As I reflect on the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) Teacher Training summit that Elisabeth and recently attended, I’m struck with how far RedBird has come as an organization. At this 5th PMA summit to finalize the parameters and guidelines needed for Pilates Teacher Training Schools to move toward state licensure as valid vocational training schools, there was much passionate debate about the future of our profession and the importance of growing up well-educated teachers through the ranks of our schools.
Our teachers represent and embody our philosophy. The RedBird Teacher Training School gives us the system to replicate our belief systems, our values, and ourselves. Those who teach for RedBird have undergone a rigorous year of training in anatomy and biomechanics and the full Pilates repertoire. They are trained to pass the PMA exam to become a nationally-certified Pilates teacher. They are not only some of the most well-educated Pilates teachers, but some of the best teachers that can be found anywhere.
Lee Vallely has dedicated her life to movement and wellness. After an eight-year career as a professional ballet and modern dancer in New York and San Francisco, and 20 years as a teacher and consultant in the health and wellness industry, Vallely saw a need for a higher level of education and a commitment to the precision of movement.In 2007 she moved from teaching Pilates for other clubs, and developing and managing large corporate fitness programs in Austin and around the country, to teaching small-group training programs. RedBird Pilates & Fitness has grown every year since then, necessitating four moves to progressively larger studios. Lee and her team of teachers—all handpicked from RedBird’s intensive 450-hour teacher training program—provide high-touch, technically oriented classes using a definitive methodology that emphasizes precision movement and proper body alignment.
Earlier in her career, Lee was the national director of corporate sales for Gold's Gym International. She designed and built the chain’s first corporate sales division and managed their national sales team. Prior to Gold's Gym, she was an owner of eight Austin-based World Gym locations, where she won Best Corporate Fitness Program for five consecutive years. Lee spent her early years in the fitness industry as senior fitness director for the YMCA of Austin. Lee is a BASI and PMA-certified Pilates teacher, a certified trainer through the American Council on Exercise and an accredited fitness specialist with the national YMCA. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham with a specialization in dance.