fD Interview

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fD Interview: Ana Cabán, Pilates Instructor and TV Personality

February 13, 2009
by Ulysses Garcia
FindingDulcinea talks with Ana Cabán, a Pilates instructor and TV personality who has transformed people’s lives and bodies through her down-to-earth approach to teaching.

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Ana Cabán has all the qualities of a great Pilates teacher—though she didn’t realize it until a decade ago. Cabán started her career as a dancer but when an injury prevented her from continuing to dance, she turned to teaching. Pilates, which was originally designed for ballerinas, was a perfect fit for Cabán. Her passion for sharing the benefits of Pilates, not to mention her engaging personality, have earned her recognition on television and through DVDs.
fD: What inspired you to become a Pilates instructor?

AC: I found Pilates after a back injury from years of dance. Initially, I used Pilates as therapy. Years later, when I had become a Spanish teacher and was looking for a career change, it occurred to me that teaching Pilates might be a great fit for me. I had been trained to move my body (as a dancer) and trained to educate people (as a teacher), so teaching Pilates was a perfect blend of the two.



fD: Being a former dancer, was the transition between dancing and Pilates difficult?

AC: At the time that I decided to learn to teach Pilates I had stopped dancing professionally and was teaching Spanish to students from pre-K through 6th grade.

fD: What are the benefits of Pilates?

AC: Pilates is a full body conditioning system, which strengthens and tones the body, activates the mind and contributes to great overall health. The benefits of Pilates are that it tends to develop long, lean muscle, as opposed to bulky ones. And it develops the body as a unit, not compartmentalized like many other strength-training methods. It is safe and effective, tried and true—the Pilates Method has been in the U.S. for over 80 years—and is good for all ages and body types.
fD: Between Pilates instruction and television production, your daily schedule must be filled. How do you find time for yourself with all you are doing?

AC: I definitely have periods of my life that are very busy (when I am in production, for example). It’s at that time that I really need to take the time to “recharge my batteries.” I am a person who gives 110 percent, so it’s easy for me to overdo it and run out of energy. When that happens I get a massage, take a yoga class, a bath or a weekend of total relaxation. I also enjoy reading, for a break from my busy work life.

fD: Do you have studios where people can take classes with you?

AC: After owning two Pilates studios (one in Miami and one in L.A.), a few years ago I decided to close them both and freelance. That way it was easier for me when I had to leave to shoot a Pilates DVD and I no longer had the responsibility of running the business. For the past two years I have been teaching at a studio in the neighborhood of Silver Lake (in L.A.). However, I am currently taking a break from teaching private clients so that I can spend time with my new (adopted) son.

fD: What do you do in your spare time?

AC: In my spare time I love to hang out with my husband, our son and our Yorkie. I love going to the movies, reading, shopping and dining out and, of course, vacationing in Hawaii and Miami.

fD: You have been very involved with the community and charity. How important is volunteering to you and what drives your charitable work?

AC: I love to volunteer for charitable organizations. From a very young age my parents instilled in me the value of service and gratitude for all that I have. I am energized when I give. I would feel incomplete if I were not involved, in some way, with a charitable endeavor.
fD: Are there any charitable projects that you are currently working on?

AC: I am currently on the Board of Directors for the East L.A. Classic Theatre (ECT), an organization founded by “Ugly Betty” actor, Tony Plana. The East L.A. Classic Theatre provides comprehensive literacy instruction and engaging adaptations of theatrical masterpieces to disadvantaged youth and minority communities.

fD: You are a successful Latina, and a role model. Do you ever think about your influence on the Latino community, and what would you wish your message to be?

AC: I am very proud of being a successful Latina and hope that I am an inspiration to others. I am actually in the process of creating an online community called La Buena Life where I will help members to live a positively charged life full of Latin-inspired whimsy, where they will discover the best of food, fashion, beauty, health, philanthropy, family fun and eco-friendly living. I am excited to share my positive energy and joie de vivre with the world.

fD: Are there any goals that you still wish to accomplish?

AC: Other goals include being the best mother that I can be and producing my own television show.
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