Callan Pinckney

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Callan Pinckney
Callan Pinckney.jpg
Born(1939-09-26)September 26, 1939
DiedMarch 1, 2012(2012-03-01) (aged 72)
Known forCreator of Callanetics

Callan Pinckney (born as Barbara Biffinger Pfeiffer Pinckney September 26, 1939 – March 1, 2012) was an American fitness professional who created and popularized as well as excelled in the Callanetics exercises.

Pinckney's nine books became international best-sellers and the video series that followed sold over 6 million copies. Pinckney's first video release, "Callanetics: 10 Years Younger In 10 Hours", outsold every other fitness video in the US. Within three years it had become the all-time individual best-selling fitness video.[1]

Early life[edit]

Pinckney was born on September 26, 1939 in Savannah, Georgia. She was born with spinal curvatures, one hip higher than the other and severely turned-in feet. As a result, Pinckney was forced to wear leg braces for seven years. In an effort to correct her alignment, she spent the next decade studying classical ballet. She was frequently suspended from school; her only interest was international travel.[citation needed]

Eleven years around the world[edit]

After two years of college, Pinckney went to Bremerhaven, Germany. For nearly a year, she travelled across Europe, sleeping in a Volkswagen. She took odd jobs whenever she needed. When Pinckney reached London, she worked manual labor jobs such as shoveling coal and snow for eight hours for little more than $3 a day.

After her time in London, Pinckney went to Cape Town, South Africa, where she obtained a job with an advertising agency. After a year there, she traveled to Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Zaire. She worked part of the time tracking animal migrations in the wild. To supplement her income, she took on menial labor jobs. Due to Pinckney's inadequate diet, she suffered from severe amoebic dysentery and lost 78 pounds. Her heavy rucksack also put a great strain on her back, shoulders and knees.

Pinckney soon decided to travel to Asia. She went first to Mumbai, India and then to Sri Lanka. During this time in Sri Lanka, Pinckney realized that her muscles had lost all their tone and she had no flexibility or extension. The movements she had been able to do as a teenager were now almost impossible. After reaching Japan, Pinckney obtained a job recording British voice-over tapes for advertising. She also wrote about her experiences on the road for a Japanese magazine, modelled miniskirts, and managed a bar with Western waitresses.

Eleven years after leaving London, Pinckney returned there. Regarding her medical condition, one British doctor advised her to have surgery on her knees; another said her back would never recover. She was in constant pain and in an attempt to alleviate her suffering she turned first to ballet and then to yoga and toning classes. She also attended the Rehabilitation Exercise Studio set up by German dancer Lotte Berk [2]. Berk had seriously injured her back while dancing and had devised a program to ease her discomfort whilst maintaining her strength and flexibility.

Returning home[edit]

In 1972 Pinckney returned to Savannah, Georgia. Soon after her arrival, she left for New York City to assume a teaching job at an exercise studio. However, after disagreements with the owner regarding the exercise regime, Pinckney quit the studio.

During this period, Pinckney worked to find new exercise methods. She found ways to protect her back and increase the effectiveness of different exercises. She learnt how to strengthen and alleviate the pain from her knees. She also discovered that she could quickly tone her muscles using these new movements. She started teaching private students in her apartment.

After consulting with a numerologist, Pinckney decided to change her first name to "Callan" to help provide her direction for her future.

Birth of Callanetics[edit]

As her exercise classes grew in popularity, Pinckney needed to give them a name. One of her students would always refer to them as "Callan-etics", a name-blend of "Callan" and "athletics". Pinckney decided to use that name.

In 1984, after seven years of teaching Callanetics, Pinckney published her first book, Callanetics: 10 Years Younger In 10 Hours. Within two years the book had sold close to a million copies in the United State alone. She was profiled in Time Magazine[3] and People Magazine [4] and appeared on every major chat show.

In 1986, Pinckney released the first Callanetics video.[5] Based on word-of-mouth, the video became a best-seller. In 1987, Pinckney trained one of her advanced students to become the first certified Callanetics instructor.

Toward the end of 1987 Pinckney was invited to represent the United States in the World Elephant Polo Competition in Nepal.[6] She put together the Callanetics Ladies Team which included amongst others orca trainer Judy Peterson. The team finished in sixth place. Pinckney said that riding the elephant was therapeutic for her back.[citation needed]

In 1988, Pinckney published Callanetics For Your Back. Pinckney believed that many people were suffering back problems due to the radical fitness movement in the United States during that period. The book became another bestseller. To tie in with the book release, Pinckney released a new video Super Callanetics. This video showed more intense versions of the familiar Callanetics exercises. The video also became a bestseller.[citation needed]

Return from London[edit]

In 1989, Pinckney released the Beginning Callanetics video. This was a shorter version of the original one-hour program with more basic explanations for people who had never experienced the Callanetics method. Pinckney created the shorter program and included some of the exercises she had written about in her “Callanetics For Your Back” book. Later that year, Callan published her third book, Callanetics Countdown for people who did not have enough time for a full hour of exercise. It became another bestseller.

