Pilates Elders – Romana Kryzanowska
Romana Kryzanowska was born 30 June 1923, Detroit, Michigan.
1941, aged 18 years, Romana trained with George Balachine at the School of American Ballet. She suffered an ankle injury and was referred to Joseph Pilates for rehabilitation.
She married Pablo Mejia and moved to Peru where she had two children, Paul and Sari. Romana continued to teach Pilates from her home.
In 1958, she moved back to New York as a single parent where she worked for Carola Trier, taught ballet and worked with Joe and Clara Pilates at the 939 Studio.
Joseph Pilates died in 1967 aged 83 years and Romana took on the task of running the Pilates studio.
The studio was moved from 939 Eighth Avenue to 29 West 56th Street, New York in 1972 and in 1973 the studio changed it’s name to Pilates Studio Incorporated.
1975 aged 52 years, Romana began to teach at the State University of New York at Purchase and began teacher training in Pilates. Five years later she helped two of her students write their book, The Pilates Method of Physical and Mental Conditioning, by Philip Friedman and Gail Eisen.
In 1984 Romana continued to train students in the Pilates method at Pilates Studio Inc. Lari Stanton was the CEO of Aris Isotoner Gloves Inc., and a student of Romana. Assets were sold and Lari who wanted to see the studio survive despite the financial difficulties became involved.
1986 saw the assets transferred from Aris Iotoner Inc., to Healite Inc., and the studio moved to 160 East Street in New York. Healite Inc., was owned and operated by Wee-Tai Hom. Romana and Hom incorporated a new Pilates Studio Inc. in 1987, and formalised a teacher – trainer program where students were issued with certificates at completion of their training.
The studio on 56th Street was closed due to financial difficulties in 1989. Romana began teaching at the The Gym, owned by Dragutin Mehandzi, ‘Drago”.
Synergy Exercise Systems, formed by Sean Gallagher and Steve Giordano were involved in training instructors with the help of Romana in 1990 and went onto formalise a teacher training program with Sean Gallagher in 1993, aged 70 years.
The Pilates Trademark Lawsuit began in 1996 and ended in 2000.
Romana ended her business relationship with Sean Gallagher and formed her own teacher training program with her daughter Sari and granddaughter Daria in 2003, aged 80 years.
She retired from teaching in 2004 and featured in the Pilates video, Romana on Pilates; The Legacy Edition in 2006 aged 83 years.
Romana died August 30 2013, aged 90 years.
Romana has been involved in teacher – training thousands of Pilates instructors world-wide. We thank her for her contribution to the Pilates industry.