To avoid burnout, instructors must stay inspired— and that all comes down to having a vision and making a “world of it,” says Merrithew™ Instructor Trainer Krisztian Mélykuti.
Merrithew™ Certifications & Qualifications:
STOTT PILATES® Matwork & Reformer, Cadillac, Chair & Barrels; ISP; CORE™; Merrithew™ Fascial Movement; Halo® Training
Physiotherapist, Personal Trainer, GYROTONIC®, TRX, TRX – Rip Trainer
Chance encounter turns ballet dancer into a Pilates convert
Krisztian Mélykuti first encountered Pilates while touring as a professional ballet dancer in London, England. Until then, his training had been exclusively in ballet, as was common for those educated in Hungary in the 1980s.
“It was a socialist era. We hadn’t heard of anything but ballet and [we] thought it was the highest thing,” Krisztian said in a recent interview.
“When I saw people paying for Pilates classes, I thought it was ridiculous. Then, I realized even the biggest dancers were going.”
Within a year, Krisztian was spending most of his dance salary on Pilates classes in London.
Becoming a Pilates entrepreneur and making “a whole world of it”
While he continued to perform on stages around the world, Krisztian’s ambition to open a Pilates studio was also growing.
From a London payphone, he reached out to Merrithew to learn more about STOTT PILATES, with the desire to become a Pilates instructor and build on the knowledge he had gained through dancing.
Merrithew’s STOTT PILATES programming was persuasive, and Krisztian was also intrigued by the equipment it incorporated.
“I wanted more knowledge. And, the simple tools, the props, the equipment? I love! You can make a whole world of it,” he said.
By 2006, when Krisztian, who had also become a Merrithew Instructor Trainer specializing in STOTT PILATES, opened Pilates Plus, Hungary’s economy was so strong that people were lining up to take his classes.
Clients included women, doctors and physiotherapists, as well as dancers who considered Krisztian’s performance background an endorsement of how effective Pilates is as a fitness modality.
The value of rehab expertise
While Krisztian’s business thrived, he wanted to find a way to better answer some clients’ questions.
“I saw my limitation. I needed an external education,” he said.
Krisztian expanded his knowledge again with additional Merrithew Qualifications, including CORE, Halo Training and eventually Fascial Movement and STOTT PILATES Rehab Mat and Reformer Levels 1 and 2. He also returned to school to become a physiotherapist.
After four years as a full-time student – while also working at Merrithew Licensed Training Center, Pilates Balance Studio Budapest, and teaching on weekends – Krisztian says he is more secure in his expertise.
“There are no surprising questions for me. I can give an opinion and knowledge. If there is a question, I can help.”
The studio and its 10 instructors train clients of every age and fitness ability, but for Krisztian his long-time work with an elderly male client has been especially rewarding.
He has helped the now 79-year-old man get back on his feet – three times.
Krisztian says they’ve been able to achieve this by combining movement from several modalities.
“STOTT PILATES Rehab Training is the base of it, the spine,” he said.
Many elements of Krisztian’s Rehab training were also useful following the client’s hip replacement. Aspects of his CORE and Fascial Movement training have helped the client regain his balance.
“After 70, you don’t think you can change much, but you can do a lot,” he said.
“At my studio, there’s no division between modalities and how I teach, we pick and choose. With Merrithew, there’s always a link between modalities. Clients can go through them and get back to good daily living.”
Making every client a long-term client
While Krisztian’s business continues to grow, he remains focused on serving his existing clients.
He believes his studio’s success is partly due to his instructors’ vast knowledge, empathy and ambition.
To those considering opening a studio or expanding their current business, Krisztian says it’s important to stay inspired or risk burnout.
“Make sure clients feel understood. And, don’t sink into a careless mood. Always provide something new for your clients and your instructors. Provide them with a vision.”