apparatus.

Delivery: Lecture and demonstration

The Spine By Design*
*Please Note: this is a full day workshop, if you select this you will not be able to select other workshops on the day.
Drawing on the concepts of her newly released book Centered, this whole day workshop explores how the spine influences movement and is itself influenced by internal and external forces. By design, the spine is our primary moving structure and governs whole body movement. The spine moves the pelvis and affects the shoulder-arm and leg-foot complexes. We will explore how the design of the spine gives us a mobile architecture from which to move and how poor movement habits can be sourced for problem solving. This workshop is an immersive experience, including a movement class, lecture and instruction in physical techniques. It will provide advanced teachers with the time and guided management necessary to hone their skills of seeing, touching, moving and verbalising clearly and effectively. You will learn:

  • how improving proximal movement of the spine creates balanced movement throughout the body
  • how the distal areas (hands and feet) affect the movement of the spine
  • how the external effects of forces such as gravity, use of small props and touch, can enhance or detract from the movement and orientation of the spine during exercise.

This approach to physical training is relevant to all populations of people and will help you move your client’s body into a place of strength and balance. Learn to match and meet the needs of a variety of body challenges, from skilled movers (athletes, dancers) to geriatrics.

Delivery: Lecture and demonstration

Kathi Ross-Nash
Kathi Ross-Nash

The Baby Chair
For years Baby has sat in the corner – “It’s for old ladies and delicate dancers” we were told. But no one leaves Baby in the corner! This workshop is designed to change your mind about the Baby (arm) chair! The Baby Chair teaches us a vital component of the method – how to lift and engage our powerhouse in the correct manner. Learn to move with length in two directions from a strong center. The Baby chair connects the front body to the back body and then both more deeply into the powerhouse.  In this workshop you will not only learn the how of each exercise, but the why, when and what. Why would I choose the Baby Chair instead of the Cadillac? When would I add a spot, bar or Magic Circle? What is the purpose of this exercise and how does it connect to the rest of Pilates? Once again, Kathi’s RED THREAD® is woven throughout to create greater understanding of Pilates as a Method.

Delivery: Practical and discussion

The Red Thread Mat
The mat is the heart and soul of the classical Pilates Method. This workshop looks at the connections between the mat exercises and how to correctly add new exercises according to clients’ needs and abilities. You will learn how to use The RED THREAD® of spinal function to create a unique mat workout for the individual student, including:

  • how to strengthen what is weak and challenge what is strong
  • how to know when a student is ready to move to the next level and how to build them there
  • how to create challenge within the exercises, adding depth and strength.

Delivery: Practical and discussion  – all students will be able to participate in mat work

Leg Stretch variations on the Cadillac and Barrel
Learn how to build the classical Leg Stretch sequences, from the feet up! In this workshop you will discover how engaging the correct muscles to stabilise each of the stretch positions, will allow you to find the correct alignment and improve muscle imbalances and postural faults. Once correct alignment is established we can challenge the stability by changing the apparatus or position, increasing the depth and effectiveness of a stretch.

Delivery: Practical and discussion

The Body before You
Use The RED THREAD ® to create a workout to strengthen what is weak and challenge what is strong. Each exercise of Joseph Pilates’ Method was created to work the body in a specific way. In this workshop we will:

  • look at the body before you, analysing movement and muscle balance
  • implement the correct body position for the body before you to work what is intended to work in each exercise
  • compare different bodies and find the best position, for maximum benefit.

Delivery: Practical and discussion

Wunda Chair Variations
Play on the Wunda Chair and learn variations to build and spice up your work out! We will explore how to break down the work to build to the most challenging of exercises, how to we spot these exercises and who needs them.

Delivery: Practical and discussion

Ed Botha
Ed Botha

The Art of Cueing
This workshop focuses on one of the most fundamental of all Pilates teaching skills, “cueing”. The basis for all communication between teacher and student, cueing demands great skill; information must be conveyed, received and integrated within milliseconds to bring about the desired result. Good cueing is integral to any skilled teaching session.

