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Mighty Pilates creates community for students, young professionals in Westwood

Mighty Pilates is pictured. The studio, which opened in January, blends classical and reformer pilates to cater to all experience levels. (Megan Cai/Photo editor)

By Francesca Vaneri

Feb. 19, 2024 10:33 p.m.

Mighty Pilates, a pilates studio located on Weyburn Avenue, hard launched its Westwood Village location in January.

The studio is part of a chain of Mighty Pilates studios across Southern California and the Bay Area that offers both in-person and online classes. The new Westwood location is the chain’s sixth, and it’s also the largest, with the nearest one situated in Santa Monica.

Mighty Pilates blends classical and reformer pilates – which is done on a special reformer apparatus – and it offers classes for all experience levels. Second-year communication student Palmer Dean said the studio’s ability to cater to all levels makes pilates feel more approachable, adding that Mighty Pilates offers a good experience for beginners because of the small class sizes and the instructors’ attention to detail.

Some students saw the new studio as a chance to try pilates for the first time, including fourth-year psychology student Olivia Delfs, who said she was initially drawn to pilates because of its novelty as well as the studio’s 10% UCLA student discount.

“I had not ever tried pilates, and I had always been wanting to just from what I’ve seen on social media and what I’ve seen with other people,” Delfs said. “Then I saw there was a discount via just being a UCLA student through our sorority, so I wanted to give it a try.”

Maya Salamon, an instructor at the Mighty Pilates Westwood location who originally worked at the chain’s Santa Monica location, said one of the best parts of working at the new Westwood location is being able to work with beginners and build up a consistent clientele. She added that she wanted to work in Westwood because everyone coming to the studio is new to the exercise form, meaning she can learn and grow with them as well.

“I like to progress with them,” Salamon said. “When you get to know clients and they’re coming from day one with you, it’s a lot easier to do that than a mixture of people that are all at different levels.”

Gina Friedenberg, the studio manager of the Mighty Pilates Westwood location, said the new location is designed to serve both UCLA students and local residents. The studio offers classes from early morning to early evening so that students and working professionals can find something that works with their schedules.

“We really are trying to cater to students and their schedules and make it a place for the community – both students and professionals,” Friedenberg said.

One of the greatest strengths of the Westwood location is that it has that combination of clients from different areas and backgrounds, said Cricket Wardein, Mighty Pilates’ founder and owner. She added that students will come to the studio, tell their friends about it and then come back again.

Mighty Pilates also allows students to relax and escape from their stressors, Wardein said, adding that the studio aims to help students focus on themselves.

Beyond students, Mighty Pilates aims to provide a sense of community within the entirety of Westwood, Wardein said.

“I always felt like there’s a community here,” Wardein said. “My goal is to have a great place for a sense of community that actually isn’t in the workplace anymore. And in a big school, sometimes it can be hard to find, so I hope students can find friends they meet in class and create that community together.”

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Francesca Vaneri
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