My Bio

Kara Tatelbaum is a professional dancer and choreographer teaching dance and Pilates for over fifteen years. 

She received her BFA in Dance from Tisch School of the Arts as a University Honors Scholar at NYU and MFA in Choreography with an Assistantship in Teaching from SUNY Purchase.  At twenty-one she started her own dance

company, independentdancemaker, performing all over NYC and abroad earning accolades from The New York Times, Dance Insider, The New Yorker, The Village Voice, and The New York Press.  

Having studied Pilates as a young dancer, Kara went on to earn her Mat Certification from Power Pilates and Reformer Certification from Pilates Academy International.  She is also certified in Poolates and has attended Pre/Post Natal, Chair, and Anatomy workshops among others.  Kara taught at the uber-trendy Crunch Fitness for over eleven years.  As an in demand instructor, at one point she taught the most Pilates classes of any NYC Crunch instructor.  She’s also been on staff at Clay, Club H, New York Health and Racquet Club, NYU Coles

Gym, New York Yoga, Trump International (blech- but it’s true!), the 14th Street and Riverdale Y, and corporate clients including Penguin Publishing, Saatchi and Saatchi, and Time Inc.  In addition she created Barrelates, her own class designed combining Ballet Barre with traditional Mat exercises.  Barrelates was highlighted in Gotham Magazine as one of the Top 10 Workouts of 2012.  Kara has been featured in Health Magazine and and deeply values her longstanding relationships with clients spanning several years. 

My Truth

Five months post-partum 

Perfect setup.  Only thing missing is... me.

I'm not exactly Pilates biggest fan.  From my first class at sixteen years old at the historic Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, where Joe Pilates himself once taught, I knew it was not for me.   Twenty years later, I still struggle with the exercises and think The Method takes itself way too seriously.  I only got certified to support my dance career.  Because I never took anything Pilates related too earnestly, I failed my original mat certification due to a nasty margarita hangover, made fun of the exercises when teaching, and eventually invented my own body language with clients.  This approach is what separated me from other NYC instructors as the industry grew from a few Pilates teachers to an inundated pool of qualified and overqualified instructors.  I never really had to apply or audition to any of the major fitness chains who hired me, as word of mouth spread about my “reluctant Pilates instructor” routine.  Fitness Fanatic blogged, “The instructor [Kara Tatelbaum] was super friendly… the class facilitated a lot of discussion which was actually nice; we weren’t all just staring straight ahead!”  My private client pool also flourished, which allowed for more creativity and fun. 

Now, as a mom of two toddlers, I struggle most with finding the time to exercise at all.  Even though I'm teaching dance and Pilates, focusing on my own body is a challenge.  While I'm no longer at the ballet barre or on the mat, it's imperative I tend to my body as part of a daily routine: in bed, the shower, toilet, at the playground, etc.

Bottom line: I may not be Joe Pilates’ star student, but there are already many books and manuals written by the head of the class.  I’m the girl with the cheat sheet.  The fun one with the six-pack.  The Lazy Girl with the margarita and the Magic Circle.        

My Bio/My Truth