Vania Chan

Vania Chan.jpg

Artist Vision

I create and perform work that demonstrates skills that make you sit at the edge of your seat that I have practiced many times with dedication & a teachable attitude. My work speaks truthfully to me and uncovers the 'upsidedowness' in patterns & conventions. Through raw curiosity and inquisitiveness, it brings relief from tension through laughter and models the choices of trust, vulnerability, joy, and gratitude as paths of resilience and survival.

Background & Teaching Philosophy

My fascination in acrobatics sprang early during my childhood; however, the only option available to me at the time was to teach myself. Much later in life, I studied acrobatics on the pre-professional level at the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts. I sustained injuries from a combination of overtraining and two accidents.  I wanted to return to doing what I love so that was the spur for me to take maintenance and movement education seriously;--which is what led me to Pilates. To me, acrobatics is like eating a delicious meal and Pilates is like flossing so your teeth don't rot. Pilates exercises often target smaller, underutilized deep muscles, so it requires conscious effort and patience to feel work. Ideally, smaller muscles are given an opportunity to activate to share the work with dominant muscles and exercise becomes more efficient and the chance of injury is reduced.

The teachers I have deep appreciation and trust towards have extracted the best out of me through high expectations and hard work-- rooted in the belief that I am capable. It feels empowering and compassionate to be trusted to develop my potential. As a teacher, I strive to be observant and creative enough to adapt to an individual’s learning style. Curiosity and having a willingness to learn are important qualities I value in myself and I practice continuing education. For example, I have also completed the Contortion Foundation Coaches Course and the Contortion Trainers Foundation Course from J.S. Creations. I have high regards for diligence, but also respect flexibility; if something is not working out, let’s move on and try again another time. Gratitude, truth, patience, and a sense of humor will bring you very far in exercise as well as in personal and communal growth. 

As a Stott certified Pilates instructor, I am keenly interested in correct muscle engagement for safety, progressions, and long-term well-being. For new students, my goal is to incorporate their concerns and goals with the scope of my knowledge. I keep programs simple so students feel educated about their own bodies. In the studio or gym, I wear neutral- colored ribbed racerback tank tops and solid cotton leggings during practice. Flashy costumes are for performance. In a similar way, the exercises I prescribe may feel plain, unremarkable, and pedestrian, but I believe when the mind is ready, mastery of alignment and muscle activation feels like work. I'm not a fun Pilates instructor. Here and there, you might hear me blurt out a quirky cue or image, but hopefully I make up for in other areas of life.

In addition to teaching independently, I also physically teach at VIM Fitness


"[Vania is] an intelligent coach and I’m always impressed at how much she can sense, even through online classes. You can tell how committed she is to the practice and your wellbeing from the start, while at the same time keeping things safe, lighthearted, and interesting."

Stephanie P.