Leiko was a professional dancer at the Birmingham Royal Ballet for 10 years, and did pilates at their studio.  

She became passionate about pilates and continued with this regularly until she decided to leave ballet in 1999.
It was at this point, she decided to train to become a pilates teacher.  After a knee operation, Leiko discovered that pilates made a significant difference to her own rehabilitation as she found it helped to strengthen her body. 

She feels this emphasises the importance of pilates in strengthening the more vulnerable muscles to assist in keeping balance and harmony.  She went on to qualify as a pilates teacher at Alan Herdman* Pilates in London and worked closely with him for five years, experiencing a wide variety of people of all ages and varying lifestyles. 

Her precise approach and attention to detail has helped educate many clients, allowing them to reflect and adjust their habitual movements, thus strengthening the weaker muscles found to be the most challenging to activate. Leiko worked at a pilates studio in Japan for 4 years, and in London for 8 years.

Deciding to make a change, she has relocated to Leeds.  Her Pilates aim is to help people suffering from chronic back pain, in addition to all the many other injuries we see here at the studio and to improve everyone's general suppleness and fitness.  In her spare time, Leiko likes to be in the fresh air, and enjoys the challenge of rock climbing – especially now in Yorkshire!  Although we have to admit that the picture above was taken in Turkey!

*Alan Herdman studied at the London School of Contemporary Dance and was working as a teacher and dancer when, in the late 1960s, he was invited to New York to learn about the Joseph Pilates Method.  There he worked intensively with Carola Trier and Bob Fitzgerald, two instructors who had been trained by Pilates himself.  Alan now lectures on Pilates around the world, and he has written several successful books on the subject.  He is also the Chair of Pilates Method Alliance UK Chapter.