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Pilates Elders – Carola Trier

Pilates Elders – Carola Trier

large_Jillain-carola-teaching-(2)-_edited-93094Born May 26,1913 in Frankfurt, Germany.

In 1924, Carola enrolled in the Laban School with aspirations of becoming a concert dancer.  Her parents left Europe as the Third Reich rose up, Carola chose to stay on in France and perform.  The year was 1938.

In 1942, Carola was sent to Gurs, an internment camp in France, 5000 Jews were sent with her.  She received news that her application to travel to the USA was accepted and travelled to join her family.  Kerry Roland, an apprentice of Carola, stated in his interview with Pilates Anytime that Carola told him ‘she had entertained the Nazi’s as a contortionist on roller skates’.

Carola suffered a off stage knee injury in 1950.  She states in an interview, Joseph looked at the knee, touched it and said, ‘sure it’s sore, that’s nothing, I’ll get you going’.  (In honor of Carola, Pilates Anytime, October 2013).  She worked for Joseph and Clara Pilates for the next 10 years.

Joseph Pilates assisted Carola in opening her own studio in 1960 with the equipment that he made for her.  She opened her studio on 8th Avenue, New York and earned her own name in body conditioning, corrective work and rehabilitation. Her first love was dance so it was no surprise many dancers attended her studio for Pilates training.

She raised the bar in Pilates training, made it classy, ensured the studio was spotless clean, towels were available and staff were available to offer client service.

The book, ‘Exercise, what it is, what it does’, was published in 1982.  Although the book was written for children, all accounts are, the book gives a great base for Pilates. Last I heard, a book was bought for $500.00.

Carola retired from teaching Pilates in 1986, but she was involved in a workshop which Jillian Hessel helped organise in 1989, Carola was 76 years old.

Carola Trier died October 28, 2000, aged 87.

A wonderful, colourful, interesting woman who ran her own successful business in the 1960’s. I wish I had the opportunity to meet and learn from her. I am thankful we have access to interviews and second generation instructors who were trained by Carola and can pass on her skills and knowledge.


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