Joe developed a series of floor routines that demanded balance, flexibility, strength, power, agility and acute mental focus in order to execute them correctly.
He callede his method "Contrology" (using the mind to control the body).
He went one step further by combining his engineering skills with his knowledge of health and anatomy to design specialized exercise apparatus using springs, pulleys and movable platforms to create variable-resistance workouts.
The equipment aids in making your weaknesses your strengths!
Between the two World Wars, Joe moved to NYC, where his unique approach to fitness quickly caught on as an "underground" phenomenon.
Most of the "Master Teachers" (original students of Joseph Pilates who went on to assimilate and teach his work) were professional dancers.
Still, it is completely inaccurate to believe that one must be a dancer to benefit from Joe's work!
As often happens with true genius, Pilates' body/mind approach to working out was about 50 years ahead of its time, and it has only begun to achieve widespread popularity in the past decade or so.