SC Pilates - Pilates classes in Fife
SC Pilates - Pilates classes in Fife

About Myself

SC Pilates Instructor - Shirley Cunningham

A bit about myself

In the beginning...

I have practised Taekwon-do for 33 years, teaching it for around 25 years to both children and adults. Although I enjoy training and teaching, I was looking for some other form of exercise to do alongside it. Around 16 years ago, I read a magazine which mentioned Pilates and thought I would try it. I found out there was a class in St Andrews taught by Kathleen Thomson, I loved doing it from the start and felt the benefits quite quickly. I loved the class and Kathleen was a great teacher, but after a year of driving 50 minutes each way to get to class (which was especially tough in the winter), I chose to stop attending.

I missed doing Pilates and my body did too, but I couldn't find any classes that were closer to home. I had thought about doing Pilates Teacher Training way back then, but I started having sciatic pain. I suffered this pain for months and that put paid to any thoughts of training for the time being.

Nearly 13 years ago the Mind & Body Studio opened up in Kirkcaldy - only 10 minutes away from me. It was a Pilates Studio with other fitness classes too. That was it, I was hooked again. I was so happy! I went to the Pilates classes 2-3 times a week, I started Body Balance classes too. My instructor was the owner, Charlann Battle, who tried to encourage me to do my teacher training, but at the time I didn't think I could do it - I lacked self-confidence.


Building up the courage

I continued attending classes and about 3 years ago we had a similar conversation, Charlann and I were talking about it again - the idea of me becoming an instructor. The time still wasn't right for me, but not long after - in December 2017 - I made the decision to pay my deposit and sign-up for the Pilates teacher training course at Balans Pilates Studio in Perth, which started in March 2018.

The course was hosted and taught by Joakim Valsinger, Sabrina Simpson and Laura Weavers. This comprehensive course involved training covering various Pilates techniques, as well as the wide range of Pilates equipment used – such as Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Ladder Barrel, as well as other pieces of equipment.

Now that I'd put my name down and paid my deposit there was no going back. Charlann then emigrated just as I was starting my course, selling her business, with Vivienne Maxwell taking over the teaching of her classes. Vivienne was so supportive of me during my training, which I really appreciated.


Here I am today

Writing this now, in October 2019, having completed the course and sat my exam, I can't quite believe I have actually done it! There has been no blood, but there was definitely sweat and tears (lots of those)! I devoted myself fully to the course, putting in a huge effort while giving up my time and a number of commitments. I can't thank my husband Allan enough, without his support, I couldn't have done it. He believed in me when I didn't believe in myself.

Pilates makes me feel stronger, it makes me feel taller (which is always good for someone who is only 5'3”) and it makes me feel good. I have osteoarthritis in most of my joints and I know that if I didn't do Pilates, I would be in more pain - my body would have stiffened up, as I'd have been less active and less flexible.

I want to pass that feel-good factor on to others and help my clients to move more easily, feel stronger and give them a good mind-body experience. One hour where they can put themselves first, focusing on their own body and their own wellbeing, in order to feel better both physically and mentally!


Want to get in touch?

I offer Pilates classes that are suitable for everyone - regardless of your gender, age and physical ability. Get in touch now if you have any further questions or would like book yourself a space in one of the classes.