CLUB pilates

(LM FINAL) Club Pilates Katy 9012By Christina Garcia | Photos by Candor

As a
high school dancer, she had quads like a linebacker. So said Elisa Pontone,
the now owner of three Houston-area Club Pilates locations, of her early
ballet days. Throughout her training in the early ’90s, Elisa could dance in
pointe shoes but her knees would fill with fluid. That landed her in physical
therapy. Insurance only briefly covered the $400 classes in a movement
modality called Pilates, but Elisa found immense value in those sessions.
“They told me I was building my muscles too strong, too fast,” she said. Her
journey would lead her to a community of people leading parallel lives, but
she didn’t know that yet.

Years later,
the popularity of Pilates surged and group classes brought costs down. Elisa
was back in the game and wanted to own a studio. “For me, it was always that
dream. I leaped off the cliff and was hoping I had wings,” she said, over the
phone. “I taught 40 classes a week in the beginning.” These days, Elisa leans
on her team to help run the Katy, Memorial, and The Heights locations of Club

As she
learned, the dancer-to-Pilates pipeline is strong. Lexi Stinger, Club Pilates
regional manager, saw her nascent career as a professional dancer in New York
ground to a halt because of rheumatoid arthritis. Lexi connected to movement
and found deeper purpose through Pilates. “ gave me a
different sense of empathy in working with people who don’t feel good every
day,” said the six-year Club Pilates veteran. “Motion is lotion. The joints
need it.”

IMG 6952 2

Quivers, Big Payoff

transformers, in a way. Each apparatus used in Pilates circuit classes can be
used in countless ways. “Aha moments” come with learning to recruit and feel
the right muscles for

safe movements.

“It helps
prevent injury for people who do heavy workouts. When you do it slower and
lighter, you see when you start to quiver that you don’t need momentum ,” said Elisa.

student Melissa Peter said Pilates saved her from the aggressive circuit
workouts that ran her ragged. “My body just hurt all the time. I thought,
‘There’s gotta be a better way to work out and not feel miserable.’ I had a
friend who was doing Pilates, so I tried it and just loved it.” She said the
workouts always vary and engage the mind and body in new ways, even from one
day to the next. She’s been a member of Club Pilates since

options include trigger point myofascial release, TRX suspension training,
cardio sculpt, restorative, and more. Private training rooms are also

can be helped whether they have osteoporosis, a low back issue, or are a
seasoned fitness enthusiast,” said manager Lexi. Club Pilates does not teach
very young teens. As Elisa learned in high school, their bodies are still
developing. However, their capable instructors will teach young professional
athletes. For that group, Pilates may be the special sauce on the road to
becoming an MVP.

Pilates is
for everybody, said Lexi, from prenatal to postnatal bodies, senior bodies,
and in between. In fact, at the Katy location, one octogenarian client
routinely takes private lessons, advancing in her training with boundless
determination. Owner Elisa puts it: “We don’t just teach a class to kick your
a**. We want to make sure you connect and engage … You may say ‘I didn’t
sweat,’ but that’s not necessarily what it’s about or where the benefit is.”

The Katy

Club Pilates
members are what it’s about. They share the same fears, concerns, and goals,
supporting each other through it all. Enthusiastic and welcoming, they play
along with themed classes and plank contests. This year, students wore ’70s
headbands, bell bottoms, and other retro gear for a week of workouts
celebrating the seven-year anniversary of the Club Pilates Katy location. The
members here like each other so much that they even meet up for happy hours
outside of the studio. This kind of camaraderie touches Lexi most. It
fortifies her passion for creating a culture that enriches the whole person,
not just their body.

Club Pilates
echoes the sense of community with a model of promotion from within. “I like
to build from the inside up. This doesn’t have to just be your job until you
get a better one. It can be the job that leads you higher and higher,” said
Elisa. She gave up her teaching hours to make room for instructors to grow in
their careers. Currently, no less than nine Katy Club Pilates instructors
started out as students — evidence of the power of Pilates and the
relationships it builds.

With 500
hours of training under their belt before they become certified instructors,
Elisa said instructors deserve all the praise she can heap on them. They
create an atmosphere people come back for, and some, like the dedicated
instructor, Maylin, are certified to train other instructors too.

The two
groups share more in common than Pilates. Both instructors, the owner, and
class attendees have children. Thus, Club Pilates takes its cue to give back
in ways their community may need it most.

Tribe Gives

Giving is a
cause close to the heart at Club Pilates. This year, staff giving included
bagging kids lunches to distribute in hungry Houston neighborhoods in
partnership with Kids Meals, but Club Pilates community-wide endeavors pack a
greater punch. Partnered with Be A Resource, the members and instructors
generously gave to back-to-school drives. Annually, they also fill boxes up
to overflow for Houston Food Bank and December toy drives for families and
children in the community.

might just be infectious for this group of community-minded, determined

Pilates lovers.

IMG 7701

Pilates Katy

10705 Spring
Green Boulevard, Suite 200

Katy, Texas



Pilates Memorial

Memorial Drive

Texas 77079



Pilates The Heights

2401 North
Shepherd Drive, Suite 120

Texas 77008



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