Weekend Foot and Gait Workshop: Melanie Plays to a Packed House

by Leslie Braverman on September 15, 2014

Analysis of Foot & Gait with therapeutic Pilates solutions for walking and running performance


Pacific NW Pilates Education (PNWPE) is the professional training side of our mission. The Foot and Gait Workshop was last offered in 2014. Here’s a peek into what has been attracting physical therapists, physios, expert personal trainers and Pilates instructors to Melanie Byford-Young’s Pacific NW Pilates Education  workshops and courses. She has been studying — and refining — biomechanical and orthopedic therapeutic solutions for more than 25 years. Her knowledge, skill and zesty, rat-a-tat delivery has made her a magnet for professional movement audiences in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.

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Melanie Byford-Young uses expressive gestures. Gait patterns are demonstrated with theatrical style. She reveals the secret source of — and reasons for — biomechanical accommodation. She shows videos of her willing parents, business partner and a client demonstrating their particular style of walking. She is fascinated by anatomy and the mechanics of the foot. And a sold out group of attendees was on the edge of their seats. Read more in her blog about the foot in action.

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On Saturday afternoon, Melanie — known for her exuberant and deeply insightful workshop presentation style — started out with an exercise to anchor the position and function of the bones and function of a foot.


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“Very little range of motion is required to walk or run efficiently. Only hip extension, ankle dorsiflexion and first toe extension need full range of emotion.”

The workshop moved between classroom, in-studio demonstrations and live action assessments. We commandeered the entire studio and half the building’s empty weekend corridors. Attendees had a chance to pose their burning questions and get full advantage of Melanie’s workshop curriculum and on-the-spot diagnostic and prescriptive insights.

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She employs a unique blend of researched theory in a lecture setting. This workshop about the mechanics of walking and running — a Pilates-based approach, was rich in fast-flying facts and illustrations. Melanie addressed what professionals are likely to encounter with individuals ranging from elite athletes to seniors.

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PNWP owner Leslie Braverman and PNWP instructor (and Portland dancer) Holly L. Shaw were part of Melanie’s expert team. Workshop attendees included fellow Oregonians; others traveled from Vancouver, B.C., Toronto, and San Francisco. The prize for travel miles went to Carolyn from  Christchurch, New Zealand.


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We are mad about every one of our Foot and Gait Workshop attendees. Every ONE!


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Pacific NW Pilates is studio, school and fitness family under one roof. Click to learn more about our education courses and workshops, private studio sessions and group classes. Or call for details: (503) 292-4409.