May 26, 2016

Grand Re-opening

 ALEXANDRIA, VA — Looking to get in shape for the summer or just get started on that living healthier plan? Alexandria’s Local Motion Studio, which offers a variety of classes including yoga and Pilates, is holding a grand reopening party Sunday, June 5 at 10 a.m., and is also offering some deals on its classes.

Here’s what to expect at the grand reopening: A special class of cardio+strength, barre and Pilates+Stretch combo. The class will take place from 10-11:30 a.m. (You can register online for the $20 class.) Party will follow, with refreshments and a raffle for a free month of classes. The studio and playroom will be open for children.

Find out more about Local Motion Studio, located at 2377 S. Dove St. (see map below), in this Patch Q&A with the studio’s Sara Lavan:

Q: How long has the studio been in business and has it always been at the same location?

  • “The studio opened January 2011. It has remained on Dove Street since the doors opened.”

Q: How did the studio come about?

  • A: “I opened the studio. I have always loved movement. As a dancer, movement kept me connected — body mind and spirit. When I had children, I found it impossible to get what I needed from that standpoint. There was no life schedule, I felt frazzled, and gyms had sub-par childcare. I would go in and out of routine. Looking back- I guess that lack of routine is unavoidable in the early years, but I yearned for a beautiful place where I would feel great bringing my children, and I could get quality classes. I could not find it, so I created it. Simultaneously, I could not find dance classes for my boys in the area that were focused on true movement concepts and dance education. They were either based in ballet only (which is great, but there is so much more children can learn at this age when talking about the art of dance), or had a dress up element. Because of this, I began our children’s dance program with a curriculum rich in content and that teaches children not only how to dance, but how to create, observe and talk about dance.”

Q: What sort of classes does the studio offer?

  • “Currently we offer barre, yoga, Pilates, Cardio, Hi-Lo (Interval) , belly dance, ballet and Aerial classes. I am a firm believer of moving in many ways for healthy aging- both in the body and the mind. I would love to see people get out of their comfort zone a bit, move on all planes, be in classes that challenge recall, and also build strength, flexibility and stamina. I hope that this variety and great price point will encourage that!”

Q: How has the studio changed since it first opened?

  • “When we first opened we had mostly Pilates and Yoga. Although my vision was for more of a variety, our clientele was not ready. A really exciting change was adding Aerial. There are not many in the area that off this. I feel the studio better reelects my vision now, and is totally inline with my partner, Sarah Craig. The other change that has happened since bringing on a partner is that I have made the children’s dance education program a separate company. Local Motion Project. It is my own company focused on bringing quality dance education to the community. Our studio classes will still be held at the current space, but we also teach dance integration in the public schools as teaching artist and look forward to growing our presence.”

Q: What does the studio offer that is different from other studios?

  • “One major concrete thing we offer that is different is childcare for many of our morning classes. I think every studio offers something different in the way of offerings, vibe, clientele and focus. I would say we stand out in our true open level of classes and a focus on strength and agility over appearance. We have a true variety of ages, ability and body types. Some people come in sweats and a T-shirt- and some in lululemon, but we all move and laugh together. Our students are very comfortable making exercises their own, because so many do take the options that are given. It is not competitive at all. We really focus on form, fun, and finding improvement from where you are today. Our instructors are extraordinary and bring the art of teaching in to the classroom. They care about the students, and can often change a class on a dime if they need to depending on who may walk in the room, to be sure everyone gets what they need and can find a success story in each class.”

Q: What sort of improvements/changes were made for the grand re-opening?

  • “As I mentioned, the dance program is not a separate entity. We have also added more classes. Our schedule is much more varied. We are excited to finally offer 6 a.m. classes. We are also looking to develop more variety of aerial classes and more dance classes. The grand re-opening has also brought some great specials!”

Q: How many instructors are there?

  • “We have 12 instructors. The schedule shifts from time to time.”

Q: Which is the most popular class?

  • “This is a tough one!! People LOVE the cardio classes, but truly they are all attended similarly. I think the barre classes are another one people love because they are a bit different than other studios- more dance based. Each of our instructors teach differently too, so it makes it fun. Variety is always best for the body and the brain.”

Q: What would you tell someone who is interested in taking classes there?

  • “The thing I pride myself most on is the quality of instruction. We truly want our students to be their own movement investigators- making for a mover who can make good choices for themselves. Not everyone knows their bodies- and how to explore different things while taking a class. Our teachers truly teach- not just lead a class to make you sweat. I have seen countless people improv injuries and overall function here.. We encourage creativity in the classroom and do no allow trademarked movement into the studio, so there is a lot of space for teachers to focus on who is there, and what they feel is important in their classes. It also makes for a fun week of classes, where they are all different. I recommend doing the $50 one month unlimited because it is a great new client deal and you can take all of the classes you want. Truly the best way to experience a studio, the vive, the community.”

Q: Any tips for parking?

  • “We have on site parking- a parking lot and the adjacent street. It is all free.”

Q: Who is your typical client?

  • “Our typical client is one who is looking for a comfortable place to move, and who is a bit of a seeker. We do attract a lot of parents due to the childcare, but also the place these people are in their lives. Maybe they are just getting back into exercise, or feel intimidated in a studio where everyone looks a certain way. Because of our varied clientele, those who are bit nervous about classes find us too. I am a prenatal and postnatal exercise specialist- so I often can help these women find the correct classes, educate them on contraindications, and offer them help on rehabbing if needed, if my workshop is not on the schedule.”
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