Life is Beautiful

Ever since I was little I wanted to be a ballerina. I was always dancing around the house. At 3 years old my mother made me my first tutu and taught me the steps to Copelia. To this day I still smile at the memory of dancing around the house with my mother and still remember the steps to Copelia. In 1980 I moved from Mexico City to NYC to peruse my dreams of becoming a dancer. Within the year I was accepted to join world-renowned ballet company, Dance Theater of Harlem, a real dream come true. That same summer I was lucky enough to take class with Kathy Grant. I had no idea of her influence in the Pilates world as a first-generation disciple of Joe Pilates. All I knew was I loved the kind of empowerment over my body and control of my technique that I was beginning to learn.

Like many, I learned about the Pilates Method due to an injury. I wanted to take Pilates like some of my colleagues at DTH, but it was very expensive. One session was half of my week’s earnings! Ultimately, that injury was a blessing in disguise. Our osteopath, Dr. Ross, was amazing! I begged him for a Pilates prescription instead of physical therapy and he gave me a full year of Pilates sessions at Sean Gallagher’s studio. I was thrilled and was able to study with Steve Giordano, and Leah and Carol Baker.

After a couple of months of Pilates I felt stronger than I ever imagined. The year flew by and Sean asked me if I wanted to become certified in Pilates with Romana Kryzanowska. I had no idea who she was at that time, but I said yes because that meant being able to use the Pilates studio as much as I needed to complete the certification. During the 3 years that it took me to get certified I had the pleasure of studying with Romana, Kathy Grant, Ron Fletcher and Eve Gentry, (although I really didn’t understand how lucky I was to be a part of the first generation of disciples).

Before I began teaching Pilates, life took me through many paths of teaching; from the concrete jungle of New York to the jungles of Phuket, Thailand, to Toledo, Ohio and eventually home to Mexico, yet I still had a lot to learn. I began studying anatomy, taking private classes and doing whatever I could to expand my knowledge and I opened my own center, The Pilates Center in Las Vegas. I began to travel around the world to teach the Classical Pilates Method and just when I was feeling like I understood the Method, I met Jay Grimes and Vintage Pilates. It was back to the basics in their professional program “The Work”. Jay took me back to my roots, back to “simplicity” back to “pure movement”. It has been 30 years since my first hundred and I am still trying to understand this wonderful method that is so simple, yet so challenging.

Life was beautiful with ballet. Life is better with Pilates.

After graduating from Escuela de Danza Ana Pavlova in her native Mexico, Elena traveled to New York City where she joined The Dance Theater of Harlem, and later became a principal dancer. Elena has performed in most of the major opera houses around the world; the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Covent Garden in London and Theater du Chatelet in Paris, to name a few. She was certified in Pilates by Romana Kryzanowska at The Pilates Studio of New York in 1995. Elena then continued her study of Pilates with such greats as Ron Fletcher, Kathy Grant, Pat Guyton, Bob Liekens and Jay Grimes. She trains clients and Pilates instructors in Mexico and Las Vegas and is now expanding her offerings through her online platform www.TuPilates.Video.



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