Pilates Elder Ron Fletcher dies

Ron-FletcherRon Fletcher is probably the reason that you've heard of Pilates.

Whilst Joseph and Clara Pilates first devised the system in New York, it was Ron Fletcher who took Pilates to the West Coast and set up a studio in Hollywood where it became hugely popular.

Ron Fletcher was born in 1921 in a small town on the Missouri-Arkansas border.  With little formal education he set off from Dogtown for New York.  In a chance meeting he persuaded the renowned Martha Graham to accept him into her dance company.

However, a persistent knee injury saw Ron seek the help of Joseph Pilates who was keen to prove how his muscle control therapy would be able to help.  Over the years, Ron became a close friend to both Joseph and Clara Pilates, and studied their methods rigorously.

During his time in New York, Ron became a noted choreographer for Broadway musicals, Hollywood movies and the International Ice Capades.  But his worldwide success in spreading the Pilates movement came when he moved to the West Coast in 1972.

Screen shot 2011-12-09 at 18.31.31Ron moved the emphasis away from training equipment like the Reformer and instead took Pilates 'vertical' by showing that it could be done in any studio or home.

His brand of Pilates became known as Fletcher Pilates® and incorporated elements from the work he had studied with Martha Graham.  He developed his floor work Pilates and created a range of techniques including:

  • Fletcher Percussive Breath
  • Fletcher Towelwork®
  • Fletcher Fundamentals
  • Fletcher Barrework

He quickly found that this was just what people were looking for and gained many celebrity clients including Ali MacGraw, Nancy Reagan and Barbra Streisand.

As an original student of Joseph Pilates, Ron became part of the revered Pilates Elders.  Fletcher Pilates® training hedquarters were set up in Tuscon, Arizona and continues to train instructors all over the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.

Ron Fletcher was described as a visionary and had an illustrious career that had many highlights including the publication of his celebrated book "Every Body is Beautiful".  His death, at the age of 90, is a sad loss for the Pilates community and his charismatic personality will be much missed.  

"We are all Miracles" – Ron Fletcher 1921-2011


1 Comment

  • Condolences to the family and love ones of Elder Ron Fletcher. He’s a great and good man.

    hamilton bum Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *