In 1926, Joseph and Clara Pilates arrived in New York City. By the 1940's Pilates– both the man and his exercises– had begun to achieve notoriety in the dance community. "At some time or other," reported Dance magazine in its February, 1956 issue, "virtually every dancer in New York, and certainly everyone who has studied at Jacob's Pillow between 1939 and 1951, has meekly submitted to the spirited instruction of Joe Pilates."
In the late 50s, one of the Pilateses' students, Carola Trier, opened up her own studio to teach the method she had learned from Joe and Clara Pilates, combining it with her own knowledge. Joe Pilates assisted Trier in opening her studio and the Pilateses and Trier remained close friends until the respective deaths of Joe and Clara. Thus, by the late 50s, Joe Pilates' studio on Eighth Avenue in New York was not the only "Pilates" studio in town. By the early 1960's, the Joe and Clara Pilates could count among their clients many New York dancers. In fact, Pilates was becoming popular outside of New York as well. As the New York Herald Tribune noted in 1964, "In dance classes around the United States hundreds of young students limber up daily with an exercise they know as "pilates" without knowing that the word has a capital 'P' and a living, breathing namesake."