Paula Present has been a certified Pilates instructor since 1998, receiving her certification from the highly esteemed institution, Long Beach Dance Conditioning. She focused her studies on rehabilitation, due, in part, from her own personal experience with Pilates. Now she works as a second generation teacher in the classical technique. She also certified to be a Strength Trainer with National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) since 2014 and has completed the Foundation Course in the Gokhale Method in 2015. She is currently the Creative Director at Winsor Choza Pilates, mostly shooting and editing all video content.
Shortly after receiving her certification, Paula was invited to return to LBDC as a teacher, and continued teaching at several well-known studios in Los Angeles. From 2004-2010, Paula ran her own home studio.
An effective teacher remains an applied student. Paula continued her classical Pilates education under first generation master teacher, Jay Grimes, and second generation instructor, Karen Frishmann from 2006-2013. She completed “The Work” a intensive year long study with Jay Grimes. She currently studies with Romana trained, Saul Choza. Combining the practices of both rehabilitative and classical Pilates has allowed Paula to strike a training balance with her own students, based on the needs of each individual. Whether the goal is to strengthen the core, reduce pain, or to rehabilitate post-surgery, Paula helps her students to become confident in their bodies with Pilates and Strength Training.
Additionally, Paula has furthered her understanding of biomechanics and the effectiveness of Pilates practice from being a yogi, dance teacher, hiker, and an accomplished dancer and choreographer.
Paula also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts (Dance Emphasis) from the University of California at San Diego.
“I discovered Pilates in 1995, quite by chance, as a dancer. I was experiencing chronic back pain, and at the suggestion of my dance teacher, I began taking Pilates classes.
Concurrently, I visited an orthopedic doctor, who diagnosed me with an 8-millimeter herniated disc, and told me it was only reparable by surgery and that my career as a dancer was over. I was heartbroken.
As Pilates had eased my back pain, I decided against the doctor’s advice, and continued to dance and perform with a dance company. For two years, I learned by trial and error to be my own healer and use what I learned in Pilates to strengthen my back and body. After two years an MRI revealed that my herniated disc was considered healed. The doctor said it healed better naturally than if I had the surgery.
In 2016, I was diagnosed with a 15 millimeter herniated disk just below the first one. I was told I was a surgery candidate once again. Three months later, I was back in dance class. Not only do I owe my quick recovery to my PT, but my layers of strength from Pilates, Dance, and Weight Training. "
I am still dancing to this day
For over a decade, Paula has been my personal, primary Pilates instructor and the number one, go-to instructor I trust with my clients. Because of her vast knowledge, egoless teaching methods and her ability to help and do no harm, I trust Paula implicitly to work with my clients’ individual needs, injuries, and help with their recovery. I admire Paula for her endless drive and desire to learn and improve herself both personally and professionally. She makes every class a challenge and always uses new and different exercises and techniques to keep things fresh and achieve maximum results.
Paula has been my Pilates instructor for 15 years. She is dedicated to her craft, always seeking the best way to help her clients. I like many things about Paula, but what I like most about her as a Pilates instructor is that she is always flexible (in body, mind and spirit!) to helping me, stretching me and making the most of our session. She keeps it fresh and there are always new avenues to pursue, even after 15 years! Each time Paula gives her all and as I’ve changed my athletic pursuits (I’ve recently taken up tennis again), she is there guiding me and my body. She’s just the best!
I have attended Paula's sessions for the past 9 years. I have been most satisfied with her training sessions during which she addresses and works on the exact body issues I have had. Each time I left her session I felt vitalized, with less pain and more energy.
She is been very meticulous in having me do the exercises correctly which is exactly the way a good teacher should be.
Before each session starts, she finds out if I have any special needs to work on, and if there is any pain anywhere, to work on it and be careful with.
Paula is one of the few Pilates teacher who not only teaches Pilates, does weight training as well.
With permission from Winsor Choza Pilates, edited by yours truly