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 Dance Education, at five years of age. She continued her study there for the next 14 years, concentrating on classical ballet. Upon graduation she was accepted to the Performing Arts program at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana where she majored in dance and earned a BFA in Dance Performance. 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 and Pilates for both the physical, and mental rewards. In 2007 she completed a 200hr yoga teacher certification at the Yoga Life Institute in Devon, PA. From a ballerina in California to a yoga instructor in Philadelphia, a new life journey began.
Balance, healing, and self acceptance were the driving forces in Cristina’s new way of life. She delved deeply into the ancient practices of Ayurveda and meditation. Studying the art of natural healing and simultaneously healing herself, Cristina was moved to share her knowledge with others. She opened Sculpere studio in 2011, bringing a cutting edge approach to yoga, Pilates, and ballet fitness to Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties neighborhood. A staple in the Philadelphia boutique fitness scene, Sculpere continues to offer a variety of classes that she has carefully choreographed to deliver balanced results in both body and mind. Cristina has spent the past 7 years curating her adult classes, and pre-ballet program, and customizing one on one lessons for her ever growing following of private clients. Life came full circle for Cristina in 2017 when she was invited to teach at the Pennsylvania Ballet Schools summer intensive. Now, a faculty member at the PA Ballet School, Cristina is able to share her lifetime of experience with America’s next generation of top dancers.
An artist and entrepreneur, Cristina is devoted to creating beauty and balance in the world. Her main source of inspiration comes from the healing turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea, where she spends the summers with her family. She aims to cultivate the effortless balance of mediterranean life, and incorporate it into Sculpere’s message, as a retreat from the monotony and stress of busy East Coast life. Cristina is an avid animal lover and mother to a rescue dog. She charitably offers her time as a foster mom for rescue dogs and regularly contributes to local animal rescues.
Laura is a passionate student and teacher of hot vinyasa yoga. Her love story with it began as a way of disconnecting from the outside world, escaping health issues and high stress levels. After trying everything she found the benefits of yoga unbelievable for her body and mind.
As a dedicated student in Melbourne she wanted to deepen her own practice and share the incredible benefits of the practice by taking her YTTC in Goa India, the country where yoga began and a place very close to her heart.
Trained in Vinyasa and Ashtaga, her uplifting style of power flow will guide you through an empowering mix of postures, connecting breath to movement, challenging your balance, clearing your mind and leave you floating out of class.
Linda moved to Philadelphia in 2009 to study in Temple University's BFA modern dance program. Soon after, she discovered the retro world of lindy hop, go-go and eventually burlesque and now performs up and down the east coast. She completed her Pilates training in 2018 under the tutelage of Jennifer Morley through Drexel University. She hopes to combine her dance background with a classical Pilates foundation to create invigorating, well-rounded classes that invite a sense of feeling at home in your own body.
Lauren began teaching at Sculpere in 2017.
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
Katie joined the Sculpere family in 2017. She is currently a dance major at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and was recently crowned Miss Shenandoah Valley 2018.
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.