Instructor in Focus – Daniela Di Fabio

Daniela Di Fabio

Daniela Di Fabio

Professional Instructor Level 1, CY Fitness & Pilates, Goodlife Health Clubs, Terry Simpson Studios, SA

Instructor Name: Daniela Di Fabio
Studio(s) you work at: CY Fitness & Pilates, Goodlife Health Clubs, Terry Simpson Studios
Location: Adelaide, SA
Instructor training: Polestar: Matwork Series, Studio & Rehab, Comprehensive Diploma
PAA Level: Professional Instructor Level 1

What originally motivated you to try Pilates and then go on to train as an instructor?
From a young age, Pilates-based exercises formed part of my classical ballet training program. Throughout my professional dance training and dancing years I continued to engage in Pilates exercises to help condition my body and prevent and rehabilitate injuries. As I had been incorporating Pilates exercises into my conditioning classes whilst teaching, it made sense to become a qualified Pilates instructor.

What did you eat for breakfast?

A macchiato coffee and a few Arnott’s biscuits – teaching on a full stomach does not work well for me.

In one word, describe your first Pilates experience?


What impact has the recent COVID-19 virus had on your world?

A positive one! Some of my teaching was converted to online which forced me to learn how to use various platforms and online tools – shamefully, I am one of the least tech-savvy teachers I know. The online class experience enabled me to further appreciate the magical moments that are unique to working face-to-face with others. In my ‘non-teaching’ spare time, I caught up on many things that had fallen by the wayside due to a frantic existence. I also very much enjoyed the quiet streets, the sound of birds and being able to eat dinner before 9:30pm.

How have you handled your Pilates teaching with COVID-19, any advice to other teachers?

It is very difficult for me to get bored so during the SA lockdowns I used my spare time productively to catch up on things I do not usually fit into my schedule. When I did go back to teaching, I found it challenging not being able to incorporate tactile cueing into my classes. Consequently, I’ve become a little more creative with my verbal cues to compensate. I have also become very efficient at cleaning apparatus between classes! If I were to give any advice to other teachers it would be: If certain circumstances are beyond your control then adapt as best you can. I often liken this to the water element; sometimes it is wise to flow in harmony with our environment – it is oftentimes more efficient than pushing against it.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Many things: Being able to assist others to assist themselves, working with people who choose to take care of their mind, body and spirit and having a profession that enables me to be physically active whilst connecting with my ‘self’ and others.

Your ‘go to’ website for all things Pilates (other than PAA)?

To be honest, I prefer reading books or articles as looking at the computer screen takes its toll on me… anything that deepens my understanding of anatomy, bodily kinaesthetic awareness and spiritual beliefs. When I am curious about different aspects of Pilates I tend to do a specific internet search about the topic.

The best advice you’ve ever had?

Everything you do has a consequence.

An indulgence you can’t live without?

Dark chocolate.

How long have you been a member of PAA and how did you hear about PAA?

Only one year – not long enough! I wanted to register with a Pilates organisation that I believed was looking to provide a great service to its members so did a little research and chose the PAA.

Do you have a motto?

Be thankful, humble and kind.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

The early mornings and late nights with gaps here and there during the day – sometimes I think a 9:00am to 5:00pm work schedule would be a little easier on the body-clock.

How do you use PAA?

To keep informed about the many aspects of the Pilates industry. I was recently elected to the PAA Board (committee) and very much look forward to making a positive contribution to the Pilates industry.

Who is your Pilates idol or would love to meet, and why?

I would like to meet any of the first generation Pilates teachers – it would be fascinating to gain more insight into Joseph’s original method. I have heard great reviews about Elizabeth Larkam’s workshops and hope to attend one – travel restrictions permitting, of course.

What do you appreciate most about your body?

That it still works relatively well after many years of dance abuse and the list of injuries it has suffered – I am very grateful to still be able to demonstrate whilst teaching.

The book you’re currently reading?

The Brain’s Way of Healing by Norman Doidge.

We're looking for our next Instructor in Focus!

We’d like to get to know you and how Pilates fits into your life.

Every two weeks we highlight a PAA member as our Instructor in Focus on Instagram, Facebook and in our member enews. We’d love you to be our next Instructor in Focus, just answer a few questions and submit a photo of yourself (min. 570px wide).

We look forward to getting to know more about our PAA community!