Through Movement, Dana Jacobson Makes a Big City Feel A Lot Smaller


Denise Kinsley

– VOL. 15

Have you ever been moved by a dance performance or felt the endorphin rush after challenging yourself to go the extra mile while moving your own body? Watching and experiencing motion can be inspirational and ecstatic. And now that we know the human body creates electromagnetic fields, it’s clear that we have the power to connect with each other energetically in a positive way as we move and interact in the world.

Dana Jacobson understands the human body well. Once upon a time, she was a professional dancer for the New York City Ballet. For seven years, she performed a vast and demanding repertoire with the company. She gave spectacular performances, which included choreography by world-renowned creators like George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, and many more. Dana toured extensively with the company—traveling far and wide—from Sarasota Springs to Japan to Germany to Washington, DC . . .

That is until she embarked on another, different journey within the realm of movement.

It was time for Dana to change things up in her life. She was ready to make a new variety of bold moves—despite the inevitable obstacles and overwhelming uncertainty of letting go of everything to start something new—so she left her NYC life as a professional ballerina behind and moved into the heart of Los Angeles, California. Relying on resilience, grit, and gusto, she tapped into her inner guru for guidance and took a giant leap—launching her fitness training business into the universe. 

Fast forward to today, and we still see Dana going strong: thriving in the community, making new connections, and dabbling with creative collaborations. As an expert in a variety of movement modalities, including strength training, Pilates, and ballet, Dana sometimes teaches group fitness classes, but the majority of her business focuses on private personal training sessions. Dana often travels to clients’ homes or gyms, but she also works with people in outdoor community spaces or virtually via Zoom.

Image of Dana Jacobson LA Pilates

Dana leads an intimate Pilates class in the fashion studio of a friend and neighbor in Downtown LA.

“I love being able to personalize the workouts I do with my clients because everyone’s goals, strengths, weaknesses, and attitudes toward training are different and therefore require a unique and customized approach. I train a diverse group of clients, including professional ballet dancers, former Olympic athletes, new moms, and college students.

Dana has serious knowledge of the way people move to the rhythm of life’s ups and downs, specifically through wellness and fitness. She is dedicated to her role as a Pilates instructor, personal trainer, and mindset coach who supports her clients to build healthy self-confidence, and to discover and explore what they are truly capable of accomplishing—all while moving in harmony with the mind and body. 

In the neighborhood, we consider Dana Jacobson an inspiration. Last month, she was invited to take her craft into the fashion community and offered a Pilates class at the designer Kwame Andusei’s studio in downtown L.A. She told us that it was an all-around great experience: “The Pilates workshop was extra special because of Kwame’s beautiful studio. It’s the perfect canvas that’s called ‘home’ by creatives.” 

Image of Dana Jacobson LA Pilates

Dana’s mantra is all about inclusivity and growth, working with people of all skill levels: from former dancers and wellness pros like herself to post-partum moms and novices.

We wanted to know what insight Dana gleaned from stepping into someone else’s place of business to showcase her movement practice and perspective. The biggest take-away Dana shared was that “even in a huge city, neighbors want to support neighbors, and we each have our own way of contributing to the community.” 

The day’s event was made brighter with lovely, local flowers from El Amor Eterno along with delicious, natural wine from the friendly folks at Good Clean Fun. Dana said she
“felt like all the pieces together created a real boutique vibe.”

Dana also gave a nice shout out to Venn for providing her with the opportunity to grow her business and connect with locals in a way that is meaningful to her, “I have met people who are just as passionate in their fields as I am, and I am inspired to see how much we can grow, collaborate, and learn from each other.”

Collectively, we feel your vibe, Dana. Thank you for bringing your uplifting energy to the party! The event last month was a hit, and we appreciate your willingness to share your experience and expertise with our friends and neighbors.