I have no money. I'm a grad student/non-profit employee/associate saddled with law school debt. I live in D.C. - one of the most overpriced cities in the world.Trust me, we get it. According to a 2011 Kiplinger Report, Washington DC ranks sixth in the most expensive U.S. cities. Rents, averaging $1,790 per month, are more than double the national average. The average home price is $670,675. And that doesn’t even take into account the cost of a martini in this town. Or a burger. But, we don’t sell those, so let’s talk about the price of Pilates. First – why it’s expensive.
- The training. A comprehensively trained Pilates instructor has spent a minimum of $4,000 for that one training unless they were lucky enough to be trained by a studio who employs them. That doesn’t count private instruction (personally – I have spent over $6,000 on that), travel to do the certifications that are rarely in your home town (more than $4K here), other certifications (I’m up to another $7K in specialty training), mentorships, workshops, continuing education requirements, anatomy courses... My Pilates education price tag far exceeded my undergrad degree years ago. And, it hasn’t stopped (conference this month, breast cancer surgery rehab training next).
- The equipment – a high end studio reformer is at least $3,000. Go really high end, and you’re looking at more like $6K. The other equipment is similarly pricey. To fully outfit a studio with the gadgets of Pilates, you are heading upwards of six figures. At the Fuse Playground, we brought in studio-grade equipment (i.e. top-of-the-line). Sure, some studios buy cheaper equipment, but they tend to price themselves as high or higher than studios who bought the good stuff (hmmm, maybe you should change studios…). We understand gyms have a lot more equipment than that, but they also operate on a factory system of extremely high number of customers who pay memberships. And equipment cost doesn’t count rent in this town (see above rant on housing expenses), teacher salaries, air conditioning and heating bills, and more.
- The class size – Pilates classes are reasonably small. If we had a reformer class with 30 reformers, it would make sense that those classes could be cheaper. But, there’s no way to teach a class that big and keep the students safe, even if it were possible to find a space in DC large enough to accommodate it.