Our Backstory & About Our Name
Our Backstory | Offerings
“I’m fifty years ahead of my time,” Joseph Pilates once rightly claimed. From the very beginning, when Joseph Pilates experimented with rigging springs to hospital beds and taught systematic exercises to internment campers, the Pilates Method was built on innovation, systematic development, and practical application. As Joseph Pilates’ methods were solidified, he passed his method of physical fitness and mind-body wellbeing to his students, who in turn carried on his work in their own studios. This legacy of creativity and tutelage through apprenticeship is exactly how Blue Sparrow Pilates started.
Holly Furgason was raised in the woods of Michigan. A longtime dancer, Holly studied dance at the University of Michigan and then completed an MFA in dance at Mills College in Oakland, CA. The dance world was also responsible for Holly’s first introduction to Pilates, where she became intrigued with Pilates as a system to train for dance and to prevent injuries. With her characteristic passion and tenacity, Holly started studying Pilates and was eventually drawn to STOTT PILATES® for its international reputation as “The Harvard” of Pilates Training programs. In 2001, she enrolled in STOTT PILATES® Intensive Matwork and Reformer teacher training at Equilibrium in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. At Equilibrium, Holly excelled in her studies under Amy Slowik-Kubo and Eva Powers, instructors who opened her eyes to the depth and intricacies of Pilates.
Because Holly knew the advantages to mentorship, she sought out the highest caliber of teachers to learn from through apprenticeship. She began to work for fully certified STOTT PILATES® instructor and studio owner, Aimee McDonald, at the Movement Center in Ann Arbor Michigan. Holly was thrilled to absorb all aspects of the Pilates business, teaching, client relations, and marketing. She also followed Aimee through three expansion stages of the business. At the Movement Center, Holly was able to hone her teaching and communication skills, and gained important skills for sustaining a healthy studio. During this time she also met Nicola Conrath-Lange of Logokinesis, and was invited to author two chapters in Nicola’s Pilates books.
In 2004, after relocating to California, Holly began teaching and managing a STOTT PILATES® San Francisco satellite training center. While teaching, managing studio operations, and guiding student teachers, she deepened her own understanding of what it takes to teach STOTT PILATES® Instructor training courses and how to run a successful certification center. Realizing that she loved the challenge that working with new teachers offered, she dedicated herself to becoming a STOTT PILATES® Instructor Trainer.
Holly opened Blue Sparrow Pilates in January 2007 and hoped that one day it could become the client and teacher training center that she had always envisioned. Today, Blue Sparrow Pilates thrives in its original North Beach location as a successful female owned small business, committed to fully serving its community.
Joseph Pilates learned through his own physicality, trial and error, innovation, and experimentation. This same spirit flourishes within Holly and Blue Sparrow Pilates. Holly has the combined lineage of the STOTT PILATES® Method and the experience from amazing mentors in both the craft of teaching and in running a successful business. With this foundation, Holly and the team at Blue Sparrow Pilates are committed to keeping this authentic spirit of Pilates not only alive and well, but also flourishing and growing.
Our Name | Our Team
Blue Sparrow Pilates’ name came out of the idea that the sparrow is a symbol of freedom, happiness, integrity, and revitalization, which are characteristics that Blue Sparrow Pilates aspires to bring out of its clients. The sparrow or the “blue birds of happiness” is also known for traveling great distances, always returning home. At Blue Sparrow Pilates we bring clients back into a balanced relationship with their bodies.