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2076 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

(310) 446-1720

Grow stable roots for a happier, healthier you

 

Westwood Pilates Instructors

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Daniela Escobar

owner and senior teacher

A dancer since the age of five, Daniela’s passion for movement started at an early age. After performing professionally for more than two decades, Daniela began her teaching career as a dance teacher and personal trainer before being introduced to the Pilates method. Her background in dance initially attracted her to the method, but eventually, Daniela fell in love with Classical Pilates and found it to be the only form of movement and exercise that completely changed her body and made her stronger than she had ever been.

Daniela graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and wrote her final research on the impact of the Pilates method on a person’s posture along the years of practice, using longtime instructors as subjects of her research. After completing her certification program through Power Pilates in 2006, Daniela worked for many years with her mentor, guiding apprentices through intensive Pilates trainings. In 2015, Daniela graduated from the highly selective Pilates Master’s Program, “The Work,” at Vintage Pilates under the direction of first generation Teacher Jay Grimes.

Daniela is known for her outgoing, challenging, and detail-oriented style of teaching. She has extensive experience teaching to clients of all levels and movement backgrounds, including athletes and the older adult population. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for the method and is the owner of Westwood Pilates.


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Jay Grimes

master teacher

Jay began his studies with Joe Pilates in the mid-sixties, and after Joe’s death continued with Joe’s wife, Clara, for another 10 years until her death. Jay began teaching in the original 8th Avenue studio in New York and has since taught all over the world. Jay danced professionally, ballet and Broadway for 18 years, and never had an injury. This he attributes entirely to Pilates.

Jay is valued in the Pilates community for his experience, humility and integrity in maintaining the work of Joe Pilates. Over the years Jay’s clients have ranged from stars of Broadway and Hollywood, music and opera, to politicians, businessmen and housewives, and Olympic athletes. He currently provides ongoing training to instructors, conducting workshops and master classes around the world



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Alison Manheim

studio teacher

Alison is passionate about the benefits of Pilates at any life stage. A former professional writer, Alison discovered that Pilates was an excellent antidote to the neck and shoulder issues that come from working at a desk. In 2013, she made the jump to a less sedentary career, becoming a certified instructor through Jill Cassady’s Pilates Technique, Inc. She has been happily teaching Pilates ever since. In 2015 she attained her Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) certification. When she’s not teaching or practicing Pilates she enjoys paddle-boarding, taking yoga classes and riding a bike-share bicycle around Santa Monica. Alison is a graduate of Brown University.


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Nathalie Gonthier-Thomas

studio teacher

Nathalie is a certified instructor through Jill Cassady’s Pilates Technique, Inc. She first discovered the benefits of Classical Pilates after her pregnancy. From her first private session, she was amazed at how quickly Pilates helped her recover strength, flexibility, and balance and also at how good it made her feel, mentally and emotionally, relieving the physical strains of a busy day.

As she was exploring new careers after years of sitting at a desk job in front of a computer, she started to see a possibility for change in becoming a Certified Pilates Instructor. During her Certification training process she discovered a passion for teaching. She enjoys the social interaction with her clients; getting to know them personally, listening to them, working with them to overcome their fears and helping them with their unique goals without injury.

Her goal is to challenge clients at a pace at which they can comfortably grow and progress, so they feel great regardless of age, gender or physical fitness level.

With her body changing as she ages, Nathalie is constantly learning and growing in the practice of Classical Pilates. Feeling ever stronger, fitter and pain free is what she wishes to share with her clients while staying true to Joseph Pilates’s method.


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Yuuki Yamagiwa

manager and studio teacher

Yuuki's movement training started at a young age, when her father founded a stage combat studio in 2001. Yuuki soon crossed paths with co-founder Pamela Debiase, from whom she took dance classes, and performed in youth community dance shows for several years. Fate reunited them back together in 2015, when Yuuki was hired onto the administrative team, while also working professionally as a movement artist. Yuuki began practicing Pilates at the studio and immediately fell in love with the health and wellness world. After experiencing several injuries in her dance career, Yuuki found Classical Pilates to be the most corrective form of exercise that has continued to help her in her healing. She worked under the mentorship of and was certified by her teachers Pamela Debiase & Daniela Escobar at Westwood Pilates, where she hopes to inspire others just as much as they have inspired her.

Yuuki has also trained extensively in yoga, having studied with Saraswathi Jois in India and completing certifications under Liz Arch and Tamal Dodge. She loves to write in her spare time and has been featured with Mindbodygreen, Yoga Journal, and Funky Feminist.


Independent Instructors

 
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Ken Krech

Ken Krech has been teaching Pilates since 1998, operating private studios in both Montréal and Los Angeles since 2000. Having been an avid swimmer, cyclist and runner he recognizes the important role Pilates has played in preventing injury and keeping fit during his athletic pursuits. Ken has studied with Jay Grimes privately and is a graduate of his Master’s Program THE WORK™ and also completed Jay’s highly selective follow-up program, TEACHING THE WORK™. 

