Romana Kryzanowska (June 30, 1923 - August 30, 2013) was an American Pilates instructor who started as a student of Joseph Pilates and his wife Clara at their studio on Eighth Avenue in New York. After the death of Joseph Pilates in 1968, Clara Pilates continued the studio for a few more years, and in 1970 Romana Kryzanowska became the director of what was by that time called "The Pilates Studio." 
Romana Kryzanowska was born in Famington, Michigan on June 30, 1923. She was the only child of Roman Kryzanowksy and Sari Pickett Kryzanowksy. Roman was an accomplished artist in Detroit, in the 1920's. Some of his artwork is in storage at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Sari went on to continue painting and displaying her own artwork after Roman died in 1929.
Romana studied ballet as a child. At age 17, while studying at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet, she suffered an ankle injury, and was taken by Balanchine to Joseph Pilates to see if exercise rather than an operation would resolve the problem. The exercises were a success, and she continued to study with Pilates. "Before I knew it", she said, "I was named a helper, which meant I didn’t have to pay anymore."
On July 11, 1944 she married Pablo Mejia at Saint Patrick's Cathedral. The couple moved to Peru, where she danced and taught the Pilates technique. Her two children, Paul and Sari, were born in Peru. Returning to the US in 1958, she began working again with Joseph and Clara Pilates at their studio in New York City. She also taught ballet.
Romana and her daughter continued to operate Joseph Pilates' original studio. Pilates Master teacher Jay Grimes believes that nobody knows Joseph Pilates’ work better than Kryzanowska. Other students of Joseph and Clara Pilates, including Kathy Grant and Lolita San Miguel (who were awarded New York certificates to teach Pilates in 1967), Ron Fletcher (who popularised Pilates in Los Angeles beginning in 1970), and many others, carried the Pilates method to other cities and countries.
Although Classical Pilates has been defined as "The exact exercises and ideas that Joe Pilates and his wife Clara taught to Romana Kryzanowska", the court decision in 2000 that eliminated the possibility of trademarking the Pilates name resulted in many variants of the Pilates method, and created controversy as to what is meant by a "certified" Pilates instructor.
The Joseph H. Pilates Archive Collection: Photographs, Writings and Designs, Sean P. Gallagher and Romana Kryzanowska, ISBN 1-891696-13-0
The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning - An Introduction to the Core Exercises, Sean P. Gallagher and Romana Kryzanowska, ISBN 1-891696-08-4
The Complete Writings of Joseph H. Pilates, Joseph Pilates, Romana Kryzanowska, ISBN 1-891696-15-7
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