Chloé Combs, our second winner (we couldn’t pick just one) is from NYC, but is Zooming in from Las Vegas, Nevada.

What are 5 Words that describe you?

dedicated, curious, health-conscious, articulate, empathetic

If you could tweet about why “Pilates and You?” what would you say?

Pilates is my home away from home. I can take the method with me wherever I go and practice anywhere on Earth.

Why did you apply to Core’s Diversity Scholarship and how does your own diversity contribute to your desire to teach Pilates?

My primary goal in becoming a Pilates instructor is to share the benefits of Pilates with my community. I captured a taste for teaching during the summer of 2019 when I was completing my archaeological field school requirement for my BA in Anthropology. Working on an archaeological dig is physically intense and I found myself leaning into my Pilates practice more than ever. My fellow archaeology students began to wonder what I was doing every morning and I shared my practice with them. Pilates became my conduit for to establish lasting friendships with the people I was living and working with. I started looking into becoming a Pilates Instructor before the Covid-19 pandemic. My original goal was to become an instructor for dancers in the New York City dance community. I had started taking dance classes at Broadway Dance Center, House of Movement and PMT House of Dance in my junior year of college and quickly fell in love with dance and the dance community. I wanted to use Pilates to further engrain myself in the dance world, but this quickly changed after the pandemic took the world by storm. I was so disheartened to see how quickly we, as a society, were willing to completely dismiss elderly people in our community and I realized the elderly demographic is one that is often forgotten. My focus quickly shifted from Pilates for dancers to Pilates for elders. This disparity was made even more clear to me when I took a hard look at my own community. I live in affordable housing in the Lower East Side. My community is predominantly Black, Brown and elderly. There are little to no Pilates studios or instructors that offer affordable, accessible and high-quality Pilates classes in my neighborhood and I realized that this is a gap I can fill. In order to be a contributing member to my community in this way I needed to get certified which is why I applied for Core’s Diversity Scholarship.

After your training at Core, what would you like to do with your new Pilates credentials?

I would love to establish myself as a Pilates instructor within my community and on my social media. My hope is to offer zoom classes to friends, family and acquaintances, not only to share what I’ve learned in training, but to also practice my teaching. As much as I want to offer restorative Pilates classes in my apartment building’s community center, I am hesitant as elderly folks are at a higher risk for contracting Covid-19. My hope is that as the case load in NYC decreases and life returns to some normalcy, I’ll be able to offer free, in person classes sometime this fall. Eventually, my goal is to continue my training at Core and get my full, comprehensive Pilates certification.

How has Core’s scholarship award benefited your life?

Being furloughed from my job, completing my final semester and graduating college in quarantine coupled with the ongoing murders of innocent Black people by law enforcement, children trapped in detention centers, the continued disappearances of indigenous women and the overall lack of comprehensive leadership from the United States; 2020 has been one huge blow after another. It’s hard to describe the bouts of fear, anxiety and utter hopelessness 2020 has brought and I know that I am not the only person that feels this way. Core’s scholarship has given me the opportunity to check a box on my long list of life goals and actually accomplish something meaningful with my time while everything is on hold. Teacher Training has given me something to look forward to and something to practice that not only makes me feel SO much better, mentally and physically, but also something I can share with my family while we ride these trying times out together. Being able to share time and space with a group of people who are all working toward the same goal is like coming up for air after swimming to the bottom a deep dark pool.

What was on your mind the minute the program began and you logged in for Virtual Training?

Honestly, I was nervous. I envisioned all the other girls being total boss babes who live and breathe Pilates and I was not wrong.

Every. Girl. In. My. Cohort. Is. A. Boss. Babe.

All the anxiety that I carried into virtual training melted away the minute we started introducing ourselves. Never in my life have I been surrounded by so many interesting, driven, and passionate women. It is so inspiring and such a privilege to be a part of this group.

Tell us something about you that we won’t find on your social?

I am a skincare junkie. From having a strict and involved skincare routine to wanting to try every new product that hits the market, I’m obsessed. However, I LOVE the sun. I was a sun bum long before I was a skincare junkie and as a result, I am at constant war with being out in the sun, getting a little toasty and slathering on the sunscreen, protective clothing and keeping my skin healthy. In the end, skin health always wins.

Meet our other Virtual Mat Scholarship Winner Lalitha Sindhuri.