Instructor Spotlight: Michaela Bimbi-Dresp
Wednesday, June 20, 2018 by Laura F. @ merrithew / blog
Merrithew™ Lead Instructor Trainer
Mat & Reformer, Cadillac, Barrels, ISP, Total Barre®, ZEN•GA®, Merrithew™ Fascial Movement
Founder, The Pilatesbody
Michaela Bimbi-Dresp was working at a YMCA just outside of NYC when she first discovered Pilates. After returning to Germany, she opened up one of the first Pilates studios in Munich.
This is her story.
When Michaela Bimbi-Dresp was living in the U.S., just outside New York City, she had a membership at the local YMCA. She had always been a bit of a fitness junkie—she started ballroom dancing at three years old and became a competitive dancer when she was older— and the staff at the YMCA took notice, and asked her if she wanted to get her personal trainer certification and teach group fitness classes in their facilities. She said yes. It was during her stint working at the YMCA that she began to attend fitness conferences, and she noticed a new method of exercise making the rounds—Pilates. She tried it for the first time in 1998 and was hooked. “For me it felt like a dance,” she says. “I thought, if I like it so much, I’ll find other people who will feel the same.”
The internet was just beginning to boom and she took advantage of what was available online, checking out different Pilates training options. She decided on Pilates on Fifth, a studio based in New York City. After becoming a Certified Instructor, she underwent additional training in London, UK, and at the Corporate Training Center in Toronto, Canada.
When Michaela moved back to Germany, she landed in Munich, a city where “I was the first person there who knew Pilates,” she says. She began working at an American-run gym that had Merrithew equipment, but the core of the business was athletic training, and Merrithew had yet to branch out into CORE™ Athletic Conditioning and Performance Training™ and Halo® Training. “I thought it was worth it to try a little studio of my own,” Michaela says. She had calculated what she earned working in other health clubs to use as a metric for measuring potential earnings with her own studio. She searched for a space to rent, keeping in mind the habits of the Munich public. “Customers walk, take bikes,” she says. “So it’s not as necessary to be near a subway stop. People will walk or bike to places within a 1-2km radius, so I chose a space that was at least 2km from any other fitness studios.” She also kept working at her other fitness industry jobs while building her client base.
In 2003, she opened The Pilatesbody in Munich, with 3 Reformers, 1 Cadillac and 1 Ladder Barrel. “I was the only Pilates studio in Munich.” Michaela’s degree in economics and master’s in business administration from Friar University, Berlin, definitely helped her shape the beginning of her business. “A sense of doing business is so important,” she says. She estimates she spends roughly 3-4 hours on administrative work, but “I teach a lot as well, because that’s what I really love.”
In 2003, Michaela became an Instructor Trainer, and continued to broaden programming at her studio, adding Total Barre, ZEN•GA and Fascial Movement to her tool belt. “Total Barre is very popular, it fits a Pilates studio,” she says. “People often like the cardio element of it. And I often mix ZEN•GA exercises into different modalities.”
Business began to pick up, and it wasn’t long before she needed to move to a larger location.
The Pilatesbody now occupies 180 square metres of space, with 8 Reformers, 1 Cadillac, 6 Stability Chairs and 1 Ladder Barrel, and is a Merrithew Licensed Training Center, which brings a special advantage to Michaela’s business. “Certifications,” she says. “Everybody in Munich is asking if I know Instructors.” By offering Instructor Training courses at The Pilatesbody, not only does Michaela have a chance to connect with qualified Instructors, she also has a chance to observe them to see if any are the right fit for her business. “The personality has to be right,” she says. “You have to be present for the full hour when teaching. It’s not for everybody.”
Michaela continues to grow The Pilatesbody through word of mouth referrals, putting up flyers around the neighborhood, and by writing articles for different magazines and companies, as well as books on Pilates. “I try to be present in the Pilates scene,” she says.
Michaela Bimbi-Dresp erhielt seit frühester Kindheit professionellen Unterricht in Gesellschaftstanz, Rock'n Roll, Jazz/Musical/Ballett und nahm erfolgreich an zahlreichen nationalen und internationalen Wettkämpfen und Show-Auftritten für Bühne und TV teil. Während eines langjährigen USA-Aufenthalts zwischen 1995-2002 ließ sie sich zunächst beim American Council on Exercise zum Personal und Group Fitness Trainer ausbilden.
In 1999 begann sie ihre fortlaufende, langjährige Ausbildung zur Trainerin und Ausbilderin bei der weltweit größten Pilates-Ausbildungs-Organisation STOTT PILATES® , heute Merrithew ™.
In 2002 eröffnete sie das bekannteste Pilates-Studio Münchens: PILATESBODY für erstklassiges Kundentraining und STOTT PILATES® sowie Merrithew ™ Trainer-Ausbildungen (ZEN GA ®, Halo ®, Total Barre ® Merrithew Fascial Movement).
2006 erschien Ihr erstes Buch "Das große Pilates-Buch" und in 2010 zwei weitere Bücher: Pilates mit DVD und Pilates mit Theraband.
Seit 2009 gehört Michaela zu dem auserwählten Kreis der STOTT PILATES® "Lead Instructor", einer kleinen Gruppe von Ausbildern weltweit, die die größte Kompetenz in der Trainer-Ausbildung seit Jahren nachgewiesen haben.
In 2016 produzierte eine Neuauflagen ihres Bestseller-Buches einschließlich einer DVD, sowie in 2017 das neue Buch „Pilates für Späteinsteiger“ beim Gräfe und Unzer Verlag.
Sie absovierte 2017 eine Ausbildung zur Massagetherapeutin und beschäftigt sich mit Ernährungskonzepten. Zwischen 2015-2018 absolvierte sie die Faszien-Ausbildung bis zum Advanced Trainer bei der Fascial Fitness Academy von Dr. Robert Schleip und Divo Müller.
Sie arbeitet eng mit dem Head Office von Merrithew ™ in Toronto zusammen und steht in direktem konzeptionellen Kontakt mit Moira und Lindsay Merrithew.