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From pro dancer to Pilates teacher, we get to know Sophia Arvanitis

How did your career as an instructor begin?

My very first experience of Pilates was when I attended the Royal Ballet Summer school aged 11. I didn’t know much about it then but when I completed my intensive Contemporary Dance training at Trinity Laban, Pilates was taught as a way of preventing injuries and support a dancer’s body which is when I saw first-hand the real it had. After graduating I wanted to keep injuries at bay as well as helping others so I began to teach group classes and one to one sessions. I started teaching Dance at about the age of 16 and have taught ever since then.

If you have a long-term plan for your career, what would you say you wanted to be doing in five years time?

In five years I’d like to have completed more courses and increased my knowledge and experience in the fitness and world of art. I love new challenges and attending one-off events so I want to continue doing that too.

You specialise in Pilates, Dance and Barre, do you have a favourite of the three and why?

It is very hard to choose between the three genres, however I have been dancing since I was 3 years old and feel that it is innate. Dance is very good for my soul and allows my creativity to flow.

What is it that makes you want to teach in London and is there any other part of the UK, or world you want to work in?

London has got such a variety of studio’s, client’s and is the hub for pushing new ways of enjoying moving. At the moment, I can’t see myself teaching anywhere else. London has so much choice unlike any other city!

Sophia Arvanitis

If you could have anyone else’s job for a week, what would you choose to do?

I would definitely do something creative, maybe interior design as I did Fine Art at school and I appreciate a relaxing and personal home environment.

What are the best and worst things about your job?

The best thing about my job is seeing my clients progress beyond what they thought was possible. I really don’t have many bad things except the antisocial hours, very early mornings and late evenings.

Sophia Arvanitis

How would you describe the way you teach?

I would describe myself as an adaptable instructor who can read the energy of a class/client and tailor the class on the spot to engage everyone. I would like to think that I have good energy and can demonstrate the exercises to a high level and with clear and concise instruction.

What do you think makes you unique as an instructor?

Personality! I have been to lots of different classes and for me the difference between an average and excellent instructor besides knowledge, qualifications etc. is injecting their personality. If the instructor is lacking personality and/or passion it makes me less likely to give 100% in the class. So, I always try to be myself and motivate clients to do their best.

How often do you work out yourself when you’re not teaching?

I try to work out about 3 – 4 times per week depending on my work. Currently, I do Ballet, cardio/ HIIT, my own Pilates and Barre exercises. I do try to mix it up by doing for example; Yoga, spin classes and Bollywood dance classes to keep my mind and my body fresh and open to new experiences.

Find out more about Sophia and discover her classes on Traina.