Teacher Focus Feature~ Claire Danese

If you’ve been at FORM Pilates Union Square lately, then chances are that you’ve noticed our gorgeous Brit ballet dancer, Claire Danese slinking around. How could you not?!?! Personally, I first met Claire almost three years ago in a duet session with my mentor Shari Berkowitz. It was all I could do to keep up with this mother of two, while Shari put us through our paces.  I find that Claire is the perfect mix of strength and grace and is as inspiring to workout next to as it is to take a lesson with.


Claire got her start as a ballet dancer, and trained at the Royal Ballet School in London. She quickly became a professional and has performed with major ballet companies throughout Europe. Her life as a dancer, led her to a deeper interest in the human body and eventually her Pilates certification from Power Pilates in 2008. Since then, she has developed her interest further focusing on Pilates benefits for the body and its ability to alleviate injuries and chronic conditions. After working at Equinox, Columbus Circle for more than 5 years, she is now focusing on her private clientele. She not only teaches privates but also duets at FORM Pilates. Being a mother has helped her hone the right balance between giving direction and being patient.  (We bet it does Claire!!!)

In alignment with her role as a Pilates instructor, she believes that mind body balance can lead to a healthier life. Claire is an avid runner, who has ran many half marathons and more recently the infamous NYC marathon. She will be running again in the NY Marathon this year, for the charity, NYRR Team for Kids (click here to donate and help Claire meet her goal!). It’s this dedication to exercising that makes for a excellent example for all of her clients. Claire is smart and cross trains year round with Pilates. She finds it elongates the muscles that have been contracted while running and skiing.

But don’t let the accent fool you though, she still likes to have fun.


Here’s a couple fun nuggets you might not know about Claire:

  • She makes yummy kale chips and granola
  • She likes doing Sudoku (but only when she’s winning)
  • She’s a fan of Formula One car racing (from childhood)
  • She loves art, especially paintings from contemporary artists

When Claire isn’t hitting the slopes with her family she is enjoying her family life at her home in Battery Park with her family. We are lucky enough to have Claire at FORM Pilates Union Square.

Check out the video above to see Claire in action then click here now to view Claire’s schedule and book a session with her today!

New to our studio? Take advantage of our amazing New Client Special (3 Private sessions for $250). Do all three sessions with Claire or try out three different teachers until you find your match. Schedule your sessions today!

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New Teachers on the Block

Remember when a new kid would be placed into your classroom and be forced to stand in front of the class while everyone monotonously welcomed them? We’re attempting to do a cooler, blog version of that with the new teachers at FORM. The upside being, we won’t actually know if you politely said “hi” or if you threw a paper airplane at them.

In alphabetical order, because any other order wouldn’t work at school, please welcome:

Alissa Alter – I’ve already lied to you. Alissa’s not really “new” at FORM, but she is one of our favorites. She manages to be a ray of sunshine but still down-to-earth. She’ll kick your derrière but with a smile on her face so you won’t even see it coming.

Fun fact about Alissa: She can’t get enough of her French Bulldog, Walter.


Angilique Campbell – I’m pretty sure “fierce” is the first word you think of when you see this lady. Let me know if you agree. Fortunately, her temperament eases any reluctances you may have about doing Pilates.

Fun fact about Angilique: She gets a different color manicure every week and knows the names of the colors by Essie and OPI. She was even given the Korean name, So Hee (pronounced sue-hee), by the nail technicians at her favorite salon.


Claire Danese – Previously a classical Ballet dancer, Claire has the poise that women long to achieve and maintain. She’s also incredibly patient, which may stem from being a mother of two children.

Fun fact about Claire: She went to the Royal Ballet school, which was a boarding school in a Royal Hunting Lodge in the middle of Richmond Park in London.

Claire_Danese copy

Monica Delgado – I’d classify Monica as one of those silent but strong kind of women. While she’s always smiling when you see her, she can easily sneak in and out of the studio. More than likely, you’ll want to be friends with her after just a few sessions.

Fun fact about Monica: Monica has traveled to 24 different countries in Asia, North and Central America, and Europe.


Nicole Desmond – Nicole has that extra flair that makes you notice her when she walks into the room. Some might say, it’s her red hair, others would say it’s her personality. She brings a welcomed variance to the Pilates world.

Fun fact about Nicole: She is a cocktail connoisseur and rum expert and every spring she judges an international rum competition in Miami.

Nicole Desmond

Jamie Graham – I may have lied again…whoops. Jamie has been with us for over a year now, but she is new to certain clients. She has the aura of zen yogi with the discipline of a dancer. Before you know it, she’ll have you doing exercises you didn’t think you were capable of doing.

Fun fact about Jamie: She makes a mean raw kale salad!


Makela Spielman – Makela has such a kind presence that I wasn’t surprised when she said she had worked with a variety of rehabilitating clients. With the spirit of a mother (because she is one), she’ll guide you through exactly the kind of workout your body needs.

Fun Fact about Makela: Her sister, who was 3 years old at the time, named her.


All of these women are phenomenal in their own way. Whether you’re 18 or 78, they will help you reform your body into the best version possible. Each instructor has their own days and times during the week when they are available. Give us a call or shoot us an email studio [at] formpilates [dot] com to set up a session with them. If I could, I would be taking Pilates session with every one of them! In the words of Levar Burton on The Reading Rainbow, “but don’t take my word for it.”

If you’re interested in FORM Pilates and the instructors above, email us studio [at] formpilates [dot] com and we’ll find you the perfect match!

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