Irene Dowd and Steven Fetherhuff

Irene Dowd and Steven Fetherhuff we re here on March 9th and 10th, 2013.
It was a fantastic weekend!


Description of Workshop:
Performing actions with our feet allows us to initiate coordinated exertion patterns that can re-organize our whole body!

We spend much of our lives on our feet, standing and walking. Our feet are intimately and essentially involved in every kind of locomotor activity such as running, jumping and skipping. We can also use our feet in order to more elaborately interact with our environment such as when we are kicking a ball, gesturing through space in a pirouette turn, or grabbing and holding steady on an irregular surface when rock climbing. With practice, our feet can even function like hands.

In this workshop, you will receive an introduction to the anatomical architecture of the foot. We will consider and experience the “dual nature” of our foot. Our foot can be accommodating to an uneven and changing ground while articulately interacting with other objects and people in our environment. In contrast, it can forcefully rigidify into a powerful bony lever that propels us off the ground into the air. We will explore the mechanics of how our adaptable foot can be shaped and reshaped to serve its various roles.

Participants will learn and practice a series of foot/ankle warm-up choreographies created by Irene and Steven that contribute to enhancing foot adaptability when we are balancing on one foot, walking with buoyancy and ease, or jumping up in the air.

We will also consider various Pilates protocols in terms of how the feet are used traditionally (e.g. various foot positions on the foot bar), as well as how we might reconfigure the use of our feet in many other Pilates protocols to most effectively achieve our performance goals.


Irene Dowd is on the dance faculty of the Juilliard School, Canada’s National Ballet School, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, the Hollins University/ADF MFA program in dance. Author of Taking Root to Fly, she has maintained a private practice in kinesthetic anatomy and neuromuscular reeducation for over 40 years in NYC. Irene has choreographed for Peggy Baker, Margie Gillis and other solo dancers. Her work has been taught in schools and dance companies across the US and Canada. She has been a long-term private student of pilates-based work with Deborah Lessen, Lisa Love and Jean Claude West. Currently, she collaborates with both Lisa Love and Steven Fetherhuff in exploring the development of pilates-related movement

Steven Fetherhuff was a professional dancer with several prestigious American contemporary dance companies. He began studying the Pilates Method in 1990.  A PMA Certified Pilates Instructor, he received his teacher training from the Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado, widely recognized as one of the top training centers in the world. Steven has studied with several of the most highly regarded instructors in the field including many years with his late mentor, First Generation Master Teacher Kathleen S. Grant. He assists neuromuscular educator and functional anatomist Irene Dowd in teaching anatomy and movement workshops. He has trained teachers and students in Japan, France and throughout the United States and presented with Irene Dowd and Kathleen S. Grant at several of the Pilates Method Alliance Annual International Education Conferences. Steven lives in New York City where he maintains a private practice and is on staff at Hospital for Special Surgery’s Integrative Care Center, working within the medical community to provide pilates-based movement education for physical rehabilitation patients.