Pilates, Weight Training, Dance, Los Angeles

The Adventure

XX - My Twentieth Year

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

The Swan Progession

With permission from Winsor Choza Pilates, edited by yours truly