Today’s post was written by Sara Lavan, Local Motion Studio.
As most small business owners will tell you, they created their business because of a passion they had or a need they saw in the community – or both. Mine was both. As a dancer and Pilates instructor; I have an intimate relationship with movement and all the complications that can come out of that relationship. Coming of age in the dance world, where body image issues run rampant, living in a society where women are inundated with messages about how they should look, often unattainable, and working in the fitness world where the messaging often is not much better; I wanted to create a new type of space. I wanted a judgement free zone, where we exercised and moved together to feel strong, to age well, to move better and to feel part of a community. I wanted a space where all felt welcome, from those new to exercise, to those coming back, to those who run marathons. I wanted a place where it did not matter what you wore to class as long as you could move in it, and where taking modifications are applauded. I wanted an encouraging space that allowed more in Alexandria to experience the benefits of exercise, moving in different ways, and taking chances. This is my why for Local Motion Studio.
Alexandria was my new home after moving from New York City, and this is where I wanted to create this space. Since opening in 2012, I have stayed true to this vision. When interviewing instructors, I let them know about the importance of this, and upon hiring, my instructors know my one request is that our why is never about the way we look. We move for improved function, aging well, challenging the brain, wellbeing etc. There are plenty of reasons why we move that are not superficial. Will some of those other things happen? Maybe. When someone calls the studio asking if a certain class will help them lose weight I say, “I don’t know”. We don’t know. We don’t know someone’s genetic make-up, sleep habits, hormone levels, diet, stress levels, medications they are on etc. I do tell them they will feel better. That I have witnessed. That is where it starts.
I notice a shift in many student’s attitude toward themselves after spending time here. Students notice
the difference. There are many places to take classes and everyone has something to offer. That is the great thing about Alexandria. We can all find somewhere that motivates us. Everyone has a different why. This is why we move.
To learn about my approach to the art of teaching, click here.
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