This exciting workshop focuses on the various lines of communication between teacher and student. Participants will take part in a series of cueing exercises and drills that enhance the necessary teaching skills for effective communication. Each cueing exercise teaches workshop participants how to better communicate with their clients through advancing their verbal, tactile and visual cueing skills.

The workshop is designed to help delegates take Pilates exercises “deeper”, gain a better understanding of the nuances of the Pilates Method and enhance precision through clear communication and clean execution of the répertoire.

Delivery: Practical and discussion

Raphael Bender
Raphael Bender

Solving persistent pain
Learn to help clients with persistent pain. In this workshop, you will gain a clear understanding of the concept of central sensitisation and learn a powerful, simple and evidence-based framework to help clients with persistent pain.

We will start with a clear explanation of central sensitisation. You will learn an easy technique to tell the difference between mechanical pain and pain that is not related to tissue damage. We will look at the drivers of central sensitisation and learn how to calm the sensitised nervous system to reduce, or even solve persistent pain. You will walk away with simple, practical tools you can apply immediately to improve outcomes for your clients with persistent and/or unexplained pain.

Delivery: Lecture and discussion

Cynthia Lochard
Cynthia Lochard

Creating flow with sequencing and transitions
Flow is one of the six principles of Pilates but is often lost in a workout when we focus too much on other principles in isolation. For example, demanding precision in all exercises can stop the rhythm, disturb sequence and inhibit flow. The importance of balancing all six principles in action will be explored, as we look at how to build flow into a workout through specific sequencing and the use of transitions. Objectives:

  • understand flow in the context of the six principles
  • learn how flow can enhance results – including physical stamina, coordination, and mental acuity
  • appreciate the importance of sequencing and transitions in creating a balanced, flowing workout
  • explore how to build flow and dynamics into a workout using voice, touch and concentration
  • identify when to introduce transitions and progressions for individual clients – including key milestones and signs of overload or lack of challenge.

Delivery: Practical and discussion

Dina Matty
Dina Matty

 “Endings” … in a nutshell
In Romana’s Pilates we refer to “systems” as the specific combination of reformer, mat and apparatus exercises chosen for a client’s workout. Whilst we can be excellent at instructing the mat and reformer, choosing an “ending” i.e. a series of exercises to complete a clients system, can be challenging and can greatly influence progress and motivation.

In this workshop we will look at a range of body types and discuss specific “endings” to complement each type of client’s unique “system” within the Method.  You will learn “endings” specific to a range of case studies and experience how the classical approach addresses these clients needs on selected apparatus – including the Cadillac, Spine Corrector, Large Barrel and Electric Chair.

Delivery: Practical and discussion

Lanette Gavran
Lanette Gavran

Bringing Sexy Back to The Wunda Chair: Creating a flowing and balanced Wunda Chair Workout
Drawing on her vast experience and inspiration across many approaches to the Pilates Method, Lanette will take you through investigation of a selection of Wunda Chair repertoire, breaking each of the full movements into parts to be taught with specific focus, and then rebuilding the repertoire back to create challenging, flowing exercise sequences. There will be a clear reference to the required movement patterns, muscle recruitment sequencing and the use of muscular slings and relationships of fascial lines in play during the repertoire execution.

Delivery: Practical and discussion

Lisa Jackson
Lisa Jackson

Creating better function of the Hip Joint: Applying the Pilates Method for Osteoarthritis and Bursitis
This workshop aims to provide a deeper biomechanical understanding of the hip joint and surrounding structures in relation to osteoarthritis and bursitis of the hip. Participants will learn how to confidently work with the increasing prevalence of these issues in Pilates clientele. The workshop will not only focus on the hip condition, but on holistic movement that will improve clients’ postural awareness, gait and overall functionality. We will look in depth at the following:

  • hip osteoarthritis and bursitis of the hip
  • advanced anatomy and physiology of the hip
  • how postures affect the hip complex
  • the kinetic chain between pelvis, hip, knee and feet
  • neurological patterns that prevent good function
  • Pilates effect on the pelvis – build better awareness through Pilates foundations.
  • using Pilates for clients with osteoarthritis of the hip and hip bursitis
  • functional improvement through Pilates with improved gait.

