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Tricia O'Donnell

Owner, Pilates In Port



As a student of the School of American Ballet, I was told I did not have the legs of a dancer.  "They were too bulky."  I was told Pilates would help develop the correct muscle groups, essential for creating the long line for ballet.  After less than a year I could see major changes in my body and my technique.


I graduated from the School of American Ballet in 1985 and joined the Pennsylvania Ballet to become a soloist in 1987.  I toured with New York City Ballet stars Heather Watts and Wendy Whelan on a "Tribute to Balanchine" tour along with other principals from New York City Ballet in 1993.  After 8 years of a short career, I retired due to an ankle injury. I was reintroduced to Pilates as a form of rehabilitation.   Little did I know the important role it would have in the next chapter of my life.


I was certified in the Pilates Method in 1997 by Romana Kryzanowska and Bob Liekens. After a 600 hour certification process, I first worked in Great Neck at Marathon Physical Therapy with Doug Pollock. In 2000, I opened my own studio, "Pilates in Port", in Port Washington with my associate, Susan Brilliant, at Inspiration Wharf. My clientele has been a wide variety from retired principals, commercial real estate brokers, and moms, to Olympic and international figure skating medalists. I have continued to teach dance as well as Pilates to my skaters combining the foundation of the two disciplines. In 2011 I was asked to teach a “Health and Wellness” course at Adelphi University for their dance department.   Soon after I was asked to become an  adjunct professor on a regular basis teaching Pilates to the dancer majors.  2018 will be my 7th year as an adjunct professor.


In 2018, Pilates in Port moved uptown for a larger space  in the heart of town.  I continue to bring on many talented instructors with authentic ties to Joseph Pilates.  Our studio is a private studio by appointment only, focusing on Privates, Semi-Privates, and small group classes as the Method is intended.


As part of my continuing education, I have studied with Marika Molnar, physical therapist to New York City Ballet.  I have completed three modules in dance medicine.   I continue to learn and grow as a Pilates instructor each year, continuing my studies with Master Teachers, Bob Liekens and Deborah Lessen.    In October 2018 I completed Bob Liekens "Leap" program through The Pilates Standard, consisting of 80 hours of archival exercises, exercises not in the original manuals, bio mechanical principles, and historical information.  Coming full circle, I will now be passing down the workshops that Bob Liekens created through The Pilates Standard.


Speaking from my own experiences, the principles of Pilates can enhance every part of your life. Whether it is simply sitting in a chair with proper posture or helping your tennis, golf, fitness and dance practice, Pilates can be applied to all.  I have been most inspired by how fulfilling my work can be with both the athlete and non-athlete.  Regardless of level, mental and physical change can occur.  

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