November 20, 2015


What our graduates say about their training experience

Sasha Hollis

October ’15

“I am finishing up my training with Allison now, because of her I don’t just feel like a person relying on a piece of paper as my qualification. I can honestly say I am already a confident teacher relying on the wealth of knowledge she has shared with me through a careful and thoughtful process of layering information till ingrained in the brain with true understanding. Allison has gone above and beyond all imaginable effort to ensure we are ready for the real world of teaching and can handle the responsibility she knows all to well as a highly experienced Pilates teacher. She has nurtured us from beginning to end and I know she will continue to provide guidance and support anytime in my career, not just as a trainer but as a friend (well mum to me!). Words aren’t enough to express my gratitude for her hard work and belief in me and everyone else on the course. This course is a true investment into your future if you are thinking about training it is the perfect place to go and takes place in the most beautiful venue (kentish town studio). There Allison has choice for course outlines and gets the best of the best in for lectures covering all possible bases. If your willing to dedicate yourself to her provision and take that leap of faith you will learn more about yourself and your body that you could ever imagine, and join a community of amazing, eccentric movers and doers probably just like you if your interest has been sparked by her pages title. I could write an essay so I will stop there! But 5* is no where near enough :-)”

Laura Sykes

October ’15

“From the first moment I was introduced to Allison when I decided I wanted to train to be a Pilates instructor I knew I was in good hands. Before I had even committed to the course she spent time to explain through everything and was determined to find a way for me to do the course around all the obstacles I had in my way. Little did I know those obstacles would increase during the course but with Allison as my tutor offering support above and beyond what anyone would even dream to expect I was able to qualify with confidence. Training with Allison gives you the opportunity to gain fantastic hands on experience building your confidence as a teacher and also benefiting from her amazing scope of experience with lots of different clients. Her training sets you up to work in the real world of real clients with individual issues. The whole learning experience is built up in a very digestible way and before you know it she has given you a wealth of knowledge and tools to make you a Pilates instructor. I really think there is no one else to train under. She will give you all you need to develop as a teacher and in yourself. She is above and beyond the most supportive teacher out there. Train with Allison and you will have made the best decision!”

Jane Tuffley

Superintendent Physiotherapist, Royal Free Hospital, London

“I had the pleasure of doing a Pilates Teacher Training Course with Allison, she is completely dedicated, enthusiastic, positive and a credit to Pilates. I am a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and I found that Allison had an excellent musculoskeletal knowledge and was able to apply this functionally to explain when to choose specific exercises. Allison has amazing patience and is extremely giving of her time to her students, she also works phenomenally hard in her own personal time to make sure that the course runs smoothly and to complete marking and course preparation I would certainly recommend her as a fantastic Pilates teacher to other Physiotherapists.”

Marta Sorteras

2009 – 10

“I have trained as a Matwork teacher with Allison on 2009-2010 at Barnet Hospital, during this period a big part of my assisting and observing practicals were with her at the Royal Free Hospital. I did enjoy the training course because of its huge content of anatomy and rehabilitation approach. One of the most relevant thing I would highlight from my experience assisting Allison is the importance she gives to the adaptability concept of Pilates, the fact of being able to offer specific variations to everybody’s conditions. During the training course she was very demanding and helpful with my English troubles as a foreigner, supporting and placing her trust on me. Her wide experience, her big heart and passion about what she does motivated me during the course and still does.”

Lucy Molewyn_Hughes

2010 – 11

“I would highly recommend Allison Swan’s Pilates Matwork Teacher Training course. The depth of knowledge you gain is not comparable with any of the other courses I researched. It is a big commitment (in time and finances) but utterly worth it. The length of the course and quality of the lecturers, Allison amongst them, means that you revisit material with different practitioners (physiotherapists, movement specialists etc) over the 14 months of study, so the information and learning gets layered in, which is very affirming from a student perspective. Allison is a real task-master when it comes to assignments and homeworks, but I see this as a totally positive aspect of the course. She is also accommodating, helpful and fair when the rest of life sometimes gets in the way of logging all those assisting and teaching hours.
Basically, what Allison Swan doesn’t know about Pilates, probably hasn’t been invented…so why wouldn’t you want to learn from one of the best?”

Jackie Léon Sysum


“I trained in matwork with Allison Swan between August 2008 and October 2009. Allison is an inspiring teacher with a huge depth of knowledge. Her methodical “layering approach” to learning during both theory and practical tutorial sessions ensured that I could retain information and gradually build up my own skills as an instructor. I was lucky enough to assist Allison as part of my training and the time I spent with her as a supportive and understanding mentor continues to be invaluable to me. On completion of the course I had a very secure knowledge base and was confident to plan and teach rehabilitation classes for clients with a wide range of injuries and medical conditions and also instruct advanced repertoire. Since completing my training I have built up a successful mat work business in Nottinghamshire.”

