The five goals I have for my students


1. JOY: Looking forward to their workout (never dreading it, let it be the highlight of your day)

So many people “hate” working out.  I gotta tell ya- it can be fun!  Ask any of my students- I don’t think we ever do the same class twice.  We want your muscles constantly having to adapt.  I love the human body and all that it is capable of.  “Working out” does not have to mean rows of treadmills at the gym, angry drill sergeants yelling at you, body shaming, etc… It can be an hour of your day that you treat yourself to a fun activity.  It can be your escape from work stress.  It can be your outlet.  It can be where you come to get centered.  Pilates is not just another form of exercise.  It is a playground where you are able to move your body in ways you never thought possible.

2. SAFETY: the number one priority

Anything can be modified!  I encourage my clients to tell me what feels off, what hurts, define the type of hurt (sometimes burning and tight muscles is a good thing and sometimes it’s our body telling us to back off- you can learn to differentiate those two), and identify where the client feels each exercise in their body.  This is the fun part!  Customizing the workout to every student.  And it is possible.  Soon, you will feel confident enough to go into a group class or other form of exercise and modify based on your needs.  I want to provide my students with the information they need to make good decisions for their body.  I want them to feel confident in their ability to exercise- Anywhere!

3. GOALS: Tracking progress the student can see

There are numerous exercises in Pilates that you can build upon.  We can start by learning to articulate your spine bending forward (doesn’t matter how far, you don’t have to touch your toes), and soon enough you will be doing roll ups without support (think full sit up but with your legs flat on the floor.   I’ve seen so many clients achieve this.  When my students commit, they get results!  That’s the beauty of Pilates and that’s what the method provides.  Stepping stones to get you to a stronger, more aligned, grounded, and more confident sense of self.

4. SPONTANEITY: Never be bored and enjoy using different muscle groups

Say you hate squats. That’s totally fine! (I happen to love them, but that’s years in the making). Let’s find a way for you to work your quads (front of the thigh) and glutes (booty) muscles without doing a squat.  Let’s make working those muscle groups more fun.  Then, when those muscles are stronger- I bet when we try squats again, you will like them just a little more.

5. CONFIDENCE: Never be embarrassed of your fitness level; identify improvement areas

It is important to leave your judgement at the door and come into the studio with an open mind that anything is possible. Don’t take yourself too seriously–we will have fun. Did you know, when you laugh, you work your abdominals—an added bonus of having fun! In the end, we are simply finding joy in moving your body.

Dara’s Training


  • Quantum Pilates, DuPont Circle, DC Dec 2013-Sept 2015
    • Certified Pilates Instructor: 700 hour apparatus training completed in January 2015
    • PMA Certified in August of 2015
    • The 34 – A Deeper Understanding of the Matwork of Joseph Pilates: a 30 hour intensive classical matwork training by Mark Trudeau
    • Mentor: Mark Trudeau encourages focus on detail, teaching to the student, and believes that all of the tools you need are included in the classical repertoire.  He is a specialist in spinal injuries and alignment.  Mark teaches his apprentices how to work with all body types and adapt to the body in front of you.
  • Fuse Pilates, DuPont Circle, DC Jan 2013-Nov 2015
    • Certified Pilates Instructor
    • Mentor: Mariska Breland created Fuse Pilates as “Pilates inspired fitness”.  Every class caters to the student’s 3 body part requests and is choreographed on the spot to music/playlists created by the instructor.
    • Fuse Mat Training: 75 hour intensive mat training with a focus on anatomy and the Fuse method (exercises to target specific body parts and requests).
    • Improving Neurological Function Workshop by Mariska Breland.
      Pilates for MS Certification Completion June 26, 2016