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Carola Strauss Trier (1913–2000) was born in Germany in 1913, the second daughter of chemist and philosopher Eduard Strauss. She attended the Philanthropin in Frankfurt am Main, and then studied at the Laban School. Her family lived in Europe until the Second World War, emigrating to the United States in 1938, while she stayed in Germany. She was sent to the Gurs internment camp in France, but escaped with the help of fellow dancer Marcel Neydorf and immigrated to New York in 1942.
Carola married Edgar Trier and supported herself in the United States as a dancer, acrobat, and most notably a roller-skating contortionist, before a devastating injury brought her to Joseph and Clara Pilates, founders of the Pilates method of exercise and strength training. In the late 1950s, having been trained by the Pilates, she opened her own Contrology studio and later furthered her anatomical knowledge at New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital, where she aided Dr. Henry Jordan with patient rehabilitation and research. Trier combined her medical and Pilates experiences to develop various exercises and stretching techniques for dancers, many of which are still in use.
In 1982, Trier authored a book for children entitled Exercise, What it is, What it Does, which introduced and emphasized the benefit and enjoyment of exercising both alone and with friends. Trier was an active teacher, lecturer, and practitioner until the late 1980s, serving as a coach for choreographer Gloria Contreras until 1985. She died in New York City on October 28, 2000 at the age of 89.
- Carola Trier Papers, 1951-2000 Jerome Robbins Dance Division, New York Public Library.
- Carola S. Trier Collection, AR 25039 Archival Collection at the Leo Baeck Institute, New York
- Carola Trier subseries in the Guide to the Papers of Eduard Strauss at the Leo Baeck Institute, New York.
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