Anita chats to MoveActive about life and studio ownership

Anita recently spoke to one of our favourite suppliers, MoveActive about all things Pilates. MoveActive’s practical and comfortable grip socks are a favourite amongst our clients and staff alike! We know you love their colourful designs and we always get excited when a new shipment arrives (New designs just arrived this week! Check them out in the studios now!)

Read the interview below!  Don’t forget to follow @moveactive – they love it when you tag them and your fancy toes too!

Tell us about Movement Principle Pilates, where did it all begin?

Cat and I (Anita) first began working together over 10 years ago at a well established and innovative Pilates studio in Brisbane, with me completing my training with Cat as one of my mentors. Having had previous business experience and with Cat looking for some flexibility and control in her scheduling around her new bub we had had discussions around opening and dreaming about our own individual studio spaces. Then we thought, why not open something together 50/50? Movement Principle was born from these brief discussions.

We both had a really strong vision of what we did and didn’t want a studio space to be and also what kind of environment we wanted to create for the teachers working with us. We are lucky that we both bring very different skills to the table and very different personalities so we tend to cover most (not all) bases and are really good at being a sounding board or playing devils advocate for ideas. It wasn’t the smoothest start with the Brisbane flood of 2011 damaging our new shiny studio just two days after we opened, but we mopped ourselves off and re-opened within two weeks, which was really about determination and positivity and productivity of us and the team of family, friends and tradies around us.

We have always felt that we have paid attention to and developed a really client focused business that celebrated outcomes and achievements as a community. Our vision included ideals about positive movement experiences, where no-one’s needs or wants were more important than anyone else’s and that’s when our brand really became what we had intended it to be.

Do you have a team that you work with? Tell us about them.

We have the best team! A hand picked and curated bunch of Brisbane’s best if you ask us (we are a little bias and proud of them all though). Our team of 8 are massive movement nerds, all fully comprehensively qualified instructors which makes them experts in their craft. They are so supportive to our clients and each other so it makes it a pleasure to be their teeny tiny bosses (what our team affectionately calls as we both clock in at just on 5 foot tall). They continue to up-skill and continually re-educate them selves. They are also self motivated and always look for ways they can be helpful to us and each other, and that is so motivating as leaders who sometimes get stuck with the boring jobs that can come along with owning a studio.

We are lucky to have true Pilates professionals working on our team. Positivity and professionalism is key to joining the team at Movement Principle Pilates.

What’s the biggest reward in running your own studio?

Building a community of happy and healthy movers is the biggest reward hands down. We consider ourselves to be so fortunate to do the work we do. Working with people can be amazing because they let you in to become a part of their life and their journey.It is rewarding and fun to see people feel better about moving better. Facilitating the space for amazing movement! it’s a pretty great way to spend your working life!

How is your studio different to other Studios in your area?

Although we have two studios that have slightly different vibes we have always focussed on the power of the clients as individuals and us being the facilitators of good, confident and challenging movement. We are lucky enough to have spaces that don’t feel clinical so even when clients are injured or unwell they feel comfortable and not like they are “broken” and need to be “fixed”. So much can be said for how our studio spaces and staff make people feel.

We thoroughly believe that at the centre of our studio and what makes us different is the power we give the client, we don’t fix them, they fix them! We have the knowledge to share and give the clients the guidance and feedback they need but they as individuals do the work. They show up and they do the exercises and our studios provide the excellent and caring instruction and the gorgeous and calming spaces. We know that Pilates is just one piece of the puzzle and we make sure we don’t claim to be the only ones doing it right. We also don’t try and be a “one stop shop” we work together with other allied health practitioners to help the clients to achieve their best outcome. It’s amazing what can be achieved when you collaborate with other modalities and therapies outside of your own four walls it broadens everyone’s community, development, trust and professionalism. We have a great wealth of knowledge that we share but are also very honest about where our scope of practice ends and have such a great bunch of experts to refer to when we hit a roadblock in someone’s progression.

You offer ‘Trio Studio classes’ – Tell us about these.

Our trio classes are by far our most popular classes as they are a very affordable way to get targeted and specific instruction from our teachers. Each client is one of only three in the class and the instructor during these sessions is able to specifically program to the individuals’ needs and goals.

Want stronger glutes? We got you. Recovering from injury? We got you. Pregnant?  nothing but perfect posture and support for our mums to be. Plus you get the added bonus of working along side other clients so there is always good chats to be heard #overheardatpilates

Do you have any special offers for new members?

We sure do! Whether a new client is looking to go into Privates and Trio classes, or wants to join our group Reformer, TRX and floor classes, we have a $59 new client offer to suit.

$59 for an initial consultation which is the gateway to personalised instruction in Privates and trios or $59 to try 4 of our CBD group classes. Sometimes the high cost of starting something new like pilates can put people off from beginning their journey. We make it affordable so everyone can get the benefits of movement. The more cost effective the more people that can infuse pilates into their lives. That’s a win win!

How many different classes do you have and which one is the most popular?

Apart from our studio based classes (Privates and Trios) that are availiable at both studios, we run 5 different group class styles in our CBD studio: Reformer, Cardio Reformer to get the heart going, Advanced Reformer for our die hard and dedicated clients, Floor Tone which is a barre, dance and pilates inspired mat based class and our TRX which integrates full body movements and challenges in a safe and structured way. Most popular is for sure the reformer classes, because even a lot of our clients who attend trios or privates during the week make time to also attend the general reformer class as part of their workout routine. Consistency is key when you’re trying to strengthen your mind and body connection which is what the pilates method is all about.

What’s your favourite class that you offer and why?

Both of us naturally gravitate to Trio classes for our personal practice as you get to play with all of the equipment (even the quirky old school  classical pieces of equipment like the toe gizmo’s) and the tailored programming really helps stay on top of our old sport and dance injuries.

If we are talking about group sessions then for me (Anita) I would say the TRX. Although it can be really challenging (insert sweat and and a strong beating heart) the challenge coupled with the fact that you can keep pressure and loading off your joints really means that it is the perfect exercise to challenge the whole body without undoing any of the hard work of my Pilates practice. Catherine’s group class pick will be advanced reformer any day of the week. Her dance background means that anything where the choreography is a little complicated will give her all the happy vibes.

Do you have one on one classes as well as group classes?

Yep private pilates sessions are a big part of our business and it allows us to work with a full range of clients from elite and professional dancers and athletes, Advanced Pilates clients (those die hard and dedicated ones I mentioned earlier) as well as clients coming back from injury and illness. It also is the perfect exercise and way to assist in the management of chronic illnesses like chronic fatigue, autoimmune diseases and cancer recovery. We love using private sessions to get clients back to their best and feeling better.

Do you have plans to expand Movement Principle Pilates in the future?

Depends on which one of us you’re speaking with and on which day! We often joke that we could open a studio down south as a few of our past instructors have left the Sunshine State for the cooler climates. But in all honesty we are probably just too satisfied with all the sunshine and warm vibes that we have in Brisbane.

Plus there is 2 of us and 2 studios it seems like a good ratio. Saying that we are never say never kinda girls and we often look at where Movement Principle could go or grow to next.

Brisbane is a growing Pilates community with new instructors and studios joining the scene every year. We have been a part of the teaching landscape up here for over a decade each and we plan on being here for a long time more in one capacity or another, helping build the Brisbane pilates landscape for all the people that love it clients and instructors alike.

At the heart of it Movement Principle Pilates is all about the people that love the method and we couldn’t be  happier that we play our role in supporting them.