When Cara Reeser first met Kathy Stanford Grant she had no idea that this stern, petite, 71 year-old would change her world forever.
Cara was a graduate student in dance at NYU just coming back to dancing after two years recovering from a broken back when she started taking Kathy’s morning Pilates class. Kathy immediately recognized Cara’s injury and took her under her wing. For two years, every morning, Kathy patiently guided her to breathe, align, find her core strength and let go of the fear of re-injuring her back and ending her dance career.
It turns out Kathy also had been a dancer with an injury. But in the 1950’s, she began to work with Joseph and Clara Pilates. Because of their work she was able to continue her dancing career. Eventually, she went on to help in the creation of the Dance Theater of Harlem, an institution that has nurtured young dancers for over five decades.
The methods she learned from Joe and his students inspired her to become a Pilates instructor herself, preserving their techniques and developing her own exercises and style. Later in her career, she dedicated herself to passing along their tradition and hers to a new generation of Pilates devotees, including Cara.