My name is Sabine (pronounced Sah-Bee-Nah) and my comfort zone is and always has been movement.
I am a movement educator, the creator of Wünderball, a certified Pilates instructor, a dancer by heart, and a happy wife and mother of two. I was born and raised in Germany and began dancing at the age of eleven. I loved the challenge of learning choreography, moving to the rhythm and beat of music, focusing my mind and body, and bringing them into connection. But then I injured my left knee in a ski accident in 1987 and my life of movement was forever altered.
Over the next thirteen years, I had a total of four knee surgeries. By 2000, the flexion in my knee was extremely limited, and I was diagnosed with advanced osteoarthritis. The doctors told me I would never dance again, and my spirit was crushed.
After having studied kinesiology and sports medicine in Frankfurt, then moving to the United States to earn a BA in Dance from California State University, Long Beach, I was left wondering how I might use all of that knowledge and experience when my physical body was restricted.
Talk about coming to the end of your comfort zone.
Rather than giving up, I worked towards rehabilitation. I practiced Pilates to strengthen the muscles, joints, and cartilage around my knee. I moved slowly. I focused on being present—on learning from the journey as opposed to rushing to a final destination.
In time, I got stronger and began to focus on another of my biggest passions: teaching. From the first aerobics classes I taught in Germany in 1989, to the muscle conditioning and dance classes I instructed all throughout college, I found immense joy in watching my students grow stronger and meet individual goals.
From 2001-2002, I earned certifications to teach Pilates and ball classes, which incorporate an inflated physioball measuring 55 centimeters around. Through experimenting with the ball, I soon realized I could use it to elevate the heart rate and tone multiple muscle groups, creating an athletic, total-body workout with high intensity, but low impact.
After four knee surgeries, I had finally found a way to exercise, have fun, and push my body to its limits without doing any further damage. From there, I started bouncing the ball for an extra challenge, added principles from Pilates, refined the choreography, and Wünderball was born.
I have been adapting and teaching ball classes at studios throughout Long Beach for the past fifteen years. First at Frog’s Fitness, then at Pilates X and currently at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center at CSULB. I also teach monthly 2 hour Wünderball master classes at Xtend Barre in Seal Beach and have seen countless students reach their fitness goals as a result of doing Wünderball on a regular basis.