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Pilates Elders – Eve Gentry

Pilates Elders – Eve Gentry

Eve Gentry was born 20th August 1909 in San Bernardino, California by the name of Henrietta Greenhood.

She began to study ballet, folk and ballroom dancing in 1917 and then moved to San Francisco in1928tostudy modern dance.

Eve moved to New York City in 1936 and began her dance career with Hanya Holm Company.  She choreographed her most famous piece in1938, ‘Tenant of the Street’.

eve gentry

Bruce Gentry was a childhood friend and they married in 1942, she then used the professional name of Eve Gentry.

Eve danced and choreographed for her own dance company, ‘Eve Gentry Dancers’ and after persistent back and knee pain Eve started to study with Joseph Pilates in 1944.

In 1955, Eve had a radical mastectomy where they removed a lot of muscle tissue and she could not lift her arms. After training in the Pilates Method, Joe and Eve filmed him teaching her advanced Pilates exercises and they showed it to the hospital doctors to try to build an alliance with them. They accused them of lying so the filmed again with Eve shirtless so they could prove they were telling the truth.  These films are available to .view on some websites.

Eve moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1968 and opened her own dance and Pilates studio.  Eve was a co-founded of The Institute for Pilates Method.

Eve died 17th June 1994 at age 84.

Eve has had a major influence on the Pilates industry that continues on today.  Her idea of bringing exercises back to Pre- Pilates so that clients in pain, could continue to exercise and develop appropriate muscle patterns to best aid them in rehabilitation still continues.

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