Lolita San Miguel
First Generation Pilates Master

Lolita was born in New York City on October 9, 1934, and moved to Puerto Rico when she was 3 years old. There she started studying dance at age 7, and at 11 years old she traveled to New York to attend summer courses at the School of American Ballet (SAB). Lolita trained in Ballet at the SAB and studied other forms of dance such as Spanish, Modern, and Jazz. She graduated in 1952 from Performing Arts High School, a wonderful school that pioneered the concept of combining the arts with a formal education.

Upon graduation, she joined the Slavenska – Franklin Ballet Company and toured the U.S. on a bus for 48 weeks doing mostly one night stands. She was also a member of the Robert Joffrey Ballet and the Ben Harkarvy Ballet Companies, and often danced at Jacob’s Pillow in Lenox, Mass. Jacob’s Pillow would become more meaningful in her life since Ted Shawn, the center’s Director, was a good friend of Joseph Pilates who taught there often. 

Lolita joined the Metropolitan Opera Ballet in 1954 where she became a soloist, and in 1958, she suffered a knee injury. Her doctor told her that she did not need surgery, but he recommended that she go to Carola Trier’s Pilates Studio for rehabilitation. Carola Trier was an ex-dancer and acrobat that had been trained by Joseph Pilates, and her studio was frequented by dancers and athletes in need of fitness and rehabilitation. Ms. Trier had two assistants working for her Romana Kryzanowska and Kathleen Stanford Grant. That was Lolita’s introduction to The Pilates Method which has lasted until the present. 

After being a client of Mrs. Trier for many years, she suggested that when she stop dancing Lolita become her apprentice to teach The Pilates Method. She apprenticed with Mrs. Trier for 520 hours under the auspices of New York State University Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and became the only person that Mrs. Trier ever certified. One day speaking to her assistant, Kathy Grant, Lolita discovered that Joseph Pilates was alive and had a studio several blocks away. They decided to go see him and request he train and certify them as teachers of his method. Lolita’s apprenticeship with Carola Trier and Joseph Pilates consisted of 520 hours. She received her certification from Mr. Pilates on February 2, 1967. That same year Joseph Pilates died two months short of his 84th birthday. Lolita and Kathy are the only two people he ever certified to teach his method.

From the time Lolita started doing Pilates she incorporated it into her ballet classes. She moved to Puerto Rico in 1977 where she founded Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, the island’s finest ballet company; a school, The Conservatory of Ballet Concierto, and Pilates y Más, a Pilates studio. Everyone who attended Ballet Concierto practiced Pilates as part of their training. During her years in Puerto Rico, Lolita taught The Pilates Method to over a thousand teachers, clients, chiropractors, doctors, children, and dancers. After the trial in New York City that established The Pilates Method as generic, she was invited to go to Miami by Kevin Bowen and Colleen Glenn for a Pilates community gathering. There The Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) was born, and Kathy Grant, Ron Fletcher, Mary Bowen, and Lolita were named “elders.” She met Dr. Brent Anderson, President of Polestar, and his associate Shelly Power. They came to Puerto Rico and personally imparted the Polestar Pilates Method, which is especially valuable for those interested in applying The Pilates Method to special conditions and rehabilitation. Lolita was also certified comprehensively by Polestar Pilates Education.

In 2005 Lolita moved to Palm Beach Gardens, FL and retired as Artistic Director of Ballet Concierto. She has since dedicated her time and energy to teaching The Pilates Method internationally, working as a presenter with Pilates on Tour, and the PMA. 

In 2009 she began the Lolita San Miguel Pilates Master Mentor Program (PMMP), a two-year program across six continents for certified teachers with three years teaching experience.  The PMMP has brought her excellent, devoted teachers from all six continents. 

During the training, she travelled to Mönchengladbach, Germany to celebrate Pilates Day at the Frederick Great and learned that Joseph Pilates was not known in his hometown. On May 7, 2011, Lolita and her Disciples placed a plaque honoring Joseph Pilates at the site of his birth in Mönchengladbach. She organized and celebrated the International Pilates Day Conference at the site of the plaque in May 2012 and 2013.

At 89 years young, Lolita still practices The Pilates Method daily and is proud to be back with you on Lolita Pilates Online.

Glaucia Adriana
Master Instructor/Educator

Glaucia has been teaching the method internationally for over 22 years. She has been privileged to work the classical and contemporary approaches before completing Lolita's Pilates Master Mentor Program 13  years ago.

She is a graduated physical therapist, structural integrator and Gyrotonic certified professional and integrates this knowledge into her personal style as a teacher and Legacy Educator. She is the director and Co-Producer of the documentary Tribute to Joseph Pilates. Her home-base is in Brazil, where her studio is located, but she spends much of her time traveling the world to learn and teach all she can.

Danielle Armstrong
Master Instructor/Educator
Co-Founder, Lolita Pilates Online

Danielle is an Honors graduate from Purchase College where she received her BFA from the Conservatory of Dance where she was first introduced to the Pilates Method. After moving to New York City, she knew her career would be in movement either in a dance or a Pilates studio, she never dreamed she would have the best of both. 

In 2002, Danielle completed over 600 hours of teacher training and became certified through Pilates Inc. under the direction of Joseph Pilates' protégé Romana Kyrzanowska. She trained with industry leaders like Ton Voogt and Michael Fritzke, Brett Howard, Sari Mejia Santo, Bob Leikens and Mejo Wiggin.  

