(1) She once led a company of "Psychedelic Dancers."
While studying at The Juilliard School and living in New York, Diane had her own dance company—Diane’s Psychedelic Dancers! They performed multimedia works using film and textiles, and they even did fashion shows. (We want to see some video, please!)
(2) Her first Fletcher Pilates movement manual was attached to the ceiling.
When Diane first walked into Ron Fletcher’s studio in Beverly Hills, she thought she was applying for a job at a dance studio. She and Ron clicked immediately, and four days later, she was apprentice teaching Fletcher Pilates. Luckily, at that time, the studio had all the movements listed on the ceiling—if she lost track of foot positions during leg and footwork on the reformer, she could just look up!
(3) She studied Martha Graham technique before discovering Pilates.
One of the reasons Diane clicked with Ron so quickly was that they shared so many of the same teachers. Diane studied dance with Marjorie Mazia (later Marjorie Mazia Guthrie--she was married to the folk singer Woody Guthrie). Marjorie danced with Martha Graham in 1935 and then became the first assistant in the Graham School of Dance, a position she held for 15 years.
(4) She does Pilates with her grandson.
In a 2016 interview with Pilates Style Magazine, Diane explained how she let the topic of Pilates come up organically with her then 11-year-old grandson, Frankie: “It comes in more practically than formally … [a]bout a year ago, he said, ‘Nai Nai, my foot’s hurting. I told him, pick up everything you can with your toes—dropped socks, pencils—and now his feet don’t hurt anymore.” Now Frankie uses Pilates to improve his piano performance—he keeps a Small Barrel under the piano and uses it to stretch while preparing for competitions.
(5) She wants you to be patient.
One of the keys to a successful Pilates practice? “It’s a patience thing,” Diane says. “Even learning the cha-cha takes a little bit of time.” So give it time!
PS: You're coming to A Day With Diane in Seattle on August 13, right? We'll be there with bells on to meet and move with Diane (and to feast upon the delicious catered lunch that's included in the workshop price!) Click here for more information and to sign up.