About Danielle Bélec
Danielle is a:
- PMA® Certified Pilates Teacher through The Pilates Method Alliance (PMA®-CPT),
- Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst® through the Laban Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS),
- Registered Movement Therapist® with I.S.M.E.T.A.,
- Certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioner,
- Practitioner of Reiki, Craniosacral Therapy, and myofascial release.
Danielle is also trained in Mariska Breland’s Pilates with MS, a program designed to facilitate optimal movement patterning for persons with Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons and stroke. Mariska is an accomplished Pilates practitioner and person with MS herself, who has dedicated her career to the education and advancement of Pilates-based functional exercise for neurological conditions.
Danielle’s Pilates Story
Danielle danced professionally for three of Canada’s major contemporary companies for over a decade. During this time, she continued her diverse training in modern dance, ballet, choreography and improvisation, along with numerous somatic methods of movement study in Canada, United States and Europe, propelling her career forward. Following dance, Danielle returned to university to study literature, health sciences and movement education receiving a BA from University of Toronto, and MA from York University.
Danielle first began her training in The Pilates Method as a dancer in New York City at the Jean Claude West Studio. At this time, in the mid 1980’s, the method was still unfamiliar to most people outside of dance and fresh off the printing press in Canada. With the help of a series of Ontario and Canada Art Council Grants, Danielle also studied with Irene Dowd, specialist in functional movement for dance; Maggie Black, master classical dance instructor; and Robert Ellis Dunn, American musician, choreographer and seminal contributor to the theory and practice of post-modern dance; and The Pilates Method at the Jean Claude West studio.
It was in England where Danielle first discovered Pilates, at the Alan Herdman Studio while studying at the London Contemporary Dance Theatre. Coming full circle some 13 years later, Danielle completed her MA on Robert Ellis Dunn’s life and work just prior to his death after first working for him as his teaching assistant at the Long Beach School of Summer Dance.
It was not until the end of Danielle’s dance career that she turned her full focus to Pilates. After she completed a second graduate degree in Laban Movement Analysis through the University du Quebec in Montreal, together with the Laban Institute of Movement Studies in New York, she became a Certified Pilates Instructor through both Stott Pilates and Body Harmonics in Toronto.
Integrating her background in athletics, dance, Laban Movement Analysis, Pilates, and years of yoga practice, Danielle then opened the first Pilates-based studio west of Toronto in 1998, called Second Wind® Pilates Plus®. Located in the waterfront community of Port Credit, Mississauga, it evolved over the next sixteen years as an outstanding center for movement training and rehabilitation.
Early in the evolution of her company, Danielle recognized that the style and content of her movement background and teaching style was unique. In order to successfully create a common platform for learning, she realized that she needed to develop a training program to ensure a consistent culture of education for her Second Wind® teaching staff and students. So in 1998, Danielle created a new Pilates and Movement Therapy Teacher-Training program in Ontario. To this end, she integrated her extensive base of movement knowledge into one method called Integrated Movement Therapies (IMT)®. Together with Second Wind’s comprehensive Pilates program, IMT quickly grew to become the unique ability of the studio.
Today, the Second Wind® Pilates Plus® Teacher-Training is recognized as one of the longest running certification programs in Canada. Known for “putting the soul back into Pilates,” the training has been taught in Quebec and Ontario in both English and French, and is now offered by two affiliated studios in Ontario.
Today, Danielle lives north of Toronto in the Blue Mountains/Collingwood area where she continues her work in private practice, as well as teaching classes at various Pilates and yoga studios in the area.
Danielle’s Second Wind® Pilates Plus® Teacher Training program is now offered in Collingwood and surrounding areas for those interested in becoming Pilates teachers an movement therapy practitioners.