Teachers / Trainees Testimonials

There are true masters but they are few and far between. Karen is a true master of Pilates. I feel so fortunate to have a chance to learn from her. Karen is completely proficient in Joe Pilates’ work plus she has successfully embellished and deepened his work.

Cheryl Alber, Teacher-trainee 2008-2010

As a teacher of both modern dance and Pilates I have attended Karen Carlson’s highly technical, substantive, professional and demanding teacher training sessions.

The value to myself and my students is immeasurable. The knowledge gained supports an in depth understanding of safe and appropriate anatomical use and enhances a true sensitivity to each individual body.

Barbara Lember, Teacher-Trainee 2005-2007

Karen Carlson embodies excellence in education. Her knowledge of the Pilates Method and its various applications from post acute rehabilitation through high level precision in both dance and athletic realms is extensive. However, it is her ability to manipulate the equipment in the moment to achieve a desired affect that is uncanny. She is a true mentor with a certification program more concise and comprehensive than I have ever encountered.

Debbie Parsons, Master Teacher 2002-2007

I was tired of Pilates gimmicks and continuing education that only served to profit large Pilates organizations. As a seasoned teacher I looked for a mentor who had a sophisticated understanding of Pilates. I wanted a thoughtful teacher who understood how to use the method to address the needs of an individual. Karen Carlson teacher training is not generic or rote Pilates. The curriculum reflects Karen’s rare understanding of the body. Karen trains serious teachers for a career in movement education. I’m grateful to call Karen my teacher.

Rose Ann Serpico, Senior Teacher 2005-2007 serpicopowers.com

I came to Karen Carlson’s studio as a ballet dancer transitioning into a career as a ballet teacher in 2003. After years of working with instructor Lea Yeager, I was able to not only develop a balance between strength and flexibility in my body, but also find a refinement in my technique as a result of a new understanding of biomechanics.

In 2009, I participated in the two-year Pilates certification program, under the direct instruction and supervision of Karen Carlson. The wealth of experience and information Karen brought to the program, not only opened a new avenue of teaching through Pilates, but also informed my ballet teaching. With a greater understanding of functional anatomy, I am able to offer my ballet students a new perspective for understanding ballet technique.

Karen, her instructors, and the certification program are an invaluable resource for dancers in Philadelphia.

Lori A. Lahnemann, Ed. M., Teacher-Trainee 2008-2010
Director, The Philadelphia Dance Academy

Karen Carlson’s clinical work focuses on training the body appropriate to its needs; bringing each client to a greater level of power ease and agility. She is also a consummate educator, and as a student privileged to be accepted into her certificate program, I have seen firsthand the quality and thoroughness of both her sophisticated pedagogy and sound methodology. She is truly a teacher of teachers.

I continue to be humbled by the depth and breadth of Karen’s knowledge, her ease of delivery in the classroom, and her willingness to share this knowledge base with those committed to a high standard of performance, all in service to Joseph Pilates’ guiding principles.

Pearl B. Schaeffer, Teacher-Trainee 2005-2007
Chief Executive Officer, Philadelphia Arts In Education Partnership

My Work with Karen has brought an unanticipated depth to my teaching, creative process and articulation of the layered sensibilities in my own body/performance. This is not simply a way of training or moving or complementary exercise, it is a complex, comprehensive way of thinking; of seeing; of being. It is a thoughtful, beautifully clarified web of disciplines, overlapping the visceral and cerebral. This is the body as machine and spirit; action and expression – a rare blend of the scientific and empathetic. It is an unprecedented connection of the art and science of human movement and human potential to be, to know, to feel, to do … more. Karen possesses a unique depth of knowledge, wealth of history and breadth of experience that she is beyond generous in sharing through this program. Welcome to grad school.

Tania Isaac Hyman, Teacher-Trainee 2011-2013
Dancer, Choreographer, Educator

Thanks for being my teacher! Karen Calson has a deep understanding and reverence for the Legacy of Joseph Pilates which she brings to the fore though a layered tapestry of imagery, anecdote, and hard core biomechanics. She references the specific contributions of key Pilates, dance, and movement practitioners and how an understanding of those contributions increases the efficiency and success inside the Pilates Method. Karen allowed me to step back and weave all the disparate elements of my movement training into one clear web. While other training programs offer the book, Karen offers the library.

Jennifer Morley, Teacher-Trainee 2011–2013
Dancer, Choreographer, Educator, Pilates Scholar & Practitioner

Count me in! I am super charged from the last workshop…and the one before that…and the one before that. A great teacher gives you information to think about long after the lesson. That’s what Karen does. I’ll be the first to admit, I need Karen Carlson to be the best Pilates teacher that I can be. I’ve learned more from her [in the last year] than I have from others during the 11 years I’ve been certified.

Sabrina Collins, Coursework 2015-16
Certified Practitioner & Business Owner

Once again, thanks for the ‘Small Apparatus’ workshop. My head is still “disc-ing” by the amount of information presented. Your work is simply brilliant; immediately (for me) enticing and daunting. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to learn both from and with you.

Carole Gorman-Swift, Coursework 2015-16
Certified Practitioner, Educator, Tap Dancer

I can’t even begin to thank you enough for all the knowledge, patience, wisdom and love that you have shared with me over the last two years. I am definitely going to miss our weekend intensives together especially the jokes followed by tons of laughter. I very much look forward to growing as a practitioner and will always be grateful for all that you have shared with me.

Kathryn Van Yahres Teacher-Trainee 2014-2016
Pilates Instructor, Educator, Dancer

When I was complaining to my mentor Rebekah Rotstein about having to travel to NYC to see her, she said, “But you have Karen Carlson in your own back yard in Philadelphia and she’s amazing!”
Since that first introduction with Karen in 2013, I began taking private lessons. Once I experienced a taste of her practiced eye and teaching style (along with her quick wit), I quickly came on board for her 2 year program. Karen has taken her teaching to the highest level and her passion continues to inspire me. Karen dedicates heart and soul to passing down all she has learned and truly considers it her life’s work. I have the greatest respect and admiration for Karen as an individual and as a teacher.
If you have the opportunity to study with Karen, I would hurry up and do it! All her knowledge just makes me want to learn more.

Lenore Denbin, Teacher-Trainee 2014-16
PMA Certified Instructor, Pilates Professional