“Darla Is the rarest combination of athlete and aesthete. I’m an actor and musician. These sessions felt as rewarding as rehearsing a play or writing a song. She is a jock with the soul and mind of an artist, and she is perfectly matched to people who identify with either.

– Sean Williams

Body Work.

Body Work means so many different things to so many different bodies.

To be strong, to be flexible, to be agile, to be still, to be calm, to be balanced, to be powerful.
To be well.

Online training happening right now.

Book your consulation here. (my treat)


Skip the gym & work out from home.

It’s been a joy to partner with my clients since 2004. They are creatives, self-starters, entrepreneurs, and folks who want to train smart and build sustainable and fiercely intelligent bodies.
Much like you, actually.


  • All work is body based.
  • Body Work means so many different things to so many different bodies.
  • Your program is defined by your unique body and lifestyle needs.
  • 98% of my clientele work out in the comfort of their own homes.
  • Don’t worry, if you can lay on the floor and make an X with your body
, you’ll have enough room to train.


To create the optimal program for you, we begin with a consultation.

It is imperative to collect data regarding the history of your health and any current or past injury issues. Lifestyle, nutrition and current exercise regime are important factors in your customized program. Determinant factors in your program may also include any ongoing care of a doctor, physical therapist, or medical specialist.

Program Creation / Instruction
General fitness programs and instruction can only produce general results.

Your program will be built on all specific facts and conditions about you, customized and aligned to your goals, needs and lifestyle. Training modalities are chosen to yield the greatest benefit and results.
Your program will be as unique as your signature.

Frequency / Commitment / Consistent Growth
Continuity is key.

My clients stick to it because they see and feel tangible changes as they are continually challenged. Your training will be revised as you progress. You’ll constantly be learning.

The number of sessions you train per week sets the working rhythm of your program.
 I recommend 2-3 times per week to maximize results.


My goal is to find the distinct pathway into YOUR training. Custom program design and instruction will keep you progressing and thriving. Generic exercises just don’t cut it. The variables, facts and needs your body and lifestyle express conduct the tone and content of your training. This enables you to maintain continuity and experience consistent change.

I utilize integrated principles from Weight Training, Pilates, Functional Strength Training, Plyometrics, Yoga, Cardio, Circuit Training, Alexander Technique, Flexibility Training and Core / Postural Assimilation to build strong, facile, and injury free bodies. Mindfulness meditation techniques are also available to deepen your training.

I’ve been training humans at home since 2004. As an athlete, I have been a dance professional for the past 25 years. Certifications include The International Sports and Sciences Association, Reebok RNT Flexibility Training, Yoga, Movement Screening, Physioball and Resistance Training, Red Cross CPR and AED. I’m a trained and certified Mindfulness Meditation Practitioner via The Veda Center (Charlie Knoles). As an interdisciplanry artist highlights include a Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography and a MacDowell Fellow in Interdisciplinary Research. I view this physical work as an integral part of my art practice.

Questions and answers

Q: I am fitness phobic, how can this work for me? I have nightmares of headbands and drill sergeants screaming, “Drop and give me twenty.”

Fear not.

This work is about YOUR body and what you need. I’ll work with you to set that criteria. Your training will not be generic and it will not bear any resemblance to a SNL skit.

If you feel like you’ve never cultivated a “fitness” relationship with yourself, and you can’t imagine how it could be meaningful or aligned with you aesthetically…

It can, and it will.

Your body and lifestyle determines the context of the work along with your likes and dislikes. Every client is unique and complex, and so is my approach to them.

Q: Why do I need to work with you?

For the same reason that you’d work with anyone who has expertise outside of your knowledge base. My position on methodology is to not only meet your goals, but to expand your knowledge and give you the tools to workout anywhere with a variety of modalities. It’s very much like learning to play an instrument or learning an operating system.

You will need to express yourself physically for the rest of your life.

Q: I’m recovering from an injury, how do I safely get back to exercising?

I have helped many clients make the transition from physical therapy back into their training. A transitional plan is structured by engaging in dialogue (ongoing if needed) with your PT, Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist or Doctor. A program is devised to ensure that your training is safe and moving in the proper direction. Many folks are lost in the middle between healing from an injury and getting back into exercise and need a smart, safe platform to work from.

Q: What happens within the course of a session, and how long is it?

First I’ll take you through a dynamic warm-up, followed by the primary portion of the workout, then core training and stretching. You’ll learn how to recruit and activate your abdominals as well as integrate postural dynamics during the entire session, which lasts for 60 minutes.

Depending on our frequency together, solo work will be prescribed for you outside of session.

Q: Why is working with you a good alternative to the gym?

I’ve learned through the years that either you’re a gym person or not. Some just find a gym environment invasive, loud, not their “scene.” There’s no direction and they’re not seeing changes. Time is also a consideration. The majority of my clients are Creatives, Entrepreneurs, Freelancers, humans with very busy lives. Home training saves them time, they experience a customized comprehensive workout and can get right back to business. Other clients  are seeking direction, individualized instruction, motivation, a coach, accountability, a collaborator. Some supplement their gym experience by working privately with me.

