Raised by principal dancers and gifted teachers, mentored by Pilates masters and elders, Claire Hancock was never quite introduced to dance and Pilates – she was born into it. None of it is old hat.
Claire doesn’t for a moment take for granted what she considers and honor and privilege to have inherited a passion for teaching and the opportunity to study with (and consider family) world renown movement cognoscente like Ron Fletcher, Kyria Sabin Waugaman, Rachel Yocum, and Gertrude Shurr.
The daughter of former principal Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers, Claire spent her earliest years in Bloomington, Indiana and moved to Tucson with her parents at age seven. She attended school and dance class in Tucson and summer programs at the Houston Ballet Academy. Around age 12 Claire recalls peeking in on Pilates workshops led by Ron Fletcher and Kyria Sabin at the UofA where her parents were involved with the dance program.
Claire left Tucson to dance with a Jazz company in Chicago and returned to earn her undergraduate degree at the UofA School of Dance, where she began practicing Pilates in earnest. She did graduate work at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and University of Arizona where she met Ashley Bowman with whom she formed Artifact Dance Project, a continuation of a Master’s Capstone project collaboration.
Claire had been teaching dance when she entered the Fletcher Pilates Foundational program. Kyria and Ron had mentored her from a very young age. She felt that she excelled as a dancer because of her Pilates work. Becoming a Pilates instructor was a “no brainer” decision for her. She feels compelled, even obligated, to share the knowledge of the work and help others discover and fulfill their movement potential.
Claire explains, “I remember Ron giving every single thing he had to each movement – every cell of his body was dedicated to it. He almost had X-ray vision for others’ potential and knew how to help them reach it.” Claire has developed a sharp eye for potential in her clients and students over the years. And she doesn’t mince words expressing gratitude and appreciation for the gifted people that helped her become the teacher she is today. “Ron always expressed how grateful he was to his teachers. It’s important to reference the lineage and the amazing educators that have evolved and kept this work alive.”
Claire had tickets to visit Ron at his Texas ranch when she received the news that he had passed away. He was a part of her family, close with her parents and grandfather. She is takes pride in keeping his work alive and admits to asking herself “What would Ron do?” when she is working on a challenge with clients and students.
When Claire isn’t leading Coretets, group classes or private sessions at the Body Works Pilates Central location, she is directing, choreographing or performing in dance projects. Reserve an opportunity to work with Claire by calling the front desk or using the the Body Works Pilates app.