Paul Anthony McLinden

Charlotte Watts

With 30 years in the industry, Paul McLinden (PDTC, Royal Academy of Dance) has helped to shape Pilates into one of the world’s fastest growing exercise methods.

While training at London’s Central Ballet School in 1982, Paul became an apprentice to Alan Herdman, the man credited with bringing Pilates to Europe.  Paul set up some of the UK’s first Pilates mat classes, an exercise method then only familiar to dance professionals.  He paid the bills by working at the newly-founded Pineapple Studios in Covent Garden.

Paul danced for nearly a decade as a contract soloist throughout Europe, performing with ballet companies in Italy, Germany, Spain, Sweden and Israel.  At his peak, Paul shared a stage with ballet’s biggest stars, including Rudolf Nureyev, Carla Fracci, and the Bolshoi’s prima ballerina, Nina Ananiashvili.

In 1991, Paul returned to his home in London.  He completed the Professional Dancers Teaching Course at the Royal Academy of Dance, personally certified to instruct classical ballet by Dame Margot Fonteyn.   He spent five years as the first Head of Teacher Training for the Body Control Pilates Association, a world leader in Pilates education.

During this time, Paul worked as the Studio Manager to Gordon Thompson’s Kensington-based Pilates studio, training high-profile clients including Uma Thurman, Stefanie Powers, Greta Scacchi, Julian Sands and Hugh Grant.  In 1997, Paul co-founded Brighton’s original Pilates studio with fitness guru and best-selling author Helge Fisher.

Today, Paul remains one of the most recognizable names in the Pilates industry.  He has presented continuing education workshops for fitness instructors around the world, presenting Pilates Master classes in South America, the United States, Australia, Africa, and Southeast Asia.  His instructional DVD ‘Pilates for Dancers’ was released in 2009.

Paul’s dedicated private client base includes taxi drivers and working mums, professional athletes and ballet dancers, TV stars and Academy Award™ winning actresses.  Paul works with his hand-picked apprentices and teaching staff at his boutique style studio, Ocean Wave Pilates, near his home in Brighton, East Sussex. 

Read more about Paul and Ocean Wave Pilates at

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