Founder and Director Raymond Kurshals began teaching Pilates in New York City in 1973. His first teachers were Romana Kryzanowska, Bruce King, Carola Trier, and Kathy Grant. He then worked closely with Eve Gentry creating some of the first Pilates teaching videos. He has also been influenced by his long friendship with Ron Fletcher, one of the first generation Pilates instructors.
He moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1993. The Institute for the Pilates Method (the first Pilates organization) hired Raymond to be Vice President of Education, Video Media Supervisor, Senior Teacher and Equipment Consultant.
While with IPM he produced, directed and starred in some of the first Pilates education videos. Mr. Kurshals also contributed in creating the world's first certification syllabus now used by Physical Mind Institute and the Core Dynamics training. He was the teacher and consultant for the still popular QVC mini reformer.
Raymond is the first Pilates teacher to be asked to be an olympic coach working with gymnastics, equestrian, diving and swimming, track and field, fencing, ice skating and ski athletes. Recognition by the Olympics was a life long dream for Joe Pilates. "It is very humbling and a great honor to be fulfilling his legacy," Kurshals said.
In addition to overseeing the very popular Pilates Santa Fe and Wellness studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Kurshals is also Co-Director of Education certifying some of the best Pilates teachers in the field. He also travels throughout the world teaching Pilates and wellness for health clubs, private clients, sports teams and corporate clients. Raymond is a guest speaker at many medical and sports conferences.
His expertise includes Pilates for Athletes and children. In Argentina, he was the first to teach and certify Pilates for children and assisted in developing the world's only Pilates Reformer for children. He is also an expert with special populations including Parkinson's, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, geriatrics, Pre and Post operation, Pre and Post Natal.
Since 2001 his current work has included working with all of the equestrian arts. Some examples are dressage, jumping, three day eventing and barrel racing. Raymond has trained in horse massage and is now treating both horses and riders. He often gives equestrian clinics in the USA. In Florida he has participated in teaching clinics with olympic gold medal winner Leslie Law and Peter Grey the eventing coach for Canada.
As well as having an extensive background in Pilates, Raymond has taught dance throughout the USA at universities and colleges. As a teenager he was the youngest person to ever be hired to teach as a professor at Ohio State University. His career as a dancer includes being the only dancer in the history of Dance to have performed with the dance companies of Twyla Tharp, Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor.
During his 20 years in New York City he performed as a dancer and actor, choreographed and directed on Broadway, off Broadway and in films/television. He also found time to teach at La Guardia Performing Arts High School (The Fame School), and the acclaimed TADA Children's Theater in New York City.
Mr. Kurshals is a licensed medic volunteering in New Mexico and India.
He worked for the Public Broadcasting Service as the resident dance consultant and videographer.
He is one of only two Pilates teachers ever allowed into and certified by the prestigious Brimhall Program for Health and Wellness.
His wellness training and certifications include; ADD-ADHD modalities, air/water purification for residential and commercial use, applied kinesiology, body alignment technique, Bowen, byronomics, Cranial Sacral, chiropractic, chromatherapy, cold laser, deep tissue, detoxification modalities, equine therapies, EMF (electrical magnetic field) reduction therapy, emotional release therapies, homeopathy, nutrition, osteopathic, ocular (eye) modalities, Rudolf Laban, sound therapy and Touch for Health. Raymond is the very first to study, graduate, and teach with Marcel Caufriez and the Metodo Hipopresivo in the USA. It is a system that prevent and reverses Urinary and Bowel Incontinence, as well as reduces the waistline.