Laura Sepulveda

My enthusiasm for movement, and the study of movement, developed from pivotal moments such as these. These events, in addition to having such skilled mentors, significantly influenced my teaching style. I am so grateful for such meaningful experiences.

Elementary School and Tap Dance

Mrs. Vataglione, my Physical Education teacher, at P.S. 41 in the Bronx, had such a unique and innovative teaching style. That inspired me to move more creatively and to think critically about movement at an early age. I even appeared in several episodes of her educational television series, Children in Motion.” I remember them fondly, as well as the subway ride from the Bronx to the television studio in Brooklyn!

Concurrently, my mom asked me if I wanted to take tap dance classes, and I replied yes. I remember loving the shiny patent leather shoes and tying the bow. The sound of the taps on the wood floor resonated with me in a soulful way. I also recall the elation of seeing some tap dance legends such as Honi Coles, Gregory Hines, Buster Brown (whom I met at Swing 46 and had a Scotch with!) and Savion Glover. Tap was my first love in the dance genre, and still is. Clients can often see me break out a step here and there at Gotham.

Steps and New York University

Dance is the language of my life. It has been my therapy, my escape, my savior, and at times a paycheck, albeit a very small paycheck! I can still recall the exhilaration of taking three dance classes in a row at Steps on Broadway. I remember trying to learn a complicated time step and the joy when I mastered it. It is those memories, and others, that guide me to teach with passion and patience.

Dance allowed me to graduate from New York University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Dance Therapy/Dance Education. It is there that my classes in Anatomy, Kinesiology and Ideokinesis (with the late Andre Bernard) built upon my knowledge of the intricacies of the human body in relation to function and movement. I also performed with two NYU dance companies, Kaleidoscope & Washington Square Repertory. Later in life, I was able to pass on my knowledge while I was a faculty member at COSA (Coronado School of the Arts.) and hopefully inspired others as my mentors inspired me.


Upon moving to La Jolla, in 1991, John Darauche, my late husband, asked me to join him in an integral part of his joy- swimming in the ocean. The only constraint was I did not know how to swim. After several unsuccessful attempts in a pool, we went to the cove, mask, snorkel and fins in hand. John confidently said, “See that quarter mile stick, we are going to swim there and back. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, just relax, flip on your back and kick if you get tired, we will do this together.”

And we did. For almost twenty years, it became our time together, our escape, even our therapy. Ocean swimming was to John what dance was to me, and I thank John for that. I continue to enjoy the waters of La Jolla as it envelops me with waves of memories as well as inspiration.

Career Highlights
  • Managing Director/Owner Gotham Pilates, La Jolla, CA 2005 – Present
  • Guest instructor at the Active Living Room Studio, Lorna Jean, La Jolla
  • Guest speaker at Pharmaca, La Jolla 2012-2013
  • Guest Instructor at Rancho La Puerta: Pilates Specialty Week Feb. 2008
  • Pilates Director for La Jolla’s Finest Training Center 2004-2005
  • Group Fitness Program Director at Club La Jolla, 2000-2004
  • Implemented and instructed “Funky Jazz” class at Birdrock Elementary After School Enrichment Program, 2001-2004
  • Faculty member with the Musical Theatre department at Coronado School of Arts, 2002 – 2004
  • Trainer at NYC’s Sports Training Institute Performed with NYU’s Kaleidoscope Dance Company & Washington Square Repertory
Education and Credentials
  • Bachelor of Science, Dance Therapy/Education, New York University
  • Studied Ideokinesis with Andre Bernard at NYU
  • Studied acting (The Miesner Technique) in New York City
  • Pilates certified 750 hours from The Pilates Institute of Southern California
  • 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher Training, La Jolla Yoga Center
  • Over 30,000 hours of personal training and teaching
  • Registered Representative at Smith Barney, La Jolla, CA 1999-2002
Client Base and Specialties
  • Mindful, focused and energetic exercise with an emphasis on efficient movement, flow, form and function
  • Pilates, Yoga, dance and fitness inspired methodology
  • Kinesthetic education with focus on alignment, flexibility and balance
  • Post-Rehabilitation, for most injures, with an emphasis on core strength
Preferred Training Techniques
  • Customized programs that yield a balance between mental clarity and physical performance
  • Use of Ideokinesis to release chronic holding patterns and optimize movement potential
  • Enhance posture through flowing, corrective exercises
  • Strict attention to uniform development of the body
Fitness Philosophy
  • Incorporating fitness into our lives is essential to finding balance and happiness, and thus allows us to achieve our dreams and aspirations.
Hobbies and Interests
  • Tap Dance, Desert hiking, Ocean swimming, Arts and Culture, Capital Markets, Sunday New York Times, Espresso