In March 1989 Pinckney traveled to London to promote a paperback edition of the original Callanetics book in Harrods department store.

Callanetics franchise[edit]

In November 1990, Pinckney decided to set up a franchise for Callanetics studios and introduce a proper teacher training program. She opened the Callanetics Franchise Corporation with headquarters in Denver, Colorado. From here teachers were trained and licences were given for studios across the country. Pinckney set up a new Manhattan studio in the attic of Carnegie Hall to be run by her student Ruth Jeffries. Over the next 12 months, nine more studios opened in the United States.

In May 1991 the Callanetics Franchise Corporation received its first requests from people wanting to set up studios in England and Scotland. By September several more teachers from the UK were trained in Denver with the intention of setting up studios across England. . Fourteen studios were opened in Belgium and Switzerland and the Callanetics Franchise Corporation were receiving requests from all over the world. To cope with the demand for qualified Callentics teachers, Pinckney started training master teachers who would be authorized to train teachers in their own countries.

Pinckney's next book, Super Callanetics, gave her the chance to give a more in depth explanation of the advanced exercises seen in the earlier video of the same name. In 1992, she published the Quick Callanetics video and book series. In them Pinckney demonstrated three short programs each aimed at toning a different area of the body in only 20 minutes. In 1993 she published “AM/PM Callanetics”, a program consisting of two daily routines to shape up the entire body. The book and accompanying video contained a 25-minute morning routine to energize participants for the day and a 25-minute evening routine to relax them for the night.

Retirement[edit]

In 1994, Pinckney published Callanetics: Fit Forever. The book addressed many middle-aged concerns from dieting and nutrition to menopause and stress. She included an entire eating plan and aerobic exercise that would increase the heart rate but without sharp, jarring movements, leaping up and down to loud music or pressure on the back or joints. It had to be challenging but without any discomfort or stress. With CardioCallanetics the Callanetics method was now complete. That same year, Pinckney released her final video, The Secrets Of Callanetics.

In 1994, due to management and financial issues, the Callanetics Franchise Corporation went out of business. At this point, Pinckney decided to enter permanent retirement. The strain of constant promotion and the stress of the Franchise collapse were taking their toll on her. With Pinckney retired, Callanetics faded popularity as people began turning to more high-profile exercise techniques such as Pilates and Yoga.

Future of Callanetics[edit]

In her final years Pinckney attempted to relaunch Callanetics.[7] Several people and organizations, most notably Benita Cantieni,[8] South African Callanetics [9] and the US based Callanetics Management Company [10] had released their own versions of Callanetics.

Pinckney died on March 1, 2012 in Savannah.[11]

Official Callanetics books[edit]

Year Title Publisher Release Date Copyright Information ISBN
1984 Callanetics: 10 Years Younger In 10 Hours William Morrow September 14, 1984 Callan Productions Corp. 000000
1987 Callanetics: 10 Years Younger In 10 Hours Warner Audio Books - Cassette May 12, 1987 Callan Productions Corp. 000000
1988 Callanetics For Your Back William Morrow September 2, 1988 Callan Productions Corp. 000000
1989 Callanetics For Your Back Simon & Schuster Audio Book - Cassette March 3, 1989 Callan Productions Corp. 000000
1990 Callanetics Countdown Century March 15, 1990 Callan Productions Corp. 000000
1991 Super Callanetics Ebury March 21, 1991 Callan Productions Corp. 000000
1992 Quick Callanetics: Stomach Vermilion February 4, 1992 Callan Productions Corp. 000000
1993 Quick Callanetics: Stomach Random House Audio Books - Cassette February 26, 1993 Callan Productions Corp. 000000
1992 Quick Callanetics: Legs Vermilion February 4, 1992 Callan Productions Corp. 000000
1993 Quick Callanetics: Legs Random House Audio Books - Cassette February 26, 1993 Callan Productions Corp. 000000
1992 Quick Callanetics: Hips and Behind Vermilion February 4, 1992 Callan Productions Corp. 000000
1993 Quick Callanetics: Hips and Behind Random House Audio Books - Cassette February 26, 1993 Callan Productions Corp. 000000
1993 AM/PM Callanetics Random House April 8, 1993 Callan Productions Corp. 000000
1993 Complete Callanetics Ebury Press April 1, 1993 Callan Productions Corp. 000000
1995 Callanetics: Fit Forever G.P. Putnam and Sons January 18, 1996 Callan Productions Corp. 000000
1996 New Callanetics. Die neue Methode Berlin : Ullstein, 1996 1996 Callan Pinckney, Benita Cantieni 9783550088018
2013 Callanetics: 10 Years Younger In 10 Hours Random House UK (Re-issue) August 26, 2013 Callan Productions Corp. 9780099590620
2013 AM/PM Callanetics Random House UK (Re-issue) September 30, 2013 Callan Productions Corp. 9780099590590
2013 Quick Callanetics - Legs Random House UK (Re-issue) November 29, 2013 Callan Productions Corp. 9780091954840
2013 Quick Callanetics - Hips & Behind Random House UK (Re-issue) November 29, 2013 Callan Productions Corp. 9780091954833
2013 Quick Callanetics - Stomach Random House UK (Re-issue) November 29, 2013 Callan Productions Corp. 9780091954826
2013 Callanetics: Fit Forever Random House UK (Re-issue) November 29, 2013 Callan Productions Corp. 9780091954819
2013 Callanetics Countdown Random House UK (Re-issue) November 29, 2013 Callan Productions Corp. 9780099590637
2014 Super Callanetics Random House UK (Re-issue) September 22, 2014 Callan Productions Corp. 9781784750510
2014 Complete Callanetics Random House UK (Re-issue) December 31, 2014 Callan Productions Corp. 9780091960421

