5 Steps for a Successful Hybrid Studio Model

5 Steps for a Successful Hybrid Studio Model

Pilates teacher teaching online

Pressure makes diamonds…

Hybrid Pilates classes are a staple at the Vitality Method studio in Duluth, Georgia.

What are hybrid Pilates classes? These classes combine online clients with clients in the studio who work out simultaneously.

How did hybrid Pilates classes come to be, and why are they so popular at our studio?

Online sessions have been available at our studio since “Skype” was the only online option. No clients chose this option; it was only utilized by teachers who wanted private online sessions with Joel Crosby.

When the shutdown from the 2020 pandemic happened, our studio quickly pivoted to online sessions for many of our clients who wished to continue their Pilates routine. This pressure to keep the studio running and being the only option available to clients pushed our studio in this direction. Some clients were reluctant to try it out. However, they discovered in just one session that they could still get a great workout. They also could see their fellow students and friends online that they missed seeing during the lockdown.

This also allowed more clients and teachers from around the world to attend classes together virtually at the Vitality Method studio.

As some people chose to come to the studio in person, we began hybrid classes. These classes caught on. Clients could feel part of a group. They enjoyed seeing each other and talking to each other live, from home, or a studio across the globe.

These hybrid classes continue to be part of our studio’s everyday practice.

The key to our hybrid classes’ success is the way we train our clients. We train all our clients to be independent. They work on their order of exercise on the mat and reformer, followed by what they need on other apparatus, if available. The Pilates teachers at Vitality Method are trained to develop independence with our clients regardless of experience and ability. This supports a better understanding of the work, and clients begin to embody the work.

It is great to watch the hybrid sessions. Everyone is moving, sweating, and focusing on doing their own workout with the coaching and guidance of an amazing teacher.

There is no replacement for being in the same space as the person you are teaching. Nowadays, though, hybrid classes will always have a place in our studio. They keep our studio busy and have expanded our client reach and revenue. The pressure to come up with a solution during a difficult time created an offering that has turned out to be a gem in our studio.

5 Steps to a Successful Hybrid Class:

  1. Acquire dependable equipment to host classes online. A good laptop and a separate high-quality camera, a large flat-screen TV or monitor, mount on a roller stand for portability.
  2. Train your clients to be independent and learn Joe’s work.
  3. Be ultra-efficient with your instructions while your clients are working.
  4. Balance your attention evenly with all clients in the class.
  5. Create an environment where online clients and in-studio clients can interact for one minute before and after class.


Joel has been teaching Pilates for over 20 years and is a graduate of "The Work" the highly selective Pilates Master Program of Jay Grimes. He runs an internationally recognized Pilates teacher training program and hosts continuing education workshops at the Vitality Method Studio. Visit him at Vitality Method Pilates



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