Michael Stanek, a Wisconsin native, is a freelance director/choreographer, arts educator and Pilates Instructor residing in NYC. Michael took a deep interest in Pilates after many years of combating chronic back pain from years of dancing. He attributes his practice in Pilates to living a pain free life. Michael received his Mat Pilates Certificate of Training in 2010 and his Comprehensive Pilates Certificate of Training in 2013 through Core Pilates NYC. When Michael is not telling a client to breathe, he can be found as the current Choreographer for the 2013 Drama Desk Nominee The RIDE!, directed by Daniel Goldstein. Michael has directed and choreographed over 100 musicals including 70, Girls, 70 starring Olympia Dukakis (Encores!, SDC Observership with Kathleen Marshall). As a performer, Michael performed and assisted in many productions throughout the United States and Europe. Credits include Ed McMahon’s Star Search (Finalist), 42nd Street (European Tour), Sophisticated Sing and Swing starring Mercedes Ellington (National Tour), Camelot starring John Rubenstein and Ken Page (The MUNY), Oklahoma! starring Rue McClanahan (Broadway Series of Charlotte) After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Theatre), Michael worked for the Walt Disney Company as a staging assistant, dance captain and performer in various productions including the original Prince in Beauty and the Beast. Stanek is a 25 year Member of Actors’ Equity Association and 7 year Associate Member of The Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers. Michael teaches at various studios in the city and loves to teach his clientele about “neutral pelvis”. He would like to thank Kim and Sarah for giving him the opportunity to share his passion for Pilates with others.
Certificate of Training: The CPNYC Comprehensive Course
Degrees: Theatre at University of Wisconsin, Madison
Hometown: Spring Green, Wisconsin
What kind of bagel do you like and how do you prefer to “dress” it?
I rarely eat bagels, if I do, it would be an everything bagel with veggie cream cheese.
What’s your favorite exercise to teach and do you have a special spin to it that you prefer to teach?
I love teaching the Roll up. I like to challenge the client by starting with a Pilates Curl. They hold the curl then, continue to roll up. On the way back down, I LOVE to take it nice and SLOW, or in the infamous words of Tina Turner, I believe she said take it nice and easy!
If Joseph Pilates were alive today, what would you ask him?
Oh boy, so many questions I’d like to ask. Once specific question in regards to his work is…thoughts on a tucked or neutral pelvis?
Top 3 places you’ve traveled?
Prague, Rome, Greek Islands
Top 3 things on your “To Do Before You Die” list?
See the Pyramids in Egypt. Attend the winter Olympic games, and walk on the beach in Rio De Janeiro.
What’s the farthest point from the Core studio (or NYC) that you’ve done Pilates?
What’s your Pilates “a-ha” moment?
Discovering finally how to accomplish open leg rocker – by lifting my chest – many rug burns later!
Two words that describe your teaching style?
Hands on and comforting
Favorite type of sessions or classes to teach and why?
I love teaching privates with clients with limitations and discovering ways to teach/adapt the Pilates practice on their body.