Steve Hull/Courtesy Pilates South Austin
Two former dancers aim to help Austinites experience empowering movement at Pilates South Austin, a business scheduled to open Jan. 2 at 9901 Brodie Lane.
Co-owners Beth Dukleth and Kari Levassar both studied dance at Oklahoma City University and pursued careers in the field before learning about Pilates.
Dukleth, a Houston native, performed with the Rockettes for 12 years in New York City. She added Pilates to her routine to enhance her dancing, but she said it evolved into a business opportunity.
“My original survival job in New York City was cater-waitering, and that wasn’t working for me, so I decided to get my Pilates certification,” Dukleth said. “It was really amazing to help people and see a change in their bodies and their posture and well-being.”
The system aims to strengthen muscles with core exercises incorporating alignment, coordination and balance, she said.
Minnesota native Levassar added that the studio's goal is to create a nurturing environment—the opposite of her strict ballet background—and make people feel comfortable.
The studio will offer gyrokinesis, which blends the movements of dance, yoga and swimming, Dukleth said. Pilates South Austin will also offer barre fitness classes, which combine elements from all forms of exercise that dancers use to maintain their shape, Levassar said.
Levassar and her husband moved to Austin in 2010, and that same year she and Dukleth decided to open a studio together. Their search for a building in Southwest Austin began in November 2011.
“The quality boutique Pilates studios were all downtown or west of downtown,” Levassar said. “There's definitely a need for it down here, so I thought, 'Well, this is a perfect opportunity.'”
A grand opening event is scheduled for Jan. 19 with free 30-minute private individual sessions, free group classes and food.
“It is a great time to open because people are making those New Year's resolutions," Levassar said. "We can help people reach those goals and work on those things that they want to improve.”
Pilates South Austin
9901 Brodie Lane, Ste. 145