We lost a huge influence in our community recently, the great Pilates instructor, and mentor, Bob Liekens.
Bob had a huge role in making me the Pilates instructor that I am today, as I was fortunate to have spent over 300 hours learning from him, during my Pilates Studio of NY training in 1997. He was a great educator and was so kind. I will always remember his voice, his amazing Pilates eye, and the twinkle in HIS eyes. He commanded when he taught, yet was so approachable. He is someone that I truly admired, and will miss.
In an effort to honor his impact on my life, I asked a few friends to share their memories of Bob.
Here is how they will remember Bob…
“Bob’s style of teaching and his joy of sharing the Pilates Method with everyone will always be deeply imprinted in my hears and mind. As a young teacher I strived to teach at a level 1 that I imagined he would approve of, and I clearly hear his voice within my teaching everyday…as well as his reminder to not take things so seriously, “it’s just Pilates”, he would say.”
Julie Hegge Cordier, BodyMind Balance Pilates, Cincinnati, OH
“Bob was the best of the best, a true teacher’s teacher…Bob felt a responsibility to pass on what he learned from Romana and he did such an amazing job doing that. I think he felt that if we didn’t commit to teaching the whole system, it would be lost…He will be missed greatly, but we will carry on his legacy.”
Ali-Daniels-Edwards, Monterey Bay Contrology, Monterey, CA
“I have lots of memories of Bob. His voice, in my head, counting with his distinct accent is something that will remain with me forever.”
Simona Cipriani, Art of Control, Stamford, CT
“Bob was someone so FULL OF LIFE…he left us too soon.”
Fran Hoyte, Saugatuck Studios, Westport, CT
Fran shares some funny Bob-isms with us:
The way that he seamlessly snuck in a joke in the middle of a serious session, his dry wit; you had to pay attention to catch them.
Funny things like his sneakers, (we never saw his feet).
“Reach east & west.”
“I can still hear Bob’s voice in my head when I teach. There are so many Bob-isms and Romana-isms and I am grateful to have them and also the chance to share them with the next generation of teachers. Bob’s generosity of spirit and love of the work will remain with us as a living inspiration.”
You will be missed, Bob, by so many of us.
Thank you for your contribution to Pilates, and to the world.
Photos courtesy of Julie Hegge Cordier and Ali Daniels-Edwards