Alexandra Dalli: Polestar Mentor

Polestar mentors are graduates who have directly assisted Educators in comprehensive pilates teacher trainings. Mentors in training are nominated by Polestar educators to begin the path of a Polestar Mentor. They are nominated for their potential to reach the highest standard of presence, knowledge and awareness as Pilates instructors. Welcome Mentor in Training Alexandra Dalli!

Polestar: What do you love about teaching and where did you take your training?

AD: I love that teaching Pilates allows me to facilitate a positive movement experience for others who may have a negative view of their body or associate movement with pain. Because I am a dancer who has been training since age 3, I have been afforded the opportunity to develop a unique relationship with my body and its abilities. As technology is pushing us towards a more sedentary lifestyle, many people never get the chance to experience the joys of movement in all planes of motion that dancers are accustomed to. 

I took my training at Rutgers University and completed the Mason Gross Polestar Pilates Comprehensive Studio Teacher Training Program with educator Kim Gibilisco. Additionally, I completed my 65-hour internship in Madrid at SLINGS with Juan Nieto and Blas Chamorro.

Polestar: What are your current inspirations?   What do you love about them?

AD: My current inspirations are the 5-7-year-old dancers I teach ballet. Their energy and genuine interest in dance and Pilates inspires me and reminds me that we are all born with this innate curiosity and propensity to move. By incorporating Pilates exercises into their warm-up routine, I have seen the ways they are excited to rise to the challenge of more difficult exercises and how, over time, their proprioception and coordination has increased simply by doing the same exercises week after week. It reminds me we all have (and inspires me to listen to) that playful childlike energy inside of us.

Polestar: Why Pilates?  How did you find the practice?

AD: I was first introduced to Pilates in high school by my ballet instructor. As somewhat of a perfectionist, Pilates allowed me to focus in and center myself before ballet class, long rehearsals, and auditions. In times of stress or anxiety, I still find tranquility in getting on the floor and counting and breathing my way through some mat exercises. 

Polestar: What do you hope to convey in your teaching?

AD: In my teaching, I hope to convey the idea that anyone and everyone can do Pilates and reap its benefits. Regardless of limitations or contraindications, there is a way Pilates principles and exercises can be applied to your body. 

Polestar: Where would you love to vacation?

AD: I would vacation in Puerto Rico to learn more about my roots and experience the culture my grandparents grew up in. I love everything about my culture–from the food, to the music and the language, and I am looking forward to visiting hopefully sooner rather than later. The sun and sand definitely beats New Jersey’s winter.

Polestar: What is your favorite quote?

AD:  “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” This can be applied to all facets of life and reminds me everything is a journey with valleys and peaks but as long as you continue to apply yourself to the best of your ability, you will find success.

Polestar: How would you describe your movement style?

AD: My movement is 100% informed by my background in ballet. To me, every exercise is choreography and can be performed as a beautiful dance. I love highlighting the rhythm and flow in an exercise while also honoring the natural rhythm of your body.

Polestar: Do you have a favorite apparatus or favorite way to move?

AD: My favorite apparatus is the chair because of its endless opportunity! There are so many variations on exercises that can be done on the chair and personally, it feels like the safest apparatus to incorporate creativity to exercises.

Polestar: What are you reading or learning about?

AD: I have been reading about neuro-linguistic programming since I first began my Polestar training. I am fascinated with the ways language informs our movement outcomes as well as our perception of self and world. NLP can be directly applied to how teachers cue students through Pilates exercises.

Polestar: How does Pilates inform your profession? 

AD: Pilates is what gave me the courage to leave administration and commit 100% to turning Pilates into my profession!

You can find Alexandra on instagram @Alexandra_Elise where she will be posting more about her journey as a Polestar Mentor in Training.

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