Teacher Spotlight: Jack Hersee

Meet ex-ballet dancer Jack!

Jack began dancing at age five, eventually dancing with The Australian Ballet. After retiring from ballet, he went on to become a dance teacher. Following a move to the Gold Coast, Jack found Essence of Living where he undertook his teacher training. You’ll find Jack teaching energetic Pilates and Barre classes – probably with a backing track from Britney.

Why do you devote yourself to this practice?

I devote myself to Pilates because since the age of about 12, it was always been a way of moving my body that I really enjoyed. On top of that, the aesthetic benefits don’t hurt either!

How has Pilates changed you?

Pilates has changed the strength of my overall body in an incredible way. I’ve tried various methods of Pilates and have used it to overcome many injuries.

What’s your mission as a Pilates teacher?

My mission as a group Pilates teacher is mainly to deliver a fun class that gets people moving in a way that is enjoyable and fun, hopefully resulting in consistency within my clients.

What’s your relationship to your own practice? How has this changed over time?

Pilates is something that I use every single day. Whether it is a full on Power Pilates workout, or a very gentle workout to balance my body in the comfort of my own home. I love that this is a practice that you can take literally anywhere with you.

While I was dancing, Pilates was a secondary practice to compliment my dancing and keep my body healthy. Now that I no longer dance, I have developed a more dynamic practice that I can thank Essence of Living for introducing to me.

What keeps you inspired when it comes to your personal practice?

Inspiration for my own practice is not something I have to work hard at. It is generally something I love to do and get excited to teach and share. I love the creativity Michelle allows us to have within our own classes as teachers. I don’t think I would be as enthusiastic if there was a set class I had to follow. Creativity is a massive inspiration for me. It allows you to keep a fresh practice, which is good for both your body and your mind.

Who are some of your mentors? Why do you trust them?

My mentors have changed over time with the various teachers I have had. I have learned different things from each of these people – various techniques within the Pilates method. I love to get to Michelle’s classes whenever I can as she always has a new exercise or sequence to really shake things up.

Knowledge is always very helpful in giving your trust over to someone else. It’s very easy to trust someone who obviously really knows what they are talking about. Many teachers I have had don’t necessarily live by what they teach; personally I like to be a product of the practice I am sharing. This is something I find very inspirational in my own teachers.

What are some common, incorrect assumptions about Pilates?

A common misconception is Pilates is a female’s workout. While it is certainly a fantastic option for women as it is a workout that doesn’t necessarily build bulk, I am getting more and more male clients who are finding fantastic results both aesthetically and as a complementary exercise to their normal gym workouts. The strength you acquire in your glutes, back and core can really help with your technique when lifting weights and with the amount of weight you can lift.

What are some of the songs on your current playlist that get you moving?

Music is such an important motivator and I always endeavor to have new and fresh music for every one of my classes. Right now I’ve been using a lot of old school J Lo to get myself as well my clients moving!