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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Fear regret not failure

In my almost 10 years of teaching experience, I’ve found that not everyone learns the same way. Some people are intrinsically hard workers and just need the information to process, while others need more encouragement and direction. Then there are those who are just challenging. Although I still love them, they can make me wake up at night grinding my teeth to nubs and having to bribe myself with Pinkberry to get into the studio for their sessions. They want to do Pilates, they want to be stronger, they want to change their bodies, but they don’t want to do the work.
Now, I pride myself in being a good teacher, but I’m not a magician. What good would it do for me to waive my magic wand when rewards like this can’t be manufactured like pulling a rabbit out of a hat? It would be so easy for me to assume these clients as liable, but that’s the easy way out. As an instructor I have to assume the burden of reaching those reluctant clients, but how?
Lately, in my existence as an entrepreneur, I have been following Jen Groover. She’s a beautiful woman with flowing blond hair that is breaking down female stereotypes as she pursues her numerous successful businesses. She is a woman after my own heart, influencing others, while making a living doing it. Jen is very inspiring in a time when our economy does not encourage going out on your own and following your passions. She has a famous tag line that stuck in my head, “Have more fear of regret than failure”. This resonated with me in so many ways, but specifically reminded me of my plight with my trying clients. They are so afraid of going outside their comfort zone and “failing” that they would rather not try. How could I encourage them to be more afraid of regret than their failure?
I began by looking inside and at what inspires me. I came to Pilates like many others as a dancer with injuries and the desire to live pain-free. My mentor, Shari Berkowitz and her story, are what ignited my fire for the work. Shari, also a dancer had crippling injuries that she overcame with the help of Pilates. Her passion, as well as lots of gentle discipline and forceful elbowing, inspired me to progress in Pilates beyond my limited thinking. Her fear of regret is what she passed down to me in her teaching.
I continue to study Pilates and to make my passion for it as vibrant and real as I can. My hope is that, like Shari did with me, I can pass that fervor on to my clients. I will gladly lend them mine until they find their own, as long as they return it with interest!

More on this subject later….in the meantime what do you want to hear me blog about next?
Would love to hear your thoughts, questions, and suggestions. I LOVE your comments!

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