Instructor of the Month
Introducing Jane Laithwaite, owner of Southsea Pilates
I have been involved in the Fitness Industry for many years, having first been introduced to it whilst working for a Health and Fitness Centre in Sydney. This enabled my passion for dance to be channelled into teaching exercise to music at the height of the aerobics boom. I had the leotards and leg-warmers…first time around!!
As well as teaching in Australia I’ve taught in Ireland and classes in the UK have included Children's Fitness in Schools, Aerobics for Ethnic minority groups, Pilates for people with mixed disabilities (MS, Stroke, CP), Corporate Pilates and Aqua. I like to teach in small groups to really get to know my clients and their needs and provide the best experience possible.
I had unknowingly been using many of the PIlates principles over the years and my love of Pilates developed whilst living in Dublin in 2001, where I went to a studio for Individual lessons. On returning to the UK, I added Fitness Pilates to my other fitness qualifications, then furthered my education by completing my Matwork training with Stott Pilates in 2007. I found the lovely Jo of JPilates (though had been in Dublin at the same time as her and also encountered her when she had a studio within a physio practice near Portsmouth!) and took the Active Trainer workshop in 2013….I enjoyed her style so much that I took the GP Referral and Level 4 Back Pain course that year along with more workshops. In 2014 I completed the whole Pilates Picture by doing the Equipment Masters.
I set up Southsea Pilates in 2012 teaching small classes in the community and Individual sessions from my home studio, which now has a Reformer and Tower trainer. I also offer Swedish body and Indian head massage to complete the whole wellbeing experience.
Away from Pilates I love to be outside and enjoy playing tennis, walking (and sometimes running) with my dog, travelling to new and sometimes old places and am at my happiest spending time socialising and laughing with my family and friends. I feel blessed and privileged doing something I love and helping to improve the lives of many people.
How would you describe your style of teaching?
I would describe myself as a fairly technical but relaxed teacher and my classes can often be quite ‘workshop like’. It’s important for my clients to have fun and I always encourage the social aspect of coming to class.
What is your client base like?
I have a mixed client base ranging from 20’s through to 70’s and I also teach girls in a local High School from year 9 to Sixth Form. I teach more classes than 1-1’s but am working on building that area up.
What are you planning for the next 12 months?
I’m re-launching my website and am looking at ways of adding extra ‘value’ for my clients. I am currently doing a course for women in the 3rd age as a lot of my clients are in that place and I hope to be able to help them with my new knowledge! I hope to get a social media plan in place as it is a bit haphazard at the moment and not my favourite activity. I am planning to consolidate my knowledge this year with no major training scheduled, though I will be attending
. Building up my 1-1 and Studio client base.
What do you find most challenging about your work and how do you overcome this?
My biggest challenge is the behind the scenes work on the business and the isolation that this sometimes presents, particularly when I work from home. I try to schedule times where I can meet with people to chat and keep me grounded and remind me how lucky I am to not work in a faceless organisation!
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a Pilates instructor?
Without a doubt seeing your clients achievements and the surprise texts, calls or emails of thanks that arrive out of the blue. Being able to make a difference, however big or small.
If you could give one piece of advice to a new instructor what would it be?
Be yourself and don’t get too caught up on what another instructor is doing down the road. People buy people and we cannot please everyone all of the time!
You can contact Jane by