By Robert Swart on July 9, 2021
For the past 20 years, the Lincoln Pilates Method team has helped the Lincoln community with their physical health, fitness, rehabilitation, and recuperation after medical treatment. The company was started by Connor’s mother, Monica, 20 years ago. Connor has become intimately involved in the business for the past seven years as an instructor before the baton was officially handed to Connor in early 2020.
“What makes us different is that we combine the original teachings of Joseph Pilates with a modern and science-backed interpretation, a more contemporary Pilates where exercises are impacted by biomechanics as well as physical therapy.
The form of Pilates that we teach is from the practice called Polestar (meaning North Star) Pilates and was founded by a physical therapist. Although some of the exercises are the same as in classical Pilates, many more exercises have been added and Polestar is often used for injury rehabilitation as a result. Other Pilates studios teach a more classical form, which is more structural – the exact workouts that Joseph Pilates used to teach.
Our approach is more personalized towards a modern population and some of the modern struggles i.e., cell phones and computers for that matter, and the postural deviations that come with that.
We have a holistic approach where we look at the exercise and the individual and see how we can make this exercise fit this individual the best way possible whereby others may look at how the person can fit this exercise. There is no standard workout, we meet each client where they are at, see what is great already, and identify the personal areas of improvement. The routine for each client comes down to visualization, customization, and individualize it for the client.
It is all about individual attention and quality control. We make sure the client has the best experience possible and we put their interest above all else so we can help them reach their goals.
When someone has reached their personal goal, they may elect to move to a small group class, which is usually maxed out at two or three people if it is all on the equipment or slightly larger groups (five to eight people) if it is mat classes which is more for general health wellness and fitness. We are a fully-fledged studio with all the specialized Pilates equipment.”
The Lincoln Pilates Method team’s unique approach has also earned them rave reviews from their clients as can be seen from some of the reviews below.
“Connor and Monica have been wonderful to work with. I came to Pilates to try and heal a very messed up back after a car accident, and they worked with my physical therapist to design a workout program for me to help me get back up and moving. They helped me with my injury rehab, but because of the great instruction and constant variety in my workouts, I have decided to stay on as a client to continue and have it be a large part of my fitness program. I highly recommend Lincoln Pilates Method. They have been fantastic.” – Matt
“Connor is a phenomenal pilates instructor. The workout is challenging and tailored to my needs. Would highly recommend Pilates Method and Connor.” – Paul
“I have had a great experience working out with Connor Dawson at Pilates Method. He is extremely knowledgeable and everyone there is so friendly and welcoming. It is an entirely different (and better!) experience than working out at a gym or fitness center as far as I am concerned! I would recommend Pilates Method to anyone who wants to be in better shape.” – Scott
Connor, the owner of Lincoln Pilates Method, his wife (married for four years), and their nine-month-old son have deep and lasting roots in the Lincoln community being Lincoln natives, born and raised, and of course a raving Cornhuskers fan.
Both still have most of their families in the Lincoln area. They support local charities through the business where they can.
Connor is what we like to call a Local Biz Hero, an entrepreneur who brings true value to his community. High standards of professionalism and the strong work ethics of small business owners like Connor are the backbones of the Lincoln economy.
We sat down with Connor for a quick interview –
Q: Why do you do what you do?
A: “Nothing can describe the amazing and exhilarating feeling to work with individuals and to see the joy on their faces when they reach their goals or just feeling better. Knowing that you played a small part to improve the quality of their lives.
When I worked with my first clients and saw their success, it affirmed that what I was doing was what I was meant to do and that I made the right decision. I never looked back since. “
Q: How did you get into this profession?
A: “My mother started Lincoln Pilates Method over twenty years ago. Back then when you talk about Pilates they thought it was some sort of Greek sandwich or something. I was five years old then, and I’ve been playing on the equipment. That turned into doing exercises trying to mimic and mirror the classes that I’ve watched and eventually taking classes.
When I got to the University of Nebraska, I didn’t want to do anything else. I did a Nutrition, Health, and Wellness course for my degree and that led to Pilates as a form of occupation but also a personal interest.
Nutrition is also close to my heart as I believe nutrition is a huge portion of our health and well-being. At age 19 I was trying to decide whether I want to do something like a dietitian or nutritionist or if I was going more into the physical science of physical therapy.
