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Women in class at Paola's Body Barre

A Burning Passion for Pilates

By Mindbody

July 31, 2023

When Paola Di Lanzo began her fitness career, she taught high school physical education. She didn’t truly enjoy teaching high school, so she became a personal trainer. For years, Paola focused on high-intensity workouts including running and lifting weights. Then, after she became pregnant with her first child in 2002, she realized her heart was no longer in personal training.

“I booked myself into a Pilates course,” Paola said. “On the first day, I arrived in the course and thought ‘Oh my lord. What have I done?’”

After that first course, though, Paola was addicted. In the years that followed, Paola followed fitness trends, adapting her love of Pilates along the way to include both mat and reformer-based teaching styles. Then Paola travelled to Australia and began taking barre classes.

After taking barre-based Pilates classes, Paola sensed there was an opportunity to bring it back to London and merge it with her background as a personal trainer. Paola launched Paola’s BodyBarre in 2014.

“I’m not a ballerina by any stretch of the imagination,” Paola explained. “I created a high-intensity form of barre.”

Paola’s BodyBarre, or PBB as Paola calls it, incorporates traits from traditional barre classes, Pilates and yoga, giving her students a high-energy, yet low-intensity workout to challenge their muscles.

PBB quickly grew in popularity, which created a problem for Paola. Her studio quickly grew too fast for her location, which was under a short-term lease.

“The first year, we had hundreds of girls come through the doors,” Paola said. “In short, we outgrew the space.”

Instead of closing her business, Paola sent her twelve trainers to locations all over London to teach, allowing her method to grow and flourish—and buying her time to find an ideal location. In December 2016, Paola opened a stand-alone studio for PBB in Wimbledon.

To manage her classes in multiple locations and run her Wimbledon studio, Paola knew that she needed a business management solution that helped her be more efficient and turned to MINDBODY.

“I decided to use MINDBODY because I had friends in the fitness industry who said MINDBODY was the most efficient platform,” Paola said. “I’d also been to numerous classes of ours that had used MINDBODY.”

Now, thanks to Paola’s passion for Pilates and developing challenging workouts, as well as MINDBODY’s business management tools, students around London can be guaranteed a killer workout—and a seamless way to book it.

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Mindbody is powering the world's fitness and wellness businesses, connecting them with more consumers, more effectively, than anyone else.


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