Harriet Latham

March ’08

“My training with Allison Swan allowed me to start a new career by giving me a comprehensive and insightful knowledge with which to begin teaching matwork Pilates. The lectures were engaging, well structured and thorough. Allison managed to answer any of our questions and gave fantastic support and encouragement from the beginning to the end. I was grateful to continue forwards with not only a qualification but the confidence in my ability to begin teaching. I have been teaching ever since (two years) and am truly thankful to Allison’s knowledgeable team.”

Anastasia Photiou

March ’08

“From the moment I arrived at Barnet General Hospital for the group Introduction day in February 2008 I knew that I had made the right decision to take the course. The other ladies in the group came from all different career/social backgrounds but all had the same love of pilates and a yearning to learn more. All aspects of the course were very interesting but I also really enjoyed the anatomy and physiology session with tutor Sally Roberts. The feedback from all the teachers I have assisted has been very valuable I have gained a lot more confidence during my time on the course and my love for pilates has grown strongerÉ.. I feel I have learnt so much on the course and yet there is still so much to learn and I am truly glad to have seen it through to completion it as it has given me a great sense of achievement.”

Penny Thorn

Sept ’08

“I was a student of Allison Swan on a one year Pilates Matwork Teacher Training Course September 08 – 09
Before the course started, Allison set very clear expectations of what the course would entail, its overall structure, the hours involved and what was expected in order to succeed. The course delivered all my expectations. Allison was dedicated to the success of all her students. She put in an immense amount of time into preparing detailed course notes, delivering engaging and interactive teaching and lectures, ensuring we had a variety of different lecturers for specialist subjects and always being available to answer any questions and provide feedback on assignments. I was also lucky to assist Allison which helped me to develop my confidence and teaching skills. I was encouraged to take on teaching more of a class in stages, in a progressive and controlled manner, which ensured that I could learn how to structure a class, ensure the safety of clients and so that when necessary, I could adapt to different clients health conditions. This approach and giving me the control to teach clients, followed up with discussion afterwards helped me to develop into the teacher I am today. Allison was supportive throughout the course and also offered advice on how to integrate adult learning with everyday life.”

Tessa Clist

June ’09

“I can hand on heart say I would recommend Allison’s training to anyone wanting to teach Pilates. I enjoyed every moment, and though extremely tough at times feel I have become a well rounded teacher as a result. After completing the course I felt a little bereft, and now can’t wait to continue my training.

Allison took us all on a journey; we travelled through times when we felt insecure, nervous and unready, but gradually we emerged from this and as such became better, more thorough, confident and balanced teachers. I appreciate the fact that Allison pushed us hard, and the course does take over one’s brain (and life) as a result, but this is all a part of the process. After all surely to truly understand and teach something well, one has to live and breathe it…

I particularly enjoyed (and benefited from) the input from visiting teachers such as Rachel Rafiefar, the wonderful Sally Roberts from whom we all learnt so much, Suzie Barton whose upbeat class teaching style is inspiring and Warwick McNeill, the man who makes physiotherapy funny. The other vital factor that made Allison’s course special was the connections we have made in the industry and with each other. I have made friends for life, and starting out in a new career, having this shared experience and support network has helped greatly.”

Julie Clifton

September ’08

“The Pilates training that I received from Allison Swan was an excellent preparation for teaching clients of all kinds. Whilst we learnt and understood the classic repertoire the focus was always about making the exercises appropriate for each client, from the fit and healthy sports people to the older clients trying to regain their strength and flexibility.

The course was so much more than just learning the exercises. We spent time thinking about anatomy and physiology and how it relates to posture and exercise, we considered learning and teaching styles as well as learning about the common musculo-skeletal problems that we would encounter as teachers.

When I was looking for teacher training it seemed to me that a lot of the courses available focused on providing a generic approach. There were courses that would be great if you wanted to teach just rehabilitation or sports men and women, but this was the only one that prepared you to teach at all levels. It took a lot more time than many of the other courses on offer, but was well worth the effort.”

Xavier Serra

September ’08

“I trained with Allison Swan and became a Pilates Matwork Teacher in August 2010. I really enjoyed the structure of the course and the way it combines theory and practice. I felt all the lecturers, including Allison, were extremely knowledgeable in their fields and provided me with a clear understanding in all the different topics. At the same time the course is not prescriptive, free thinking questioning and discussions are encouraged.

The practical part was very useful for me in developing my observational and teaching skills. Through the assisting you gradually become a more confident teacher and are capable of planning a class and adapt it to different clients.

The course is structured in or blocks and it also relies a lot in self-reflection and guided self-study. There is constant revision and supervision and teaching practice during the weekend blocks which is really useful. All this prepares you not only for passing your exam but also you become a capable and independent teacher from your first lesson. It also provides you with a sound knowledge in Pilates and anatomy & physiology and also encourages you to continue learning.

I really enjoyed and would recommend to anyone interested in becoming a Matwork teacher.”