Q: What happens during our initial Consultation?

To create the optimal program for you, it is imperative to collect data regarding the history of your health and any current or past injury issues. Lifestyle, nutrition and current exercise regime are important factors in your customized program. Determinant factors in your program may also include any ongoing care of a doctor, physical therapist, or medical specialist. This is a 60 minute session.

Q: How much space will I need and what equipment should I have?

If you have space for a yoga mat and / or can lie on the floor and make an X with your body, you’ll have enough room to train. Equipment requirements are minimal, we can also work with your body weight alone. The variables of your program are dictated by your unique body’s needs and your goals.

Q: Which package should I choose?

Please know that programs are customized. If you’re shopping for a friend or loved one I’ll help you with that.

When choosing a package for yourself we’ll talk about the schema of your training and what will work best for you. I make a rigorous effort to design programs that will work within your price point, and there are several package options to choose from. I encourage reasonable expectations about time line and results.

“We feel fortunate to have a trainer of your caliber and bodybuilding prowess representing ISSA in New York.”
Patrick Gamboa BS MSS / International Sports Sciences Association

I have trained with Darla since 2009 through 2019 and counting! I highly recommend her. Darla’s programs are tailored to the individual, and the results I’ve experienced are outstanding. The level of personal attention that Darla provides is far beyond what I ever expected from a trainer.
Walter Wlodarczyk

Darla Is the rarest combination of athlete and aesthete, who deftly combines her knowledge of the physics of the human body with the art of motivation to create an atmosphere that even the most fitness-phobic people would enjoy. I have always been a canny and inventive procrastinator and Darla found a way to inspire in me not only a change of body, but a change of attitude. She manages to invent a vacuum that exists around you while you are exercising so you can concentrate on your own structure instead of worrying about the pressures of the outside world. Since I began working out with Darla, I have discovered that going to the gym need not feel like “going to the gym” at all. I am an actor and a musician, and Darla made my workout sessions feel as rewarding as rehearsing a play or writing a song. She is a jock with the soul and mind of an artist, and she is perfectly matched to people who identify with either.
Sean Williams

I am so happy to be writing this – First, I never thought that I would be able to feel as great as I feel or see my body develop beyond what I imagined it could. Working with Darla for the past 3 years has been completely amazing. She has used concepts of connecting mind and body with all the work that we do. The focus is not on “empty repetition,” or “heavy weight,” but more so on alignment, physical connection, breathing and muscular intent. She is accommodating and really listens to what it is her client is feeling or what direction her client desires to move towards. Darla continuously reinforces the idea of becoming healthy as being part of a continuous process that connects nutrition, constructive rest, and stretching and lifestyle adjustments. In the past, I believed that if you worked out hard for one hour in the gym a few days a week, you could get a strong body. Now, I am learning and seeing the benefits of strength training. I am learning to think about what I put into my body, how my body sits and stands, how each and every muscle connects. I could write so much more because I appreciate the knowledge that Darla has enriched my life with. I could never have gotten to the point that I am at without her.
Deanna Caligiuri

As a member of the United States military, I was used to doing my work outs in large groups. Despite the frequency of physical training, the sessions were boring and predictable. I decided that the results I desired would only come with a more personal approach to training. As a male, conventional wisdom dictated that I look for another male to train me. After a consultation with Miss Darla Villani however, it was obvious that “conventional wisdom” had been wrong. What struck me about Darla’s approach to fitness was her ability to think of the client’s long term goals despite their desire to see immediate results. It was made very clear that proper technique and muscle isolation was much more effective and beneficial than heavier weights. As a result, I was equipped with the proper fundamentals and tools to sculpt the body I desired. In addition, Darla was professional, organized, punctual, and focused on my needs and goals. What impressed me most however, was her cheerful and down right likeable nature, even early in the morning! Miss Darla Villani has my highest recommendation.
LTjg. Keith J Bushey, USNR

The work I do with Darla has taught me how my body works. I trained with other professionals in the past but always stopped after a period of time. I could never progress after a certain point and I would develop injuries. With Darla’s guidance and methodology, I have made tremendous progress. There are answers to those nagging areas that never improved previously. I have made tremendous progress with her. I don’t just train at the gym, but I carry that work over to every activity from sports to walking. Also, I find myself self-adjusting around my particular physical needs during group fitness classes I attend. I finally realize why I have not gotten the benefit from that work in the past. Now I am able to gain more from those sessions as well. The work with Darla has increased my vitality and quality of life. I am fortunate to be able to work with her.
Cathreen Brandau