Delivery: Practical and lecture

Lisa Anthony
Lisa Anthony

Put a spring in your thoraxoptimising mobility and dynamic control of the thorax in Pilates movement
Recent advances in scientific research and in physiotherapy clinical practice have led to a shift in the role of the thorax in whole body movement. Previously thought of as a rigid spinal area to protect the underlying viscera, it is now known not only as a highly mobile, flexible region of the body but a region that plays a fundamental role in shock absorption in the moving body, in whole body alignment and abdominal muscle recruitment. In this workshop the Pilates instructor will learn:

  • the anatomy and osteokinematics of the thorax
  • the function of the thorax in whole body movement
  • mechanisms of thoracic mobility and dynamic stability
  • the role of this region as the body’s centre of rotation
  • how to assess the thorax for alignment function, mobility and control
  • effective cueing to facilitate recruitment of the deep controlling mechanisms of the thorax for optimal mobility and control
  • positional release techniques in the Pilates studio to decompress the thorax to promote successful whole body movement in a Pilates session.

Delivery: Lecture and practical content

Tracey Nicholson
Tracey Nicholson

Demystifying Multifidus with clients: I got your back on this!
This workshop is designed to teach participants functional biomechanics of spinal mobility and to integrate intricate spinal movements into both Pilates equipment and mat work routines.   The aim of the workshop is to empower Pilates practitioners to enable their clients to reach increased levels of strength & mobility.  The workshop includes a detailed description of the anatomy of multifidus and the role that these muscles have in spinal stabilisation and mobilisation.

The 3-dimensionality and mobility of the spine is used in this unique approach to Pilates. The workshop will incorporate principles of the Pilates Method, highlighting repertoire with challenging modifications on both Pilates equipment & floor exercises. Our aim is to educate that a healthy spine is a mobile spine.

The fluid movements gently work joints and muscles through rhythmic and undulating exercises, while stretching & strengthening the body.  This workshop will definitely develop your coordination whilst allowing your spine to safely mobilise beyond any existing stiffness.

Delivery: Lecture and practical content

Olga Tamara

Energy Exchange with hands on Teaching Techniques
The Exchange of Energy using hands on cueing: The art to applying hands-on teaching requires timing, sensitivity, confidence and the ability to establish a safe teaching environment. Incorporate hands-on cues with an exchange of energy for a successful partnership between client and teacher. The reformer is your partner. Move together and flow! When we first use the reformer we move it around or let it move us because we’re not familiar with the exercises. As we become familiar and understand more, we begin to work together with the reformer as partners and the springs begin to move in a rhythm with our body movements. As we progress the difficulty intensifies, the rhythm builds and the body and partnership strengthens.

Experience cueing examples from the concept of dynamics applied from the perspective of how forces produce change. Is there greater volume or intensity to a certain movement with a dynamic breath or movement? This cueing will provide your client with the energy required for you to maximise the efficiency of your hands on assistance, allowing for a powerful EXCHANGE OF ENERGY. When the body has flow and energy, the instructor can be more constructive with hands on techniques, prompting the body to work deeper and stronger.

Delivery: Practical and discussion


print schedule and workshop descriptions PRINT: Schedule & Workshop Descriptions


The venue for the 2017 PAA Conference is the newly completed ICC Sydney, Asia Pacific’s premier integrated convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct.

Set in the heart of Sydney, amongst restaurants, retail outlets and a vibrant public domain, this wonderful venue occupies a prime waterfront location at the hub of Darling Harbour.

Click here for more information on getting there, parking, and accommodation.

Click here for conference pricing.