Inspiring Life from the Core

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Up Close and Personal: Laura Harrell

written by Laura Harrell, Pure Pilates Instructor

Laura has been a student of Pilates since 1989 and teaching the method for over 25 years. She was a professional dancer and now a wife, a mom and a talented and thoughtful Pure Pilates teacher. She’s taken time out to answer some questions for our Up Close and Personal series. Enjoy!

What makes you smile when you get up in the morning? The Thought of a fresh pot of coffee makes me happy in the morning. I like my coffee with whole milk. Right now, I am drinking Trader Joe’s dark French roast. I like the price and the taste!

What absolutely excites you right now? The thing that makes  me the most happy right now is watching my kids develop and excel in their athletic pursuits. My daughter Katie plays softball for the high school team As well as for a competitive club team.She has been playing since she has been eight years old. She has aspirations of playing in college. She does a lot of conditioning on her own and includes some Pilates in her training. John is 13 and plays baseball. He especially loves Pitching. I try to help him keep a schedule of practicing as well as conditioning. While he’s not always excited to do it, he is agreeable for the most part!

I can still play catch with John , but Katie throws too hard! It’s dangerous!

Favorite quote or book? My favorite quote is one from Joseph Pilates “physical fitness is the first requisite to happiness”. It is so true – when your body doesn’t feel good you are not happy!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? When I was growing up, I wanted to be a dancer. Luckily I was able to live out that dream to some extent 🙂

When I was performing, I did modern dance. I moved into New York City two years after college when I got into a modern dance repertory company. We did some touring including to the Caribbean. I danced for some small modern dance and theater dance companies. I danced into my early 30s – some of the best years of my life! While I was in New York City, I was introduced to Pilates. My friend who danced for Martha Graham introduced me to my mentor Deborah Lessen who also danced for Martha Graham. 

What are you binge watching right now? I am binge watching Mad Men right now. I love the series and am watching it for a second time because I find it so compelling. The writing and the character development is very interesting and complex. I particularly like seeing the role women had in society and how things for them were starting to change. It’s also an insight into the generation of when my mom was an adult. Times have changed! I also get a kick out of seeing the fashion back then and of course looking at the handsome Jon Hamm!

Rapid Fire:

Morning or night person? MORNING

Left Handed or Right Handed? RIGHT

Tidy or Messy? MESSY

Coffee or Tea? COFFEE

Mac or PC? PC

Bath or Shower? BATH

Sweet or Savory? SWEET

Beach or Mountains? BEACH

Coke or Pepsi? DIET COKE

Summer or Winter? SUMMER

Favorite Pilates apparatus or Pilates exercise? My favorite Pilates apparatus are the leg springs. I love how they give a gentle elongation of the legs and the spine and how they enable a range of motion in the hips that you can’t get on the Mat without props. When you loosen up the hips, you loosen up the lower back so they are a great way to mobilize your body.

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Katie is a passionate mover who was brought to Pilates through dance. After a professional dance career, Katie discovered her love of teaching-connecting the mind and body, and working with students of all ages and levels. Her appreciation and understanding of everyone’s ever changing body and needs only became greater as her own body went through pre and post natal stages, an experience which has helped Katie navigate problem solving, and bring a freshness to each session making them feel personal and specific to each body’s needs. Her sessions are full of flow and aim to challenge clients with a sense of comfort, and often a little humor, all of which she has brought to Pure Pilates since 2016. Katie thinks the gift of movement and self care is one of the best things one can do for overall wellness, and is thrilled to seek and fulfill milestones and goals with each of her clients. When she’s not at the studio, Katie is taking care of her three little humans- another job that also makes her smile, laugh, and challenges her on the daily.
Eighteen years ago I discovered my love for Pilates. After having my two children, I felt the need to move my body again. At the time I was living in North Carolina, and worked through many different exercise and training programs. I discovered Pilates, and instantly knew it was right for me. Forteen years later, and a move to New Jersey, I decided to share my love of Pilates with other people looking for some way to move their bodies. Pilates has also been a way for me to keep me strong and flexible to continue many activities. My family loves to be active, and I often find when we are all together (mostly vacations) our days consist of activity and movement such as hiking, kayaking, or skiing(more on this later). As I have gotten older I find it even more imperative now that I keep my body strong. Recently I was in a skiing accident that left me with many knee injuries and ultimately having to go into surgery. I found being able to do light Pilates a few weeks after surgery kept me sane and ultimately helped with recovery time. Pilates has not only helped me be able to keep up with my children, but has also provided me with a body that is able to function at peak performance. My approach to Pilates can be described in one, simple word: movement. Movement can help you, both physically and mentally. Movement, and Pilates, is ultimately about self care. Having a built in time to focus on your body and movement can help relieve yourself of feeling tired, anxious, and stressed. Movement awakens you. Even after one session you can leave feeling calmer and energized.
Enjoyment of life through movement is a vital part of Kathy’s philosophy. When not in the studio she leads an active lifestyle trail running, cycling, skiing and hiking. She also loves connecting with people while traveling with family and friends. One of her favorite cycling trips was riding along the coast of northern California. Learning new things and sharing knowledge is also important to Kathy. She has a passion for food, likes to cook for her family and experiment with new recipes. She is currently trying to achieve the perfect pizza. She is also an avid reader of historical fiction and biographies. Her latest endeavor is learning to play golf.
Carol M. Crincoli, owner Pure Pilates studio, has been in the fitness industry since 1990, with experience in corporate and commercial fitness, recreational programming and teaching as an adjunct professor. She began practicing Pilates in 2003 and received Pilates training through the PhysicalMind Institute in New York, NY. She holds certifications from the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as a group exercise instructor, personal trainer and lifestyle and weight management consultant. She was also accepted into the IDEA-PFT Recognition System as an Elite Level Personal Fitness Trainer. She is the only trainer in the NY-metro area for Trent McEntire’s Arcus equipment. Carol graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music with a BFA in musical theater and a minor in dance. Opening Pure Pilates is the culmination of a lifetime dream, and her mission to "inspire life from the core" is a holistic approach to health and wellness—from exercise and nutrition, to stress management and self-care. Carol is also the inventor of 8th Avenue Rail, an organizing solution for Tower springs.