I’ve been going to The Pilates Bodyshop for a little over a month now and I am totally hooked. I’ve always wanted to take lessons, but Pilates seemed a bit intimidating–all those leather straps and torture device-looking machines. But I had a feeling The Pilates Bodyshop was the place to try it out. They have a well-organized website where you can schedule appointments online, which is a must for me! And after my first lesson, I was hooked. Totally befuddled, but hooked. Pilates challenges my mind and body while stretching out muscles that are overworked from running. (I always knew my hamstrings were tight, but now I know exactly how tight.) The teachers at The Bodyshop are a major reason I’ve had such a great experience–they’re extremely patient and positive, and the studio is well run and organized. I just can’t say enough good things!
Owner and teacher Kerri Campbell sat down with Take Sunset to answer some questions about Pilates, how she decided to open a studio in Silver Lake, and where she goes once she takes off the “black unitard”. Plus, don’t miss a special Pilates Bodyshop discount just for Take Sunset readers!
Take Sunset: How did you get started in Pilates?
Kerri Campbell: I first experienced mat Pilates on a bare linoleum floor in college. The class was made up of professional dancers and me, the lone writing student who couldn’t touch her toes. It was more then a little disheartening, but I loved the work. During my junior year I was hit by a car and had multiple injuries to rehab, so I sought out a teacher who could train me one-on-one. After three or four lessons, I was moving better then I had since my accident.
TS: How did you start teaching Pilates?
Kerri: When I moved to Los Angeles, I couldn’t find a teacher with the depth of knowledge I was seeking, so I enrolled in my first teaching program with the goal of teaching myself. But after my student teaching was complete, I realized I wanted to pursue Pilates as a career.
TS: For the uninitiated, can you give us some Pilates basics?
Kerri: Pilates is close to a hundred years old and is based on the work and teachings of Joseph H. Pilates. It’s a movement practice where you use your mind to move your body, thereby creating deep and meaningful changes. Pilates can be done on both specially designed equipment and without, as in Pilates Mat. As Fletcher would say, “Movement is like life. You get out of it what you put into it.”
TS: Speaking of which, at The Pilates Bodyshop, you teach Fletcher Pilates. What makes this style of Pilates unique?
Kerri: Fletcher Pilates® is a trademarked lineage of Pilates that was created by our teacher Ron Fletcher who brought Pilates to LA in 1972. It not only encompasses the original Pilates repertoire, but also has many innovations and additional elements, such as Fletcher Towelwork™, Fletcher Floorwork™, Fletcher Barrework™, and Percussive breath. We look at Pilates as a movement practice, an art, and a science. This isn’t just “working out” or trying to beat the body down–we’re trying to teach the body to move better and thereby look better.
TS: Who can benefit from Pilates?
Kerri: Anyone who has an interest in exploring their body’s full potential. This work is open to all–the young, the old, the hip, the injured, those in great shape, and those with no shape. It’s our job to help you develop a practice that works for you.
TS: I love your attitude. I can speak to the fact that you create a very welcoming and laid-back atmosphere while also being very serious about Pilates. Can you talk about why you wanted to open your own studio?
Kerri: I wanted to be instrumental in creating a positive and open space for people to explore this work. Having worked for some great business people–and some not so ethical people–in the past, I wanted to take all I had learned and try something a little out of the ordinary. My first studio is in Atwater Village inside The Paddock Riding Club and is a private studio for riders. Once we had a few more teachers complete the Pilates Program of Study, I wanted to expand so we could offer this work to a wider group of people. The goal was to have a large, fully equipped studio where we taught as a team and all of the teachers had the same education, so our clients had a seamless experience and progress with each lesson.
TS: What makes The Pilates Bodyshop different from other Pilates studios in the area?
Kerri: Aside from being the only Fletcher Pilates® studio in Los Angeles, we also offers Private Lessons, several Studio Classes per day, including Mat Classes at different levels, Fletcher Floorwork™, Barrework™, 4×4 Classes in our equipment space, and several other unique classes that only we teach. The studio is also a whopping 2,800 square feet so we have enough space to really move around, and we have a huge parking lot in the back. We also have Diane Severino, a true Master Teacher. She taught at Ron Fletcher’s original studio in Beverly Hills and was in his book Every Body is Beautiful. Diane teaches the Old School Class on Saturday mornings and is available for private lessons too. And beginning in July, we’ll start offering massage therapy from a variety of skilled therapists.
TS: Why did you decide to open The Pilates Bodyshop in Silver Lake in particular?
Kerri: I picked Silver Lake because it has a unique sense of community where progressive ideas and businesses are able to flourish. And since opening, I’ve come to have an even deeper appreciation for this neighborhood.
TS: Do you also live in Silver Lake?
Kerri: Atwater Village, baby! And I’m a huge fan. You’ll see me at the Atwater Village Farmer’s Market ever Sunday, but you might not recognize me without my black unitard on.
TS: What are some of your favorite shops and restaurants to go to when you’re not in the black unitard?
Kerri: I love to eat and I’m a big fan of Forage, Indochine, Cliff’s Edge, and Little Dom’s in the ‘hood. When I’m really going to let loose I love to indulge at Bazaar. I’m recently obsessed with the Broome Street General Store for coffee and every other fabulous thing they offer. I also can’t stay out of our new neighbor’s salon, The Establishment. They have so many yummy Aveda products to sample.
TS: We love those places too! Any advice for people thinking about taking their first Pilates lesson?
Kerri: My best advice is to just try it and give Fletcher Pilates® a chance. It probably won’t be what you thought, but that can be a good thing! We have so much to offer and there is something for almost everyone. It’s hard to walk through the door, we know that, but we want to teach you and we were once the ones taking our first lesson too. Oh, and please don’t wear shorts to your session.
TS: Yes, wear leggings! Any summer specials that Take Sunset readers should know about?
Kerri: For new clients we have a great Introductory Package The Fletcher 101, which is 4 Private Lessons and 2 Studio classes. But for your readers, we are offering 2 Free Studio Classes with any purchase. Just mention Take Sunset.
TS: Awesome, we love Take Sunset specials! Thanks so much, Kerri.
Kerri: Thanks. We’re so happy to be here and really appreciate everyone who has begun to make the studio such an amazing place to be.
The Pilates Bodyshop also offers Pilates Teacher Training.