Ruth Dreier and friends in a still shot taken by Darien Gold from her “Studio Darien Pilates (Intermediate App)”
Emma Passalacqua (on the left), Caroline Markoja (on the right), Ruth Dreier (center)

Being a regular Pilates Mat student of  “Master instructor” Darien Gold in Petaluma, CA is both a treat and a challenge all at once!

(For more information on Darien Gold please read the prior blog titled “The Best Classical Pilates App Available!” or visit Darien’s personal website:

This past September, 2017 the challenge was amplified when Darien invited 6 of her students to learn her original magic circle choreography that would be filmed and included in her newest App titled: “Studio Darien’s Pilates (Intermediate App)”.

I was lucky to be one of the students who participated in Darien’s filming of her App.

I chose to share a few random observations that I had during the preparations and filming of the app video so that you could get a flavor of what it was like behind the scenes:

  1. I remember when I first watched Darien’s Pilates videos I was amazed at the rich and potent feminine tones of her voice that come across as she leads the cues in the videos she creates. Because listening to her cues was one of my favorite aspects of watching her prior videos I wasn’t surprised that our practice sessions revealed how difficult of a skill it is to cue a group Pilates video. The amount of focus that it actually takes to phrase the movement cues so that they guide the group correctly while at the same time flow along quickly enough to keep up with the pace of video viewers are used to watching. Try searching for one word that everyone will understand that guides students through the complex movements of Joseph Pilates!….It is for sure an ongoing skill to develop and there were moments in practice that the searching for the perfect word turned into belly-gripping laughter!
  1. Learning to precisely time and sync the movements with my fellow students added a whole new dimension to Pilates than I had ever experienced before. I tried to develop a sense for the others in the group so that movement harmonized well with theirs. I think each student had moments of joy when the group had perfect harmony with each other as well as moments of accidental discord that could cause the filming to stop and the entire segment to need repeating.
  1. I love Darien’s aesthetics and how she has chosen to film her videos using a black background. This highlights the shapes and movements of the bodies in the videos and helps the viewers see the muscular mechanics being used. Interestingly I felt that moving on a black mat with a black wall behind me made a significant impact on my focus and my attention during the filming process. This is something I would like to try again sometime as most of the spaces I practice Pilates in have light walls.
  1. I was surprised at how much it took to coordinate the colors, styles and fashion of what we were to wear for the video! The range of budgets and body shapes to accommodate the fashion ended up taking more time than I ever expected. At the last moment everybody pulled it together and created an impact with our uniform outfits.
  1. Another surprising detail that I had no experience with before was finding out that the stage makeup I wore heated up under the lights and seemed to absorbed and travel along the surface of my skin ending up soaking and staining my white shirt in strange areas far-away from where it originated!
  1. Finally the Pilates Magic Circle that Darien chose to use in this video was the Merrithew Fitness Circle Lite. This is also the cherished brand of magic circle I use at my studio in Sebastopol, CA. called  “A Room For Pilates” Studio. Clients like the light weight of the circle and the comfortable surface of the circle’s metal. It is smooth and protective to our hands versus some of the older styles of Pilates magic circles that can be heavy and sharp.

These little comments are to give you a behind the scenes look and feel into this video. The big and elegant movements and the smallest details all contribute to the finished creation.

Give Darien’s App a try!

Studio Darien Pilates: 

App Store — :


Google Play —