Defining Pilates Legacy: Champions of Innovation, Tradition, and Excellence

Founder, Creator, CTO & Chief Designer
of PWD, PCO, PTV, Co-founder of PAPT LA
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The Grand Dame of Pilates &
Inspiration for PWD, PCO, PTV & Everything Pilates
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PT, DPT, Co-Founder and Director of
PAPT, Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles, PCO
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Welcome to – Your Premier Global Directory for Pilates Professionals

PWD, rooted in the prestigious Performing Arts Physical Therapy and The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles (PAPT/PSLA) since 1992, illuminates the ageless teachings of Joseph H. Pilates. It was at this very place that Romana Kryzanowska introduced the first medically-reviewed Authentic Pilates teacher certification program.

Inspired by Romana Kryzanowska:
Romana’s dedication to Authentic Pilates is the bedrock of PWD. Recognizing the relevance of Contemporary Pilates, our platform, inspired by her, bridges both traditions. Discover more about Romana’s legacy below.

Harmonizing the Pilates Spectrum on PWD:

The world of Pilates, deeply rooted in Joseph Pilates’ teachings, has expanded over time. Traditionalists remain loyal to original methods, while innovators introduce fresh perspectives, showcasing the discipline’s two primary facets.

At PWD, we understand and appreciate this diversity. We’ve created a space where both Authentic and Contemporary Pilates coexist. Our platform serves as a unifying bridge:

  • Authentic Pilates: For those who adhere to the time-honored teachings and apparatuses, ensuring the original essence of Pilates is preserved and celebrated.

  • Contemporary Pilates: Acknowledging the creative expansion of the method, we embrace the variations that have sprung from the foundational principles of Joseph Pilates.

PWD lets members highlight their Pilates style and credentials, providing clarity for consumers. This transparency ensures clients find their perfect Pilates match, showcasing each provider’s unique expertise.”

Looking for Exceptional Pilates Instruction?
Discover, Connect, and Train with World-Class Pilates Professionals on PWD

  • Free Access: Engage in the world of Pilates without any cost.
  • Diverse Choices: Choose between the traditional “Authentic Pilates” and the modern “Contemporary Pilates” based on your preference.
  • Badge of Trust: Connect confidently with professionals showcasing our Badge of Trust. All PWD expert stands on their own merit, the support of PAPT/PSLA amplifies their credibility. PWD badges further spotlight their distinct Pilates style.
  • Transparent Verification: View your potential instructor’s certification and lineage. Understand their depth of expertise before making a commitment.
  • Tailored Experiences: Find providers who offer bespoke Pilates experiences, ensuring you receive sessions tailored to your unique needs.
  • Educational Resources: Learn the key differences between Authentic and Contemporary Pilates, and make well-informed decisions in your Pilates journey.
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Are You a Pilates Professional?

Here's why you need to be a part of PWD: Discover unparalleled benefits tailored for the world's best in Pilates. Membership is FREE.

Homage to Romana

If a picture says a thousand words, a vintage video tells the story in living memories.

Romana’s Vintage Holiday Affair

1994, Romana Kryzanowska, Dr. Melinda Bryan, former business partners, and former employees of Performing Arts Physical Therapy /The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles came together at Kaz’s Hollywood Hills home in California for a memorable pre-Christmas gathering.


In-Flight Testing

Romana is giving Kaz her extra attention as always. Having fun after breakfast, teaching Kaz balance and control testing his powerhouse strength at The Pilates Studio®, Puerto Vallarta certification programming meeting between 1992-94. It became apparent to everyone, Romana and Kaz grew an intimate friendship and affection for each other the instant they met.

The Grande Dame of Pilates

Romana takes a moment to pose for the camera, showingoff her new PAPT & The Pilates Studio® Los Angeles t-shirt in 1992. The official launch of the first authentic Pilates certification program. And the first of many visits to PAPT of Los Angeles. Romana considered PAPT of Los Angeles, her “home away from home.”

Breaking Bread with Romana

Romana, Dr. Melinda Bryan, Kaz, and other Pilates leaders meet to discuss the growing success and plans toward expanding the Pilates certification programming in 1993. “Breaking Bread with Romana” founded the Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles, The Pilates Studio® of New York, The Pilates Studio® of Seattle, and The Pilates Studio® of the Midwest.

Romana and her protégés

In 1992, Romana, Dr. Melinda Bryan, Kaz, & other participants convened for the pioneering West Coast Pilates certification at PAPT & The Pilates Studio® Los Angeles. Training on “the old Cadillac”, they delved into intense “Romana style” instruction. Notables from this group, like Zoe Hagler, Trish Garland, Nela Fry, and Allison Leo, now stand as Principal Pilates Master Teacher Trainers. Along with special guest Siri Dharma Galliano, they formed the core Pilates team at PAPT, shaping the next generation.


Romana 1996: The Pilates Epicenter

Romana’s guidance echoed at PAPT with her visits four times a year. By this time, she had certified numerous enthusiasts globally, solidifying the prominence of PAPT & The Pilates Studio® Los Angeles in the world of Pilates. An October 6th, 1996 photograph taken showcases luminaries including Romana, Kaz, Dr. Melinda Bryan, Karen Moran P.T., and Senior Master Teacher Instructors Thalia Thomas and JoEllyn Musser. Also featured is Jay Grimes, a first-generation disciple of Joseph Pilates, who was another notable Super Star member of the PAPT team.

