About Pilates Fest:
Valerie Kirch, a Pittsburgh native and local fitness instructor for the past eleven years, created the Pilates Fest after noticing that some of her most active students were not getting the results they wanted simply by taking one fitness class and felt stuck in a rut with their typical routine. Valerie was inspired to create an atmosphere where people felt comfortable trying a new class. Valerie’s students admitted to feeling insecure and self-conscious trying a new fitness class for the first time so she created the Pilates Fest. During Pilates Fest, participants have the option to simply observe classes they are interested in or jump right in and actively participate. Observing the class before trying it can help build confidence and when they are ready to participate, they will already have a general idea of what the class entails.
More about Valerie:
Valerie teaches a variety of different classes including yoga, barre, aerobics, resistance training, and sculpting classes, but her specialty is Pilates. She first began studying Pilates at Bodiography Contemporary Ballet School in 1999, and then she became a certified Pilates Instructor through Powerhouse Pilates in 2004. She started teaching Pilates shortly after at Southside Athletic Club. As she gained experience and started teaching for the YMCA and the Downtown Athletic Club. She continued to teach at different locations and continued taking classes and acquiring further certifications in Pilates for Pre and Post Pregnancy, Zumba, and a variety of YMCA specialty courses.
Prior to becoming a fitness instructor, Valerie was on the path to becoming a professional dancer. She studied ballet, jazz, modern, and hip hop at many different schools including; Pittsburgh’s High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Point Park College, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, and Bodiography Contemporary Ballet School, among many others. She is still passionate about dance and loves the arts, however when she was exposed to the group exercise atmosphere in a gym setting she knew that was where she wanted to be. The gym setting is generally a very friendly environment full of wonderful people looking to improve their health and well-being. Valerie thrives on helping others reach their goals and improve their lifestyles in a healthy and fun way. She looks forward to nurturing the Pilates Fest into an annual event that continues to grow and reach more and more people every year.
This year, Valerie transformed the Pilates Fest into a charity event, raising money for the Women's Shelter and Center of Greater Pittsburgh.