Martha Ramirez has been teaching at Body Works Pilates for 17 years. She even surprised herself a little when she did the math, “I remember Deb Mendoza telling me that she’d been working with Kyria for 10 years, and I thought ‘wow! That’s a long time! Who knows where I’ll be in ten years.’” That was fifteen years ago.
Today Martha is an indispensable fixture in the Body Works Pilates studio and an invaluable contributor to the Fletcher Pilates School, with no intentions of leaving. Her love of movement and passion for teaching, (surpassed only by her love of family and Tucson) is expressed daily in the studio and at workshops around the country.
Born and raised in Mesa, Arizona (a suburb of Phoenix) Martha discovered her love for dance – ballet in particular— at age five. She’s part of a family of movers and athletes. Her mom was a gymnast and swimmer, her father a baseball player, and her brother a hockey player. As a youth Martha was introduced to Pilates at summer dance camps. “It was Pilates, but not Pilates. They called it Dance Conditioning,” she explained.
Her earliest impactful experience with Pilates occurred when she was attending the University of Arizona, majoring in Dance. “As a dancer I started to figure out how this helped my dancing when I noticed the strength showing up there. I had ankle issues and the work really helped.” Martha didn’t work with the Pilates equipment until she was recruited as subject for case study work by a student of the Fletcher Pilates School. “I was hooked. I decided to go through program my junior year, but I didn’t know at that point if I was going to teach,” she said.
During her senior year of college, Martha began to doubt if she wanted to pursue a professional dance career as she had once aspired to do. She began teaching more at Body Works Pilates and went through the Professional program (called Level II, then.) “The program was a life-altering experience for me. I became enchanted with the work, with helping people. I’ve always been interested in kinesiology/movement. This fit perfectly within that realm.”
Before entering the Professional program, Martha envisioned that she would return to Mesa where most of her family lives. But, after graduating from the UA, she began to see Tucson from a different perspective. “I fell in love with it. I love the mountains. I love the people.” Tucson, it seems, has loved her back. Here she met and married her husband, is raising two beautiful sons, and is thriving at Body Works Pilates and Fletcher Pilates School. Countless Tucson clients and Fletcher Pilates teachers around the world have certainly also thrived thanks to Martha’s change of heart 17 years ago!
Martha leads Coretets, private sessions, and an occasional group class at Body Works. Be sure to check the schedule online at Bodyworkspilates.com or call to schedule 50 minutes to glean her knowledge, experience and passion for Fletcher Pilates practice.