Pilates World Directory Gives Credit Where It's Due

Performing Arts Physical Therapy / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles, est. 1992

Acknowledging Pilates Visionaries

The global acclaim of the Pilates method, pioneered by Joseph H. Pilates, is indisputably connected to Romana Kryzanowska. She remains a pivotal figure in the method’s growth and authentic preservation. Although it is often cited, but not definitively confirmed, that Romana was handpicked by Joe Pilates to continue his work, her role as a dedicated protégé and steward of the Pilates legacy stands unquestioned.

Medical and Educational Advances

Recognizing the untapped potential of Pilates beyond small home studios, Romana sought the expertise of healthcare professionals who embodied ethical and clinical rigor. In 1992, she partnered with Mr. Sean Gallagher and Dr. Melinda Bryan. This alliance not only brought medical credibility to Pilates but also set the stage for its broader acceptance and application in health and fitness circles. Dr. Melinda Bryan is an internationally recognized Principal Pilates Master Teacher Trainer and also directs Pilates programming at

PAPT / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles

While other Pilates teacher training programs existed at the time, none provided an organized, professionally-led, and medically-reviewed certification. The formation of Performing Arts Physical Therapy / The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles in 1992 marked a pivotal milestone. Owned and directed by Dr. Melinda Bryan and Kaz® from its inception, The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles distinguished itself by offering a certification program that was both medically sound and professionally organized. Dr. Melinda Bryan and Mr. Sean Gallagher identified that certain Pilates exercises contradicted prevailing medical guidelines. To address this issue, Dr. Bryan orchestrated consultations between Romana Kryzanowska and leading orthopedic surgeons in Los Angeles. These consultations entailed a meticulous review of each Pilates exercise to align them with contemporary medical standards.

Romana Kryzanowska personally oversaw these certification programs during her regular visits to Los Angeles, solidifying The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles as the exclusive West Coast training center. Owing to its unparalleled credibility and innovative approach, The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles has maintained its leadership for over three decades.

Community and Innovations

Romana’s contributions were instrumental, but she was far from alone. First-generation ([GEN1]) disciples like Kathy Grant, Carola Trier, Eve Gentry, and Ron Fletcher also deserve acknowledgment. Additionally, Grandmaster Instructor Trainer Sari Mejia Santo, Romana’s daughter, belongs to the second generation ([GEN2]) and has made invaluable contributions.

  • Donald Gratz, the original equipment manufacturer who continues to produce Pilates equipment, has been a pillar of support in maintaining the method’s integrity.
  • Ken Endelman, the founder and CEO of Balanced Body®, has been an instrumental figure in the Pilates community since 1976. He notably challenged the Pilates trademark in 2000, which opened up the method to wider opportunities and national expansion. Certification now remains an individual choice, though pursuing it from reputable schools is advisable to ensure high-quality instruction.
  • Kaz’s contributions spanning over three decades stand out. Instrumental in establishing the first official Authentic Pilates certification program at PAPT / The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles in 1992, Kaz later developed online platforms like PCO, PWD, and PTV. These digital innovations have broadened the accessibility and relevance of Pilates, making Pilates World Directory the ultimate registry for accomplished Pilates professionals worldwide.


In conclusion, special tribute is given to Dr. Bryan and Mr. Gallagher, whose medical expertise lent credibility and professionalism to the Pilates method. Their contributions, alongside those of PAPT / The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles and its owners, have been instrumental.

The lasting legacy of Joe Pilates owes much to the collective efforts of these outstanding individuals, with Romana Kryzanowska ([GEN1]) at the helm. The Pilates world community remains grateful to those who continue to develop the Joseph H. Pilates Method of Body Conditioning, the Art of Contrology.

Donald Gratz, the original equipment manufacturer who continues to produce Pilates equipment, has been a pillar of support in maintaining the method’s integrity.

The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles Affiliates

The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles, established in 1992, is an internationally recognized organization, and creator of the first, most respected, professional Authentic Pilates Teacher Certification Program.

Performing Arts Physical Therapy / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles, established in 1992. Internationally recognized as the first professional organization to offer an authentic Pilates Teacher Certification Program. Founded by Dr. Melinda Bryan, PT, DPT, Physical Therapist, Pilates Master Teacher Trainer, & Kaz, Creator of PCO, PWD, & PTV.

PilatesCertificationOnline. com launched in 2011—the world's first Authentic Pilates Certification Program Online. PCO's certification program is the Online version of the original certification program, created by Romana Kryzanowska & The Pilates Studio of LA in 1992. PCO offers a "Virtual Classroom" of The Complete Classical Pilates Repertoire. was first launched in 2013, then reconstructed and relaunched in 2023. PWD 2.0 is now the world's most extensive, trusted Pilates professional resource. PWD also serves as the Pilates World Registry, catering to all Pilates styles. PWD connects the Pilates consumer with recognized, trusted, and verified Pilates professionals.

Pilates.TV, the video-based media platform for the global Pilates community. PTV showcases Pilates content only. PTV is the place online where viewers find all content Pilates. PTV is a secondary, supporting video-based platform for members' YouTube channels. PTV showcases Pilates video content already uploaded on YouTube. Coming 23/4