3 Years After Lotte Berk's Death, Her Method Has Spawned Many Group Exercise Derivatives
(11/17/06) Today marks the third anniversary of Lotte Berk's death. But her famous method lives on. Although the tradition was carried on by Lydia Bach in her U.S. studios for 35 years, devout practitioners will have to be satisfied with the Lotte Berk Method DVD until licensed studios start to open across the U.S.
November 17, 2006
It was exactly 3 years ago today, that the famous and infamous Lotte Berk, passed away at the age of 90. If you're wondering why the inventor of arguably, the very best exercise method for women didn't live to extraordinary lifespan, it's probably because she had self-confessed excesses with men, and with cigarettes.
"She always had a fang hanging out of her mouth", said Lydia Bach, Lotte's protégé from the U.S.
The Lotte Berk Method is responsible for beautifully shaping tens of thousands of women's bodies both in Europe and in the US. Finding its roots as a rehabilitative exercise to strengthen the core and spine, women found that they were developing beautiful bodies, especially in the butt and legs.
Lotte was actually born in Germany as a Jew. She developed into a beautiful dancer, but the late 30s in Nazi Germany, she flaunted the Nazis by dancing on stage when she was specifically prohibited from doing so. She gathered her senses and fled for her life to London.
After an injury, she used her dancers training to help with her own rehabilitation. This was the beginning of the Lotte Berk Method. She then opened her women-only studio in London's Manchester Street 4 in the town of Hungerford, west of London where she taught and further refined the method.
She didn't want any men in the studio, because she believed in certain revealing pelvic movements to improve women's sex lives. . She gave her exercises bizarre, even risqué names such as "The Prostitute", "The French Lavatory", "Bananas" and "The Love-Making Position" (commonly known as the "Pelvic Tilt").
Joan Collins, Britt Ekland, Barbra Streisand, Sian Phillips, Edna O'Brien and Yasmin Le Bon are among those who have pursued Lotte's method since she opened her studio in London in 1959.
In fact, it was Britt Ekland who introduced Lydia Bach to Lotte. It was Lydia, who studied under Lotte for over a year, and was so enamored with the success of this method, that she purchased the worldwide rights.
Lydia then opened her first studio in Manhattan's upper East side in 1971. Her initial vision was to have the same look and feel of Lotte's original studio back in England which was not known for extravagances.
"You have to understand what it was like opening a woman-only exercise studio in 1971", said Bach, "women just didn't exercise back then, so it was a rather risky venture on my part".
But soon, women discovered the secret of the Lotte Berk Method and for 35 years the cognoscenti frequented the studios of Manhattan, Connecticut, the Hamptons, and Beverly Hills. Recently Bach closed her famous studios to go into the licensing business.
Many of the Bach's former instructors have fanned out across the greater New York area into derivatives of the Lotte Berk Method. Although the classes come close in the annals of women's exercise, there is only one Lotte Berk and one Lydia Bach.
Although there are many copycats in the greater New York metropolitan area. People will have to wait until bona fide licensed Lotte Berk Method Studios began to open. Meanwhile, the Lotte Berk Method DVD collection is selling like hotcakes, showing that Lotte's memory lives on.