Sculpere, both method and studio is the love and magic of its owner, Cristina Espaillat. A Philadelphia-area native, Cristina began her study of dance at the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet, at five years of age. She continued her study there for the next fourteen years, concentrating on classical ballet. During this time, Cristina had the great privilege of performing with the company at the esteemed Academy of Music. Upon graduation she was accepted to the Performing Arts program at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana where she majored in dance and continued her training in classical ballet, modern dance and jazz. Eighteen years of disciplined dance study paved the way for Cristina to realize her lifelong dream of becoming a professional dancer, when she was accepted to the City Ballet of San Diego in 2003. Rigorous training and performing was the single priority in Cristina's life until she broke her foot during rehearsals in 2005. During rehabilitation from her injury, Cristina found herself drawn to yoga. Initially, she (and her body) yearned for the physical workout that was now missing since she had left dance. She found yoga to be a challenging workout that also brought great mental rewards. Being a professional dancer was extremely competitive and had created deep insecurities that yoga was beginning to reveal and simultaneously "strip away." Cristina's passion for dance was slowly being replaced with a passion for yoga and the new balanced way she was feeling about herself and her life. Through her continued yoga practice and training, Cristina found a love and acceptance for herself that wasn't formerly present. Her views of health and beauty also began to transform into something far more encompassing than the idealized and discriminating standards in the ballet world. The culmination of Cristina's experience of these two very diverse worlds led her to developing and opening "Sculpere." From the Latin-Sculpere, means literally to "sculpt." Ballet practice, a rigorous and disciplined study, creates a great sense of fitness, body awareness and artistry. Yoga is a deep and spiritual study that teaches one to fuse mental health into a physical practice, with no pressure to conform to any ideals. Through "braiding" both of these timeless practices, students can "sculpt" both body and mind. Although primarily a physical workout, Sculpere is designed as an all-encompassing approach to health and well-being. Cristina's philosophy centers around the ideals of self love and acceptance and include Ayurveda and nutritional counseling. Unique in its approach, students are encouraged to see beyond the obvious physical transformation of the workouts and to simultaneously experience mental growth.
Daniela Galdi is a Classically Trained Certified Pilates Instructor through Romana’s Pilates, a world renowned organization that traces its teaching to the traditional work of Joseph Pilates and his protégé, Romana Kryzanowska. Through the mentorship of teacher trainer, Brie Adina Neff, and Master Instructor and daughter to Romana, Sari Mejias- Santos, she went on to receive her certification in 2009, which she accomplished through years of thorough observation and private training in the systems of Pilates. This includes the Reformer, Mat Work and all apparatus included in the system of Pilates. Daniela is the former owner of Trullo Pilates in Northern Liberties in Philadelphia where she managed the business while teaching a community of Pilates enthusiasts. She has been practicing Pilates for over 12 years and continues her education through workshops in NY and PA in not only Pilates, but a combination of fitness techniques including yoga, dance, and corrective exercise methods. Daniela is also a professional dancer trained in numerous dance techniques and holds a BFA in Modern Dance Performance from the University of the Arts received in 2008, where she was introduced to Pilates. She has been teaching movement education for 13 years, working with many body conditions and injuries on improving quality of movement and range, and has taught both practices to all ages and levels in and around Philadelphia, including at a university level and teacher training. Daniela’s teaching mission is to provide an enjoyable and empowering workout experience! She provides a hands-on approach in educating students in movement control and proper form so that they can utilize the muscles of the body correctly to achieve strength, safety and longevity in all daily and physical activities. She incorporates proper body utilization, alignment technique, and discipline in her instruction, working specifically with the needs of the individual’s body. You’ll also find her performing live and on-camera, producing performances around the city and studying to complete her Emotional Empowerment Coaching Certification. (For more information, please contact Daniela.Galdi@gmail.com)
Stephanie Churchill has been on the healing path for over twenty years now. She has dedicated her life to becoming more healthy, happy, and harmonious within her self and helps others find it for themselves.
Beginning her yoga studies with a Master, Chik Mason. He imparted philosophy, theory, and physical practice from China, which created a strong foundation. The basis of the yoga she teaches is Kundalini yoga and Chinese medical theory, it will: heal, strengthen and improve the health and vitality of anyone who practices it. This training allows her to teach at a highly effective level. Continuing to train and study other forms of yoga to keep her workouts dynamic, fresh, inspiring, useful. She allows the body to be challenged, and then recover. Emphasizing alignment, balance and breath to receive the true benefit of yoga practice. Stephanie provides a holistic approach to clients’ training and development to allow them to excel in all areas of their life.
She has learned not to take herself too seriously and incorporates a down to Earth and relaxed way of delivering the message that makes you really want to learn. She is an Innovator in helping people connect with their bodies, mind and spirit and helps them cultivate higher levels of understanding and consciousness. Improving all aspects of one’s lives through the art and discipline of yoga.
Certified Yoga, Qigong Instructor (Level I, II), Lin Zi Chi Healing from Spirit wind Internal Arts Association
Yoga Therapy Certification Program 2011 from YogaLife Institute, ERYT, 300hrs
Thai Yoga Therapy Certification 2012 Studying Tibetan Buddhism with Losang Samtem who served the Dalai Lama for 30 years.
Educated in Natural Eating, Living and Integration of Raw and Super Food
Come & practice with her and see for your self if you feel more present, balanced and radiating positive energy! Namaste~
Ariel began her ballet training at the Repertory Dance Theatre in Allentown, PA under the direction of Dolly Haltzman. After attending San Francisco Ballet's Summer Intensive in high school, she knew wanted to pursue dance in college and was a member of the Brandywine Ballet while she attended West Chester University. In her post college life, her passion for dance has manifested into yoga classes, salsa classes, aerial yoga, barre, and anything else that keeps her moving.
Asha Brightwell was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky where she began training in gymnastics and dance at the age of 3. She found yoga at the age of 12 and has maintained a fluctuating practice since then. After graduating from Western Kentucky University with a BFA in Theatre and Dance in 2007 Asha began studying circus arts at American Turners Circus. In 2013 she moved to Philadelphia, PA and has been a freelance performer specializing in hula hoop dance. In 2015 Asha received her 250 hour certification to teach Yoga, Meditation, and Pranayama as well as studying Physical and Energetic Anatomy and Ayurveda . She has since been teaching yoga and other forms of movement fitness throughout Philadelphia including workshops on hoop dance and musicality in yoga flow. She loves to find the element of dance in every form of movement and shapes her classes around body, mind and breath working together to find the dance. Asha is thrilled to be able to share her love of yoga and dance through teaching and also enjoys riding her bike and long walks around the city. She lives with her fiancé, 3 cats and miniature greyhound Gitsy.
Katie Ann Magyar
After 17 years of dance training and performance, followed by 5 years of yoga practice, Gia began her yoga teaching career in 2016. Presently, she continues her yoga practice, experimenting with all forms, and teaches a combination of Hatha and Vinyasa yoga to children and adults.
Gia's love for children and passion for overall wellbeing has led her to cultivate her career as a yoga teacher and care taker for children while pursuing a bachelors of science degree in biology. Spreading the awareness of mindfulness and self care is Gia's greatest dream, and she hopes to use her experiences, education and never-ending drive to encourage others to reach their wellness potential and subsequently live their best lives.
Gia believes that the connection to yourself and the connection to others are the two most valuable aspects of wellness. Teaching yoga allows her to practice her internal and external growth while creating a space for fellow yogis to do the same. Aligned movement produces focused thoughts which lead to mindful actions, translating to a more compassionate world for us all.