By Yuuki Yamagiwa
Daniela Escobar was first exposed to Pilates through one of her fellow dancers when she was in college. During her last year there, Daniela completed her final research project focusing on how Pilates instructors perceived their postures. In 2006, she received her certification from Power Pilates and has been teaching ever since. She recently finished the graduate program “The Work” at Vintage Pilates directed by Jay Grimes.
Continue on to read about Daniela’s journey as a Pilates student, instructor, and studio owner.
WP: What do you love most about Pilates? What frustrates you most?
What I love most about Pilates is that there’s always something to learn, and there are many layers to the method. Even after many years of practice there’s still a way to get deeper into the exercises, and that for me is one of the reasons why Pilates is so appealing.
Nothing really frustrates me anymore. Even if I can’t quite do an exercise on a given day, or it’s just a hard exercise for me, I’m in a place now where I can enjoy the process of it. That doesn’t mean I don’t work really hard. As I always tell my clients, it’s all about the journey. Just the other day, someone told me: “I feel like it’s one step forward and 10 steps back.” And my answer was, “There are no steps back, only forward, even if they are baby steps and you can’t quite see the progress right now.”
WP: It’s beautiful to know that there’s always something to learn in Pilates and that it’s really all about the journey. Looking back on your own Pilates journey, what are you most proud of?
I’m proud of many things I have accomplished. I’m proud of the studio Pamela [Debiase] and I built in a 3 month period, the good environment we created, and the great instructors we have working with us. I’m also proud to have graduated from “The Work” with Jay Grimes. It’s been such an honor to have the opportunity to learn from him and an amazing experience. I’m also proud of having found this incredible Pilates community we have now, where people help each other and want to see each other grow. And last but not least, I’m extremely proud of my clients who I learn so much from and have been in this journey with me for a long time and hopefully still love this method as much as I do. The best thing about being a Pilates instructor is doing what I love and what I truly believe is the best, most complete, and correct system of exercises.
WP: You’ve built your career as both a Pilates instructor and a studio owner. You were able to create Westwood Pilates within a 3 month period and have created such an amazing environment for instructors and clients. What would be your advice for aspiring Pilates instructors?
Never stop learning.
WP: Thanks for sharing your advice. But I’ve also found that there are many who are still looking into trying Pilates but have not yet started. If you were trying to convince someone who has never tried Pilates before to come to your class, what would you say to them?
You will not only get stronger, improve your flexibility and posture, but you will also have FUN!