Pilates was my first stepping stone in that direction, and I just fell in love with it and the rest is history.
I am a member of the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) the Professional Association for Pilates teachers. They focus on the quality control, safety, and overall governance of Pilates, its principles, and teachings. They are sort of the certifier of certifiers.
I am a Certified Polestar Pilates practitioner and a Certified Pilates Method Alliance Instructor. Polestar Pilates is an international organization and Polestar has been shaped by concepts from biomechanics, motor learning, communication skills, and current research to enhance the work of Joseph Pilates.”
Q: Being a Pilates instructor, Connor works directly with many people, we asked him what’s the most unusual situation that ever happened to him on the job?
A: “The studio has a really fun atmosphere and there’s lots of kidding and joking around amongst all the clients and instructors.
As instructors, we are always telling clients to get into certain positions to do specific exercises. Sometimes describing the exercise doesn’t make sense in the client’s mind. They cannot quite visualize the position we want them to get into, and so a phrase we hear quite a number of times is “you want me to put what where”.
Pilates instructors are not the best counters in the world because we have a tendency to add on a couple of repetitions. It is to their benefits right? We just want them to get a little bit more out of the session and so a phrase we often hear is “five out of three instructors have a hard time counting”.
I think it is a common aspect overall, but we’re trying to do so much at once such as trying to queue them into the proper position, explain to them what to do, trying to correct their form, answer questions, and things like that all while counting at the same time. Our clients like to jokingly tease us about how we’re fantastic counters.”
Q: If you could share one tip with the readers for choosing a Pilates studio, what would it be?
A: “It is important to determine an instructor’s mentality towards the body, how they look at the body, their perception of the body, and how it integrates with other parts of the body.
Every part of the body is interconnected with the next and cannot be looked at or treated in isolation. The spine for instance integrates all parts of the rest of the body. If you have an issue or limitation with your spine, it’s going to affect the range of motion of potentially your arms and shoulders and then your legs and feet. So, it critical to make sure that they integrate the whole-body wellness and make sure that they look at things in an interconnected way, rather than a specific isolated way.
If you come to someone with a knee issue and they only look at the knee, that is not a good sign. They should be looking at the whole hip, knee, and ankle alignment and how that pertains to all of the movement. Then integrate motion into that to fully develop physical health.”
Q: What do you love about the Lincoln community and city?
A: “We just love Lincoln. It has a great sense of community and wellbeing, a place where people are still connected to each other, friendly and easygoing. It was voted one of the best places to raise a family. It is a small town at heart with a family atmosphere, good schools, and education.
It has a low crime rate and is very peaceful.”
Q: Do you time to get involved in any hobbies?
A: “I have a couple of hobbies and not much time to dedicate to each one of them. My largest personal hobby is just exercising myself and is part of the story of how I got into Pilates. I have a background in weightlifting. The issue with weightlifters and resistance training is that it takes its toll on the body and leads to overuse injuries. So, in Pilates, we work on the posture and the smaller muscle groups, things that you may have overlooked in your daily life.
I use Pilates as a pre-habilitation and a pre-therapy to prevent any issues with my body as I continue to do what I love, which is resistance training and general fitness.
I tell people that you don’t have to love Pilates, but Pilates helps you do the things that you love.
I also love maintaining some Bonsai trees and I am part of the Nebraska Bonsai Society. I love working on this miniature dwarf variation of trees and try to make a much younger tree look ancient. I probably only have 5 trees that could be considered actual Bonsai trees, but then I have about 25 trees that are Bonsai in training and would only be ready in about 10 to 15 years. My collection is a combination of deciduous, evergreen, and tropical trees, a whole wide variety.
I also have a love for woodworking that I got from my dad and grandfather. I’ve always enjoyed working with wood and building and making things and see everything comes together. I made the desk that is currently standing in my personal gym.”
For those of you who are looking for a professional Pilates Method instructor to improve your fitness, physical wellness, or rehabilitation, Connor and the Lincoln Pilates Method team should be your first choice. Lincoln Pilates Method provides a complimentary, no cost to you, assessment to design a personalized optimal routine to meet your needs and time requirement before determining which instructor would be best to assist you in achieving your goals. Call Connor at 402-430-0007, or visit www.lincolnpilatesmethod.com. Serious professionals in their craft!
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