Season 3, Episode 7: Leslie Braverman, Co-Founder Pacific Northwest Pilates

Leslie Braverman

Leslie Braverman is the co-founder of Pacific Northwest Pilates, a Portland-based, highly recognized Pilates studio, celebrating 20 years of business this year. Leslie is a former professional ballet dancer, who performed with the Oregon Ballet Theatre. She discovered her passion for Pilates during her rehabilitation from a serious dance injury. Leslie found Pilates to be both a newfound passion and solace, leading her into a new career path as both a Pilates instructor and entrepreneur.

In this episode, Leslie discusses how she became the co-founder of Pacific Northwest Pilates, translating her passion for dance and ballet into a new passion using Pilates to help others improve their health and mobility. Leslie shares the challenges she has faced in growing a business, discussing how the company used challenges, such as the pandemic, as an opportunity for innovation and creativity, by adapting to virtual teaching, creating a breakthrough virtual platform for Pilates instruction and classes.

Episode notes:

3:00 – The benefit of being naive and taking it slow

7:00 – Being a professional ballet dancer and connecting with Pilates

11:45 – From Pilates instructor to entrepreneur

14:00 – Starting the business

17:45 – Teaching a contemporary style of Pilates

20:30 – Standing out in the market by providing clear information, excellent education, and authentic teaching

25:00 – Having a clear purpose and vision

28:30 – Experiences and challenges in a growing business

31:30 – Learning how to prioritize, focus, gain self-awareness and listen to each other

34:45 – Adapting and thriving during the Covid-19 pandemic

38:00 – Rising to the occasion

39:45 – Reaching a wider audience and expanding the virtual platform


Leslie Braverman on LinkedIn

Learn more about Pacific Northwest Pilates


Produced by Emma Holmstrom

Music by Isaac Chambers – ‘Change’