Pilates & Spa Holiday – a visit!
The approach to the Pilates studio in the outskirts of Denia, Spain winds through orange groves and picturesque scenery. Although I had been forewarned by the hostess of the Pilates & Spa holiday about ‘dangerous Spanish drivers’, fortunately they were nowhere to be seen as I navigated the quiet roads to the villa to meet her.
For 16 years of her life, Argentinian-born Graciela was a professional ballerina, and spent the final years of her career as Principal Dancer with the Northern Ballet Theatre in the UK. But her years of retirement have removed surprisingly little of her energy, poise and grace – even when standing casually, Graciela subconsciously strikes ballet poses.
You could hardly call the time since Graciela hung up her pumps a ‘retirement’. There has been no resting on her laurels, as she threw herself straight into Pilates instruction. Combining years of experience in the 2 disciplines of professional ballet and Pilates, Graciela has an extensive awareness of the human body; how to tone, improve strength, maintain balance and even treat ailments.
Graciela acquired her accreditations and practised in the UK before relocating to the sunshine of Denia 3 years ago with husband Mike, a former professional oboe player. Years ago while still dancing, Graciela first spotted a handsome musician from high on stage, and requested his presence at the end-of-show party – ‘when the Principal Ballerina does that, it’s like being summoned by royalty!’ jokes Mike. Needless to say, it turned out well!
Since moving to Denia, Graciela’s passion for Pilates has grown and grown. She has designed her own airy Pilates studio, which is the location of all the Pilates sessions included in GoLearnTo’s Pilates And Spa Holiday.
The studio is fully equipped, and guests are lucky enough to have individual sessions on the Pilates Reformer. Pilates on the reformer is the original formation of the classic Pilates practice, and after just a few sessions you can begin to notice increased strength, stronger abdominals, increased energy and better posture.
When not being treated to Pilates sessions with Graciela, guests can luxuriate at the spa hotel, visit one of the 3 on-site restaurants, or even book a round of the famous golf course. Denia too has plenty to offer, as a quaint costal fishing village that boasts eateries, bars and even a Michelin starred restaurant!