Ken feels very honored to have taught at Vintage Pilates where he was able to teach other teachers from around the world as they prepared for the Master’s Program and during the program. He was also part of the group of teachers who helped select the candidates for THE WORK™. Best of all was just teaching all those years along side Jay Grimes. Vintage Pilates is closed now but Ken continues to teach at several studios in Los Angeles where he has the benefit of not only teaching teachers but also those who just want to stay in condition doing Pilates. 

Ken is also a California licensed Massage Therapist who has been practicing for over 25 years. Over that time, Ken has studied and become certified in several different types of massage such as Swedish, Deep Tissue Massage, Sports Massage, Reflexology and spent about three years studying Osteopathy in Québec, Canada. Massage is beneficial for relaxation, pain management, injury relief, or/and for preparation to participate in sporting events. Ken tailors his massages to fit each person’s needs.

www.kenkrech.com

 
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Dena Drotar

Dena Joy Drotar was originally attracted to Pilates for its tremendous ability to heal bodies. She has the rare gift of recognizing physical imbalances and she works with clients who are recovering from injury, as well as those who find their bodies changing with age, students who want to get stronger and in better shape and teachers wanting to learn Classical Pilates or just  up their game 

Dena Joy is has been a teacher of teachers for the past 10 years. She enjoys merging her knowledge of classical Pilates  with her student's knowledge as Pilates practitioners and teachers. Her goal is  for her students to deepen their relationship with Pilates and with their own bodies so that they can then take their knowledge to THEIR students with JOY and Confidence!

Dena teaches teachers and has been for the past 10 years. She has a passion teaching private lessons and workshops worldwide to Pilates instructors, guiding them to deepen their personal practice and to discover and have confidence in their unique strengths and talents as teachers.

Dena was a founding teacher at Vintage Pilates where she  worked alongside Jay Grimes  Sandy Shimoda, and Karen Frischman. Also, she has assisted Jay’s workshops since 2010. In addition, Dena is a  graduate of Jay Grimes’ Graduate Program THE WORK™and  was also a member  ofJay Grimes’ highly-selective follow-up program TEACHING THE WORK™.

 Dena Joy means business……and mixes in a whole lotta fun!

 
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Keion Moradi

Keion Moradi Means embodies inspiration, levelheadedness, knowledge—and perhaps even a bit of levity—to share the Pilates method with others. She discovered Pilates in 2004, as a long-distance runner looking to prevent injury and in 2010 started training to become a teacher. 

She is a graduate of THE WORK™, a rigorous and highly exclusive continuing education program for seasoned Pilates teachers, led by program director and first generation teacher Jay Grimes, and Sandy Shimoda, owner of world-renown Vintage Pilates. In 2017, Keion also joined the illustrious teaching staff at Vintage Pilates and continues her own practice and teacher education under the guidance of both Jay and Sandy.

Keion’s appreciation for Pilates as intelligent corrective exercise continues to intensify in line with her ever-growing understanding of the method, the body and movement. To this day, she remains agile, injury-free and capable of running circles alongside her two young children. She believes Pilates can benefit anyone and works to empower a wide range of students, from athletes to those who simply wish to move through life without pain, beginners and advanced practitioners. She also loves helping other Pilates teachers deepen their own understanding of the work.

Keion completed her original teacher certification through Sheppard Method Pilates in Los Angeles. She is also a member of the Authentic Pilates Union and holds the PMA-CPT® designation from the Pilates Method Alliance

To book with Keion, visit her Web site: www.PilatesDNA.com or email her directly at: info@pilatesdna.com

 
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Debbie Young

Debbie is a long-time pilates enthusiast, practitioner, and teacher.  Her belief in and love of pilates has been unwavering for more than 20 years, ever since she discovered pilates’ ability to ease what had been chronic back pain.

Debbie segued her career from special education teacher to pilates teacher in 2005.  From that point on, she has worked ceaselessly to expand her knowledge and her understanding of the pilates method.

Working for many years at Vintage Pilates, Debbie had the unique opportunity to learn from renown “first-generation” teacher, Jay Grimes, who apprenticed and worked directly with Joseph and Clara Pilates in New York.  Debbie completed Jay Grimes’ seminal graduate programs, The Wor™  and Teaching The Work.

Besides having pilates improve every aspect of her life, Debbie found that it also enhanced all of her other activities.  She is an avid hiker and swimmer, and after her pilates workout, loves being outdoors.

Debbie teaches locally at Westwood Pilates and via Skype, and has travelled internationally to provide workshops and lessons to other pilates instructors. 

 
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Suzanne Packer

Suzanne has been active her entire life. She loves walking, biking and hiking and is an avid skier. When muscle imbalance and chronic tightness curtailed her activities, she discovered Pilates and it has restored her ability to remain as active as ever. In 2008, she decided to become a Classical Pilates teacher, inspired by the increased energy and vitality Pilates gave her and the desire to share that knowledge with others.

