About The Director: Karen H. Carlson

“In Pursuit of Excellence”

Karen H. Carlson is a seasoned professional with over 40 years of client-based field experience and 25 years of training teachers. Described by author Colleen Craig as “a teacher of teachers,” Karen Carlson began practicing the Pilates Method in 1982 at Your Own Gym in Northampton, MA, while enrolled in the graduate dance program at Smith College. Carlson studied Pilates with Payasa Tree, a student of Alan Herdman. She apprenticed with “Pilates Elder” Mary Bowen, a student of Joseph Hubertus Pilates and his disciple Kathy Grant. Her graduate studies focused on the scientific foundations of movement to aid the teaching of modern dance and ballet, using functional anatomy, biomechanics and kinesiology. Upon completing her MFA in Dance 1984, she began teaching at Bowen’s Northampton facility. Bowen’s studio provided the “living lab” for the application of movement science to the Pilates exercise vocabulary. Bowen formally certified Carlson in June 1987 when she relocated to Allentown, PA.

Carlson taught the Pilates Method for Adam Battelstein at The Personal Gym in Philadelphia from 1987-1992. She continued her Pilates education with workshops from Eve Gentry (1992) and Romana Kryzanowska (1993) as well as consulting with Jean Claude West, Jillian Hessel, and Marika Molnar. Carlson was a charter member of the Institute for the Pilates Method in Santa Fe, 1991 and was awarded Masters Certification by “Pilates Elder” Eve Gentry. She opened her own studio in Philadelphia in July 1994 where she still maintains a private practice developing personalized programs for physical conditioning, corrective exercise and performance enhancement. Carlson continued her studies with Gil Hedley for human dissection, summer 2008, and again in the spring of 2018. She completed training for CoreAlign 1, 2, 3, 2012-13 with Balanced Body University. Carlson was awarded the “Best of Philly” for 2009, recognized as a “Pilates Doyenne” by Philadelphia Magazine. The personal service private Pilates business, Upbeat Enterprises, LLC, is currently located at Studio 1420 @ 1420 Walnut St. in Philadelphia, PA.

Carlson’s Pineland Pilates teacher-training programs for advanced education were nationally approved by the Pilates Method Alliance in Miami, FL in 2004. The “Graduate School,” 2-year program has been conducted six times in Philadelphia; completed 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019. Carlson also travels to teach function-based workshops, as well as, conduct teacher-training seminars on mat and all pieces of apparatus. She has given workshops and lecture-demonstrations at colleges, universities and private studios on the East Coast, New York City, and in Toronto, Canada since 1995. Carlson is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science, the Somatic Society, the Pilates Method Alliance and a charter member of The Institute for the Pilates Method.