Cork Profile - Jaconel Janssen
Cork Profile Jaconel Janssen, founder of Pilates People Cork and Cork Independent columnist
When you were small, what did you want to be as a grown-up?
I always wanted to do something with travelling and languages. I am now happily living abroad (being originally from the Netherlands).
Tell us about your career progression to your role today:
How did I get to be a Pilates teacher? It is not a career path that I planned when I was younger. I never even heard about Pilates until about twenty years ago. I did however always work in education in some way or other - teaching languages, working as a publications manager for a health charity. There I had a repetitive strain injury, which led me to Pilates.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?
I love working with people. We all need to move, and we all feel better when we move better. It is very rewarding to see someone starting to feel more confident in their body, to feel their strength, to know that they have this power inside them.
What motivates you?
To share the joy of discovering how clever, simple movement can change your life.
What advice would you give your 15 year old self?
Dream your own dreams, trust yourself, don’t be afraid to do things differently.
If you weren’t in the job you have, what would you be doing?
It would have to be something in education.
What is your greatest life or career achievement to-date?
I am happy to have set up Pilates People Cork when I got to Cork in 2007, and to have evolved this into a small rewarding business that is helping people move more and feel better.
Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life?
Probably my daughter. Having a child changes your perspective and priorities. You can learn so much from a child. She is a child no more, but I am still learning!
What is the life dream now?
To continue teaching movement classes, hopefully going back to doing day retreats in West Cork as we did before the pandemic. Getting together with a group of nice people, to move, go outside, share lovely food and be somewhere not too far away, but different and inspiring. And a little house by the sea…
How do you switch off?
Go outside, eat good food, have a nice glass of wine, meditation, the seaside, spending time with friends and family.
What is your favourite Cork memory?
When we first got here in 2007, after having lived in London in a small flat for many years. We moved into a bungalow, with a big garden and no noisy neighbours. On our first day here, we drove to Crosshaven and Myrtleville and couldn’t believe our luck to be living in such a beautiful place!
What is your favourite place in Cork?
Probably still Myrtleville. And also the Nano Nagle Centre in Cork city.
Do you have a favourite quote or motto?
Just go with the flow.
When are you at your happiest?
When I am in the flow! It could be when teaching a class, being in nature, or with my family and friends. And when planning and going on a little road trip in Ireland!
What is your hidden talent?
I speak five languages. Which is not that exceptional for a Dutch person. I am struggling with Irish though!
What might we be surprised to know about you?
I have an MA in Literature and French.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
I am enjoying writing a weekly column about movement in this paper. It is lovely to be able to share some simple ideas about movement and exercise with a bigger group of people. And if even one person moves, or feels better as a result, I am very happy!