I met Fran just after giving birth to my son. I had a 4 finger wide diastasis recti, which Fran helped me close with targeted pilates exercices. Fran also helped me recover from a debilitating neurological disorder which paralyzed me for a few weeks. Thanks to her patience, her dedication and utmost professionalism, Fran helped me regain my health, my strength, flexibility and most importantly confidence in the power and beauty of my own body. She is the best pilates teacher I have had and a trusted healer. I am moving away and will miss her dearly, and so will my husband who started going to see her after seeing the wonders she did with me. We will be forever grateful for her unconditional help in supporting us finding our inner strength and wisdom.

-Elisa Peter


I had always thought Pilates was one of those goopy, New Age-y exercise programs. Then again, the buffest woman I ever dated ran a Pilates studio. So, after falling off the fitness wagon, I decided to try Pilates as a way to “get in shape to get in shape.” First, I learned I was wrong about Pilates: it is a rigorous discipline that places a premium on form, posture, core strength and body awareness. Fran Darnell is a gem. Her gentle and cheerful bedside manner masks a tough as nails instructor. She works with you patiently until you get a movement series down properly, all the while giving you a hard and exhilarating workout. Fran explains the purpose of each exercise and why even a slight shift in posture affects which joints and muscles come into play (she could probably teach a course in Anatomy). She offers endless encouragement, and teaches you to listen to your body so that you can unlearn the bad habits that lead to back aches and muscle pulls.

-Greg Cerio