Nicole Comella

Nicole has been a dancer her whole life, starting her training in ballet, tap and jazz at 4 years old in Orange, CA. Her ballet training is mainly attributed to California Ballet and New West Ballet in San Diego, CA. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from United States International University (San Diego, CA 1990) and danced professionally with San Diego Civic Light Opera, and is a founding member of the State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara, where she danced principal roles for 7 years. She then became the Assistant School Director of Gustafson Dance and Co-Director of the pre-professional student company State Street Ballet Young Dancers.

As a professional ballet dancer, Nicole started taking Pilates from Astrid De Wild (De Wild Pilates Studio)  in 1996 to increase her core strength, support her flexibility, and work out the inequalities in each side of her body, as well as for injury prevention and to cross train muscle groups that were being overused in one direction as a ballet dancer. She gained so much more from her Pilates experience than ever expected. The work transformed her life as a dancer and dance teacher.  

After approximately a year being an avid Pilates student at De Wild Studio in Santa Barbara, Nicole began a Pilates teacher training program under the tutelage of Astrid De Wild, owner, one of the first to introduce Pilates to Santa Barbara. Her knowledge, experience and encouragement helped Nicole to become a competent and confident instructor at De Wild Studio. For the last 24 years Nicole has continued to train, learn and grow as a Pilates instructor, working with clients to achieve their goals, overcome injuries, and recover from illnesses and surgery. Nicole works with clients wanting to exercise their full body in a safe, supportive environment, helping them to stay strong, balanced, flexible and coordinated at all stages in life. 

In Nicole’s  combined 35 years of teaching dance and Pilates she has worked with students of all ages and skill levels.  Her life has been greatly enhanced by the work and the relationships formed.  Pilates is a natural extension of the dance training curriculum as it prioritizes correct body alignment and form, essential breathing techniques, stabilizing and balance work that are central to the success of any dancer, and offer significant benefit to anyone!

Teaching dance and Pilates have been the most defining factors of my adult life.  It is my passion to continue passing along the Pilates method to dancers, athletes and all adults. I feel that my many years of teaching have given me the opportunity to learn about people, and I have gained the skills necessary to connect with different types of personalities, adapt to multiple skill levels and backgrounds, and to manage groups well.

Along with invaluable people skills, my 27 years of experience as Assistant Director of Gustafson Dance as well as working in the office at De Wild Studio for several years has given me experience in management, communication, social media, logistical organization and preparation, data entry, invoicing, accounts receivable, and shown me many areas of responsibility.

I am excited to offer top notch Pilates in a supportive, friendly environment! Grass Roots Pilates will be a fairly seamless transition for current De Wild Studio clients, as well as open up additional class days and times and offer affordable opportunities for others to begin their Pilates journey!