In 2011, she opened her Pilates studio inside The Florida School for Dance Education where she also teaches Modern dance. Shortly after, Danielle met Lolita San Miguel and in 2014 completed Lolita’s Master Mentor Program.Inspired by Lolita’s 58 years of Pilates practice, Danielle named the studio PILATES LIFE, and is proud to be the home of Lolita’s Pilates Center.  

Alexis Butler
Lolita Legacy Certified Instructor
Master Instructor/Educator
Lolita Pilates Online Design Team

Alexis grew up in Pilates studios, first in the home studio of Elizabeth Jones-Boswell and then in the studio founded by Amber Butler, her mother. As most kids would, she thought nothing of her mom’s pastime.She led a movement-filled childhood, but when she finally began exploring movement modalities for herself as a means of passionate career possibilities, she considered a large list of options before realizing just how incredible both Precision Pilates of Spokane and Pilates as a whole were.

Alexis’ love for the work came as she realized that Pilates helped her everything, but nothing else helped her Pilates. She concluded, just as Amber had always told her, that Pilates is truly the answer to everything.

Alexis completed Lolita’s Legacy Teacher Training Program in 2016 under Amber Butler’s mentorship in 2016, completed Lolita’s Master Mentor Program with Group FF in 2020, and became a Legacy Educator in 2021. She lives in Spokane, Washington in the United States helping run Precision Pilates of Spokane with Amber while raising her two small children.

Amber Butler
Master Instructor/Educator
Co-Founder, Lolita Pilates Online

Amber’s primary goal has always been to support people in their greatness. When Pilates came into her life in 2000, she realized that opening a studio would be her way of doing just that. After training with Elizabeth Jones-Boswell, Amber opened Precision Pilates of Spokane’s doors in 2004. In 2009 Amber began training with Lolita San Miguel and graduated with Group A of the Pilates Master Mentor Program.

As a former synchronized swimmer representing the United States in the French Open, it can come as no surprise that Precision is the principle that speaks most to Amber’s heart. Her attention to detail and commitment to excellence in Lolita’s work and repertoire are what make Amber a true expert in this field.

Amber lives in Spokane, Washington in the United States running her studio while enjoying time with family but has no shortage adventures in recent years as she has jetted the globe representing Lolita Pilates.

Laura Cordle
Master Instructor/Educator

Laura Cordle has a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Recreational Therapy, is a second generation master Pilates instructor, and currently studying for a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Laura delivers quality Pilates instruction throughout South Florida. Her extensive training from the best in the industry and an insatiable passion for movement.

Laura teaches Pilates to a diverse clientele base including both professional and aspiring athletes, the senior active aging population, as well as other Pilates instructors. She finds a deep reward in teaching Pilates to those who have movement limitations from chronic musculoskeletal disorders, mechanical lumbar and cervical pain, neurological disorders, and chemotherapy rehabbing. She gives everything she has to her clients and loves every minute of it. 

Carli Ferrugio
Lolita Pilates Online Design Team

Carli Ferrugio is a former dance student of The Florida School for Dance Education from the time she was a toddler until she graduated high school. She continued her education at Florida State University studying Retail Entrepreneurship. Upon returning home, Carli was unsure about which path she wanted to pursue. One aspect that remained the same in Carli’s life was her love for fitness and movement.

During Covid, she found her love for Pilates and dreamed of one day working in the industry. Fast forward three years later, she has recently completed Lolita’s Legacy Teacher Training Program under Educators Danielle Armstrong, Laura Cordle, and Marian Llamas. Carli now works alongside Danielle as a Pilates Instructor and Assistant Business Manager at Pilates Life in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Carli was an integral part of the design of Lolita Pilates Online, and is excited to continue working with the team.

Junko Sakurai
Master Instructor/Educator

Junko Sakurai started Pilates in earnest in 2005. She graduated from PMMP in 2015 and was certified as a Lolita's Legacy disciple. She started as an Educator  with Lolita's Legacy Teacher Training in Japan in 2016 and now has 100 graduates. She is the only Japanese to have won the top award twice in NEXT, Japan's leading magazine for the fitness industry. Junko is very passionate about continuing Lolita's Legacy in Japan.

Katya Smirnova
Master Instructor/Educator

Katya has graduated over a 100 of Legacy Teachers, she assists Lolita during workshops, Pilates Master Mentor Programs, and Legacy training and testing.In 2016, Katya and her husband Oleg did research locating the remains of Joseph and Clara Pilates and after months of travel and research, they found it. Lolita San Miguel hosted a memorial tribute at the Ferncliff Cemerary in Hartsdale, New York.

Kateryna Smirnova is Lolita's representative in Eastern Europe and Canada, founder of the International Pilates University Fitness4you which has its centers in Ukraine, Moldova and other countries. She translated Joseph’s Pilates books, is an author of articles and training manuals, participant and presenter of Pilates forums and conventions of national and international scale. Organizer and presenter of the International Pilates Festival Fitness4you, publisher and founder of the Pilates magazine Pilates4you.

Joakim Valsinger
Master Instructor/Educator

Joakim is an Award-Winning Fitness Instructor and Lolita San Miguel Disciple. He combines the physical and mental fitness techniques from his Military Physical Training Instructor days with the mind-body awareness of the Pilates Method.

Joakim is the owner of Bälans Pilates Studio in Perth and hosts ongoing groups of Lolitas Legacy Teacher Training Program.