Pilates Fundamentals

Pilates Legacy


Mary Jo Shear is part of the Pilates legacy that has not been broken in over 80 years.

Pilates started with Joseph and his wife Clara, who then mentored their protégé Romana Kryzanowska.

Juanita is a Level I instructor of Romana’s Pilates™, who began her studies with Romana Kryzanowska in the summer of 1988. Prior to that she had been a professional ballet dancer and taught ballet in the Chicago area. Juanita was also on the faculty of Northwestern University where she taught ballet and eventually Pilates mat work. In 1993, at the request of Romana, Juanita began teaching the seminars for the certification training program that was supervised by Romana. Since then her duties also include administering final exams and teaching continuing professional education.

Juanita is highly sought after by teachers all over the world for her knowledge of Pilates. Juanita currently has a private practice and also teaches at Pilates Connection in Evanston, IL. She continues her education by studying with Romana as often as she can.

Rhonda Calenza is a Level III instructor of Romana’s Pilates™. She opened Pilates Connection in 2006. She started training in 1993 and was certified in 1995. Rhonda came to Pilates following a successful ballroom dancing career. Rhonda’s successful career as a profession ballroom dancer took her to national competitions for over 25 years and she was introduced to Pilates as an avenue to strengthen and enhance her performance in the Latin Division of ballroom dancing. Rhonda did one of her first lessons in 1993 with Romana Kryzanowska, Joseph Pilates protégé and founder of Romana’s Pliates™ which inspired her to study Pilates more in depth.

Under the apprenticeship of Rhonda Celenza and Level 1 Instructor, Juanita Lopez, Mary Jo Shear was finally able to experience the knowledge and legacy that Joseph Pilates passed on to his protégé and founder of Romana’s Pilates™, Romana Kryzanowska.