Current Newsletter


 GREETINGS from Team PBA. I am now well into my last year with you and quite honestly amazed that after 18 months of turmoil and difficult conditions we are still here and not just here but also doing some remarkable classes and workshops.

Thank you. 


A good 9 months ago I pledged to retain PBA at the modified version of its full size i.e. 7 classes per week until the end of June 2020. This was explained to you as a two way contract and your reaction asked for. All PBA funds, revenue and memberships at Levels 2-5 must now stay in place for this last year. No more resignations. Too late!! 


Term finishes on Sunday 22 September. The new term starts on Monday 30 September. 




My fault...I entirely overlooked this one when creating the 'Year Ahead 2019' info sheet.


 Balcony is not available for any of our classes on Saturday 14 September. I have now rejected the use of Lounge (the original booking solution made in 2018) as unsuitable...too small and horrendously under ventilated. The 2019 solution...class 6-8pm in Balcony with 'Beginners' coming in for the first hour. 


Classical studies 14 September have to be  postponed...only one session, 21 September but 3 in October, 5, 12 & 19 with Oct 5 acting as the back-up Sept Classical class.


Sign -up is required for this 6pm Saturday class, 14 Sept.19 places. Apologies again for the short notice. Please use a text to sign up if you forget in class. We will continue with the theme of partnered stretches for the second half of class, higher level students.


🔷🔷🔷 MAT DIVI 🔷🔷🔷


We are currently in the process of extracting unused/abandoned mats from the pile. Academy Mews complained that it had 'grown'. How I wonder...recruitment had been weak for the last 18 months and students have left. Check with reception where to store a mat.


 It looks as though a number of mats have just been dumped...good for 'Mat Divi'. Please ensure all property stored at AMDS is marked with one of your names e.g. C Hocking or Chris H good...CJH confusing...bad. Bricks also need to be marked in this manner on both one long and one short side. Any previous owner must be crossed out. 


I will sort out the bricks and very soon the abandoned mats and bricks will be shared out so you all end up with 2 of each. See below as to why this is so important.



Astoundingly we have found a local alternative to the use of the dismal Lounge studio for our mid week classes. Personally I would not choose to foster rabbits in that studio and I think putting up with it has been stoicism of the highest standing. Too hot in the Summer, too cold in the Winter, radiators that do not reliable radiate and a noisy air conditioning unit held together with gaffa tape. It just will not do. I thank you all for your year long fortitude.


The new venue ...starting Monday 30th September 2019 has necessitated a small but favourable timetable change...1 hr classes Tuesdays 7pm (to replace Mondays 7.30pm cancelled as from the end of this term, the Summer Term), Wednesdays 6.30pm and Thursdays 7pm...levels as before.


The venue: The Yoga/Pilates Studio at The Engine Room, Techno Gym & Rowing Studio, St Bedes Hall, off Albany St, NW1 4EE, use Google Maps, very close to Regents Park. It has a small, light, bright, clean studio accommodating 12-14 students, windows that open and a Dyson blade... like the Queen... for cooling the room. The venue has stylish shower cubicles and decent well -appointed changing rooms. It also has a cafe for protein drinks/tea coffee and a lot of rowing machines for those who wish to top up their cardio-vascular fitness. Diorama is close by. Tube stations... Warren St 8 min walk, Regents Pk 6 minutes walk, Portland Sq 5 min walk, very fine park 3 min walk, flower beds 8 min walk, pub/restaurants/cafes/buses 3-8 min walk.


I think the slow Level 4, Mon 7.30pm class will do a lot better in its new prime time slot, 7pm Tuesdays. Much to my amazement Monday and Saturday students have also agreed to move out of Balcony and into the new venue.


Balcony in my option is a lovely space, shabby but with a unique atmosphere for a London studio, unfortunately unsupported with changing rooms, showers, hot water for washing hands, adequate access to drinking water, adequate access to lavs, and a reliable heating system.


We were to lose this space for the Advanced Monday class at the end of August 2020 anyway. This was a huge shock to Petronella and me. Monday was PBA's first evening class way back in 1987 when the school started with two 3pm classes in Covent Garden.


We all have to book 2 years in advance at AMDS and I was so unsettled when we first arrived with unexpected venue problems (we baked in Lounge...baked for the best part of 8 weeks ...unbelievable), I didn't get round to even thinking about extending PBA bookings for a few months. Result ...our space came up for sale on the booking site and the venue let it go to another client. I will never forgive them for this...heartless...devoid of care and kindness ...allowing an unforgiving and conceptually rigid machine booking system to take over hearts and minds and thinking it is OK.


I've also found an additional venue for a series of Master Classes for when I retire. It is 3 minutes from my flat, The Umbrella Rooms, 239-241, Shaftesbury Ave, WC2H 8EH, use Google Maps. Set up as casting studios, it doesn't cater for regular exercise/dance classes but does have a first rate studio for such on its top floor, with own private kitchen and lav and will take occasional bookings for workshops. The standard is very similar to Diorama but with windows that open, in a historic 19thC building and without everything being chained to the walls. Thus I could carry on with a few more Pilates Days. Hurrah !!... even if Diorama cannot accommodate us.

Addendum...Breaking News. Another recovery

The return of the 90 min class on Mondays now the 7.30pm has been shifted to 7pm Tues.




Please book in class asap as a P-day can sell out very quickly. Restaurant tbc...possibly another good value for money delight in Covent Garden...or...a foray  into the new Kings Cross development...or...a French restaurant...the best French restaurant you never ate at in France, Dean St, Soho...know one...£25 !! proper French 3 course set lunch plus glass of wine and coffee!!...all areas swiftly and easily reached from Diorama by buses across the road...see website for venue address in Drummond St/Regents Place or use Google Maps.




Booking now open and should be concluded before the end of term as the event is very close to the beginning of the Autumn Term. Thank you. The theme is 'Pre-Winter. Energising Length and Strength'. Sunday post-4hrs of Pilates, well deserved, gorgeous restaurant tbc...see notes above.


So all in all some very good news and a much enhanced future for PBA..

Petronella takes over July 2020 with me in the background, as administrator, but with occasional flurries into my old persona to conduct the occasional class or workshop.  

The new time table July 2020 will retain 3 evening classes one of which, the Wednesday class, will probably become Petronella's Entry Level recruitment class, plus, 2 Saturday morning classes probably 10.30-11.30am & 11.30am-12.30pm. It is possible the Thursday evening class might need to be kept on should there be the demand for it. Mondays and Tuesdays both stay in place to serve the Level 4 students. When Petronella takes over it will be with the school in an excellent venue...a very good start for her. 

Of course I am hoping most of you will want to stay on with PBA tuition. A system this carefully worked out does deserve a future and Petronella was there in class as a dancer/performance artist at the beginning, way back in 1987, so has a clear, strong, informed perspective regarding the ethos, breadth and depth of PBA methods.


Our Regards to you all, Chris Hocking and Team PBA Clare, Flora and teacher pending, Petronella. Enjoy the rest of the Summer. Do watch out for Petronella's biography going up on the PBA website soon. It will be a good read.

  PHOTO Chris, Regents park