Official Callanetics videos[edit]

Year Title Format Studio Release Date Copyright Information Catalog Number
1986 Callanetics: 10 Years Younger In 10 Hours VHS/Betamax MCA November 4, 1986 Callan Productions Corp. 80429 / BTA80429
1993 Callanetics: 10 Years Younger In 10 Hours LaserDisc MCA Universal January 27, 1993 Callan Productions Corp. 40429
1988 Super Callanetics VHS/Betamax MCA Universal October 6, 1988 Callan Productions Corp. 80809 / BTA80809
1989 Beginning Callanetics VHS/Betamax MCA Universal October 5, 1989 Callan Productions Corp. 80892 / BTA80892
1991 Quick Callanetics: Stomach VHS MCA Universal October 3, 1991 Callan Productions Corp. 81062
1991 Quick Callanetics: Legs VHS MCA Universal October 3, 1991 Callan Productions Corp. 81061
1991 Quick Callanetics: Hips and Behind VHS MCA Universal October 3, 1991 Callan Productions Corp. 81063
1992 AM/PM Callanetics VHS MCA Universal October 22, 1992 Callan Productions Corp. 81258
1994 The Secrets Of Callanetics VHS MCA Universal December, 1994 Callan Productions Corp. 81868

Official Callanetics DVDs[edit]

Year Title Format Studio Release Date Copyright Information Catalog Number
1986 Callanetics: 10 Years Younger In 10 Hours DVD Callan Productions Corp March 15, 2013 Callan Productions Corp. CAL01 / 0091037137319
1988 Super Callanetics DVD Callan Productions Corp March 15, 2013 Callan Productions Corp. CAL02 / 0091037137326
1989 Beginning Callanetics DVD Callan Productions Corp March 15, 2013 Callan Productions Corp. CAL03 / 0091037137333
1991 Quick Callanetics DVD Callan Productions Corp March 15, 2013 Callan Productions Corp. CAL04 / 0091037553546
1992 AM/PM Callanetics DVD Callan Productions Corp March 15, 2013 Callan Productions Corp. CAL05 / 0091037137357
1994 The Secrets Of Callanetics DVD Callan Productions Corp March 15, 2013 Callan Productions Corp. CAL06 / 0091037137364
2016 Pure Callanetics DVD Callan Productions Corp August 16, 2016 Callan Productions Corp. CAL08A / 602573090152
2016 Callanetics Extreme DVD Callan Productions Corp August 16, 2016 Callan Productions Corp. CAL09A / 602573090169
2016 Callanetics Countdown DVD Bayview Entertainment December 27, 2016 Callan Productions Corp. BAY2224
2017 Callanetics Wake Up/Wind Down DVD Bayview Entertainment March 7, 2017 Callan Productions Corp. BAY2234
2017 Callanetics Express DVD Bayview Entertainment March 28, 2017 Callan Productions Corp. BAY2233
2017 Callanetics Basics DVD Bayview Entertainment March 28, 2017 Callan Productions Corp. BAY2232

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Official Charts Company, - Callanetics listed as the biggest selling fitness video of all time.
  2. ^ Lotte Berk, - The Original Home of the Lotte Berk Technique.
  3. ^ Time Magazine, profile.
  4. ^ People Magazine, profile.
  5. ^ People Magazine, - video review.
  6. ^ World Elephant Polo Competition, Callanetics Ladies Team.
  7. ^ Callan Pinckney vs Callanetics Management Company Archived 2013-10-06 at the Wayback Machine, lawsuit.
  8. ^ Benita Cantieni, - Cantienica.
  9. ^ South African Callanetics, Teachers Association.
  10. ^ Callanetics Management Company, Pat Klein Addresses Trademark Litigation.
  11. ^ Savannah Morning News, obituary.

External links[edit]