In 2014, Suzanne dedicated herself to deepening her understanding of the method with Jay Grimes (a former student of Joseph Pilates) and Sandy Shimoda of Vintage Pilates in Los Angeles. She was accepted into and completed the Vintage Pilates Master Program "THE WORK™,” led by Jay Grimes. She subsequently worked at Vintage until its closing in 2018, helping teachers prepare for their journey.

Suzanne currently works at Westwood Pilates in Los Angeles, furthering her work with both clients and teachers as they strive to deepen their understanding and knowledge of the method.Pilates is her passion and she encourages clients to open their minds and learn to let go and allow their bodies to move without fear and restriction. In this way, clients take home the joy of the work and not just the exercise. Suzanne believes strongly in the body’s innate ability to heal. She has learned through her own experience that movement is healing and she truly enjoys watching students’ bodies and lives change through the method.


 

Bobbi Green     

Bobbi Green has had a lifelong interest in health and fitness.  She was introduced to Pilates in college and was immediately fascinated with a new way of exercising that challenged her both mentally and physically. A few years later after moving to Los Angeles, she decided she wanted to pursue her passion for Pilates and make a career change from the music industry.  

Bobbi holds a certification in Power Pilates and has been teaching Pilates for over 11 years in Los Angeles. She has spent 8 of those years teaching Pilates in a physical therapy setting. In this environment, she works with clients with many types of injuries and customizes their workouts according to their abilities and personal athletic goals.  Bobbi also enjoys and has extensive experience working with seniors and is well versed in classical Pilates.  Bobbi's goal is to help people of all ages and levels of physical fitness achieve better posture and elongated muscles, gain more energy, experience pain relief, improve flexibility and overall health.

 

Asayo Yi

Asayo discovered Pilates when she decided to return to classical ballet upon graduating from University. Realizing that her body needed extra training to meet the demands of dancing, she started taking Pilates, and immediately fell in love. Together with a better understanding of her own body and overall strengthening, she realized she was able to use her body more effectively than she ever had in all the years of dancing as a child and teenager.

Excited about this new discovery of movement and body awareness, she studied with Marie-Jose Blom at Long Beach Dance Conditioning and became a certified Pilates Instructor. She enjoys sharing her love of movement with clients of all ages and fitness levels, including those with physical limitations and injuries. Asayo continues to further her education in both contemporary and classical Pilates to meet the demands of a variety of clients.

 

Ali Bragard

Allison (Ali) Bragard has studied yoga, massage and Pilates over the past twenty-five years and she is passionate about how we can truly transform our bodies and our lives through these disciplines. In 2001 she took her first Pilates class and was instantly convinced that “this is what the body is meant to do to stay strong, lean and healthy.” Since then she studied classical Pilates intensely and completed, in 2004, her Comprehensive Pilates Training through Power Pilates in Los Angeles.

She has been teaching for the past eleven years in studios in California, Australia and France, teaching people of all shapes and sizes, ages and backgrounds. From teenagers to 91 year olds, she has seen how Pilates can truly make a difference.  She recently returned from Paris and is thrilled to be at Westwood Pilates, where she approaches her classes with a love for Pilates, a sense of humor, and a desire to help each person find their center, enabling them to live a healthier and happier life.   

 
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Regina Santos

“I believe that what one thinks, says and does, has a powerful effect in who they are and what is possible in their lives.”

Regina Santos is movement specialist and behavioral change coach who bases her comprehensive practice on the ideology of “getting centered”, often found in the Pilates method. She helps people get strong & mobile, rehabilitate injury, mitigate pain and minimize stress by teaching them to increase core awareness and integration using the classical Pilates method. Furthermore, she coaches people to optimize the core connections in their minds (and even spirits!) so they can create more fulfillment in their personal and/or professional lives.  

A UCLA Graduate, Regina boldy left a successful executive career over twelve years ago, and has since earned credentials from Pilates Technique, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the International Coach Federation, the Coaches Training International, and is also a Yoga Tune Up® Practitioner. She has taught over 1500 group mat Pilates classes alone, and today, you might find her having fun leading group mat Pilates and barre classes for a premiere global fitness brand. She also enjoys concerts, hiking with her dog, and cooking food for friends and loved ones.  

 

Kiki D Amanno

Kiki D Amanno discovered Pilates while pursuing her Bachelor’s degree at UCLA and working as a professional dancer.  After a back injury and experiencing profound benefits from her Pilates practice, she received her Pilates training through Long Beach Dance Conditioning and the Romana’s True Pilates Program.  She is a PMA® Certified Pilates Teacher.  

Along with her Pilates training, she began studying yoga with Yoga Works founders, Maty Ezraty and Chuck Miller.  Since, she has completed 500 hours of Yoga Works Teacher Training with Lisa Walford and Maty Ezraty and continues to teach and practice yoga regularly.  She is also a certified GYROTONIC® trainer. Kiki works with a diverse group of clientele including professional athletes, actors, dancers, and clients recovering from surgeries or suffering from chronic pain.  She is known for her keen eye and incorporating her breadth of knowledge in different disciplines to create custom tailored workouts that are both challenging and empowering for the individual.  

 
 
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2076 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

e: info@westwoodpilates.com   p: (310) 446-1720


 

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