Before: Unmotivated to get out and go to the gym. After: Can’t wait to get to the gym and workout with Darla! Before: Intimidated by the weights and machines at the gym. After: Have been on almost all of the machines and know how they work Thanks to a great education from Darla! Before: Didn’t know where my medial deltoid was. After: Found my medial deltoid and a lot of other muscles, thanks to Darla! Before: Would go to the gym without eating a healthy meal. After: Know what to eat and when after nutritional conversation with Darla! It may sound like an advertisement, but it’s all true. Darla really knows her stuff. She incorporates her vast knowledge of dance, weight lifting, yoga, kick boxing (and so much more) into her fitness training. She also takes the time to get to know you and adapts the days training to fit the condition that you’re in that session. She is supportive and encouraging, and makes the session fun. Her training has been invaluable to me. I have been able to carry on the work that we have done on my own. And if I have questions, her door is always open. I would recommend training with her to anyone who wants to improve their physical well being in a safe and healthy manner.
Sharon DiCostanzo

Before attending that session I had no intentions of hiring a personal trainer but was so impressed with what Darla had to offer that I started doing 3 sessions a week. At that point what I wanted most was to improve my posture. I had been playing guitar for sixteen years and my body was a mess. I suffered neck and back pain and was always slumping and hunching over. Fortunately for me, Darla’s method of training focuses on developing and maintaining proper alignment no matter what else we are working on. Through strength training, cardio, yoga, Pilates, movement based training, Darla has provided the guidance I needed to make fundamental changes to my body. This has affected everything I do from sitting in a chair, to playing the guitar or basketball (not to mention I’m starting to look pretty good). I’ve increased my lean muscle mass by 20% – that’s not easy with a 6 “6 frame. Darla has taught me so much about my body and what I need to do to keep improving it. One last thing. Not only does she know a ton of stuff about fitness and the human body, but she is also smart and damn funny.
Matt MacAuley

Darla is the best. Not only am I imagining myself differently, I AM different. Every time I try on clothing in a store, or get on a scale, or just get dressed in the morning, a tiny whispered “Thank you Darla” escapes from my mouth. I can’t help it. I know that I did the work, but I never would have done it without Darla. I have gone from a size 12 to a size 6. After going to Curves for a year and actually gaining weight (and no, I didn’t build muscle. I just flopped around on a circuit of two foot square platforms) I got serious and called Darla. I now workout in my own home without any fancy instruments of torture. I do exercises that were designed specifically for me. As I progress, Darla changes my exercises so that I am continually being challenged. I have lost about 30 lbs and I am in the best shape I have ever been in. Darla has helped me with my diet as well as exercise. It’s all pretty amazing to me.
Clare Posnack

It is with great pleasure that I acknowledge the changes Darla had brought to my body and my thinking. I used to dislike all gyms. I would start a membership, pay my money and stop going. Darla is one of the reasons why I am staying with my membership. She is now part of my budget on the “must” side next to my rent. Results: I have more energy, better posture, an increase in endurance and my back and knee problems have almost disappeared. On the less visible side, I sleep better and my memory has considerably improved. Most importantly, our sessions are fun. Darla sees everything, you cannot cheat with her, nothing escapes her piercing eyes. Under your loose sweatshirt, Darla can detect the muscle that is not totally engaged. Under her guidance, soon the words, “value”, “abs”, “core” become second nature. She challenges the body without ever adding pressure. She makes you surrender and you do your best to experience the feeling of well being that is unique to a productive workout. Thank you, Darla!. (that is my body talking) I have opened a “Darla fund” for my family at Christmas. No gifts, a contribution to the “Darla fund” will be greatly appreciated.
Michelle Blanchet

Darla was my physical fitness trainer for several months and I was amazed at her depth of knowledge of the physical body. Being a dancer I have worked with chiropractors, doctors and physical fitness trainers for over 20 years. Not one of them had as much knowledge and patience as Darla or was as generous with sharing that knowledge. I have learned more from Darla about my body than I have than with any one else.

There is no one in my life who motivates or inspires me more than my trainer, Darla. She is strong with a beautiful body, a good heart and a fiercely focused brain. Training with her is awesome because I’m physically challenged (always) and she keeps me breathing and laughing all the way thru it. She’s funny — sooooOOOOo funny and simply put: I look forward to my sessions because they are hard, joyful, and insightful. My body was in a lot of pain from stress and misuse and my self-esteem was tragically low. Darla didn’t hesitate to take me on. She believed, every step of the way and continues to believe, that I can take back my life, my body, my health and my happiness. It’s a process (as she reminds me weekly) but when I train regularly I am more in balance. I am — it’s true and I know it. So why train with Darla? Because I’ve never met a smarter or a more charming wonderful woman and she’s tough too. Darla changed my life.
Tami Mansfield

Darla is quite the trainer. I hadn’t worked out in over 5 years. I realized that I would probably need a personal trainer to help get my butt into shape. Now — I am in the best shape of my life. Darla has helped me in so many ways…She taught me what proper form is — the proper resistance to use and how to engage the targeted muscle group to get the most out of the exercise….and a proper diet. I can go on and on. She was always there for me if I had any questions about my workout or eating habits. Her knowledge of the human anatomy and how it translates to physical fitness is impressive. She knows what she’s doing. And most of all, at 7:00 AM — SHE MADE IT FUN. Darla can do wonders for anyone who’s willing to give it their best effort. She has for me…
Brian Friedman

Interdisciplinary Artist NYC
Collaboration & Creative Support
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