We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Burton and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sarah, what role has risk played in your life or career?

I never took risks growing up really. I tried with all my might even as a teenager to stay small and quiet because I never quite felt “enough”. But somewhere in my late twenties I adopted the phrase “what’s the worst that can happen?” Taking small steps that moved me forward in my career before I felt 100% equipped is the only reason I am a business owner today. At first the mistakes I made felt humiliating and created a sense of failure at every turn. No one told me that feeling uncertain and being awkward was part of the growing process. And boy did I feel awkward and ill equipped, especially during the Covid shut down!

Some days the weight of risk was unbearable. I have since started surrounding myself with the support of mentors, my husband, children and fellow Pilates teachers that believed in my ability to learn as well as the bigness of my dreams. I believe people that are waiting for inspiration or motivation before they take risks guarantee that they will stay exactly where they are.

Now the risk in my mind is, “what will happen if I don’t continue working on my dream?”  Who will I not have the opportunity to develop a relationship with and make a difference through the gift of Pilates and movement? What would happen if I did not press on in the pursuit of making my industry more inclusive, welcoming, and accessible to those who need it? Those are the thoughts I dwell on currently.

At 50 years old, I am now called “extra” by some. They don’t know I still struggle with feeling “enough” some days.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

I have worked in the fitness industry for over 25 years, first in group fitness and then as a personal trainer. And at the encouragement of a friend, I completed a comprehensive teacher training program and started teaching Pilates 20 years ago in Tyler Texas.

The whole Pilates system immediately made sense to me.

After all, I am a first born.
I love systems.
I organize for fun.
And I love the creativity it allows with every human.
It keeps me curious and helps me come up with solutions outside the box.
I am a helper by nature.
I love art.

And the human body is an amazing study in art.

I love teaching movement for many reasons. Pilates has allowed me to see real changes in my student’s lives. Strength, mobility, control, and coordination! Most of my students started Pilates because they needed to get stronger, or lessen pain, or wanted to prepare for the demands of a trip or a sport or a performance. It’s equal art and science to me.

I gravitate towards a collaborative relationship with my students. To impart the knowledge that their bodies or movements don’t need to match those of the models in the manual is so fulfilling. Within my studio and in the community, athletic teams, and dance department classes, I strive to create a culture of “working to your best potential that day”.

For the younger students I work with, it might just be the first time they have heard that the process of laying down a foundation of functional movement is more important than what their bodies look like. And that makes me smile. I love knowing that I could help the dancers I teach trust their abilities so that they can feel the freedom to tell their story through dance on stage.

I am creating a comprehensive Pilates teacher training program open to anyone that wants to learn to teach.  It will begin at my studio in the fall of 2024. That also makes me smile.

Here’s to relationships and results!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?

Since my Pilates studio is located in the Mosaic District in Tyler, I am for sure going to say to visit all my neighbors.! Sola Bread for pastries, a Saturday Farmer’s Market trip and a quick walk to LikeWise Coffee for my favorite chai tea latte. Next, a trip down Old Jacksonville to The Grove for lunch outside on the lawn to enjoy a beautiful afternoon. Dinner? My husband and I love driving to Arp for dinner at High Hill Farm on the evenings that offer the luxury of time.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

Tyler Junior College Academy of Dance and the technique teachers have given me the opportunity to explore movement strategies, and develop dance education and conditioning curriculum in the pre-professional department. Teaching pre-ballet to ages 3-6 has literally grown my teaching capacity and curiosity by leaps and bounds over the last few years.

I have yet to find a specific niche of clientele like I was encouraged to do 25 years ago.  For me, everything I learn while working with different populations spills over to benefit all the other people I teach.   It has made me far more adaptable, knowledgable, and an invested learner.  So, one could say my niche is “humans”!

Website: www.studiobtyler.com

Instagram: studiobtyler

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/studiob.pilates.barre

Yelp: https://yelp.to/lZ0oCyGTll

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC62VPOobnYKa683a1XDg1sw

Image Credits
Casey Walker Southern Gypsy Photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.