When Caroline Kelly decided to take a Zumba class after the birth of her daughter, Ava, she may not have anticipated the move to re-shape her body would eventually re-shape her life, by way of a growing business in Morristown: The Main Loft.
Kelly, who hails from New Zealand, found her way to Morristown through her sister who was attending college in Knoxville. Caroline was visiting Knoxville when she met her husband, Blaine, who now serves as minister of Morristown Church of Christ. The couple have two daughters, Ava, who is now four, and Harper, 20-months-old.
Ava’s arrival meant Kelly needed to find a new way to exercise.
“I’m not a runner,” Kelly said. “I don’t really like the gym.”
After discovering Zumba, she was quickly hooked and took classes for two to three years.
“Eventually someone said, “you need to go get lessons to be an instructor,’” Kelly said.
She did just that and after her family relocated to Morristown, Kelly met Kathy Meyer, an energetic Zumba instructor, and in March 2012, the two decided to begin teaching as a team at Rose Center.
Meyer had four children and began Zumba after starting to feel “sluggish” and beginning to gain weight.
“My metabolism slowed down a lot,” she said. “I felt uncomfortable and had no energy. I felt ‘this is not me.’”
She began working out at a gym, including spending an hour on the treadmill. One day, she heard music and peeked in to a back room, recognizing the song as a Meringa she had on her iPod – “I was raised on that music,” she said.
Like Kelly, Meyer was hooked. “I just have a passion for fitness,” she said.
The Zumba team outgrew the available space at Rose Center quickly – “and the classes were lasting longer,” Kelly said. They found the space on the second floor of the former Carlyle Music building, which included a large dance/rehearsal room, perfect for Zumba.
“People recognized it – they would say, ‘I came to a dance recital here when I was young,’” Meyers said.
New business partners Kelly and Meyers had no other plans than to teach a few Zumba classes – Zumba Fitness and Zumba Toning – at the new space they named The Main Loft; however, with the large space available 24/7, the potential to expand was obvious.
“We figured we could just get someone else in here when we weren’t holding classes,” Meyers said.
In addition to the Zumba experience offered by Kelly and Myers, a Hatha Yoga class for beginners, is offered by Joy Whiteside. No experience is necessary to attend the weekly class, held at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
On The Main Loft’s website, the class is described as “quiet and introspective, giving the student time to breathe and explore the body sensations within the posture.”
Meyers said, “Joy explains the moves,” to which Kelly replied, “You won’t be a pretzel. She’s great.”
Melissa Lowe teaches a bootcamp class that combines cardio kickboxing and all-over body toning into one workout, which is designed for beginners. She presents the class with high and low intensity options that makes it suitable for people of all fitness levels.
Lowe also teaches Pilates, a core strength training program designed to focus on stabilizing the spine and torso while strengthening the deep abdominal muscles. Pilates was originally designed as a rehabilitation and is now a main stream form of exercise. Lwoe’s class focuses primarily on core work while also targeting other major muscle groups to create long, lean, strong muscles and an all over toned body. This class is for all levels as modifications will be taught in conjunction with a lot of stretching.
The Main Loft will debut Morristown’s inaugural Piloxing class on Wednesday, Feb. 13, taught by Emily Lowe. Piloxing mixes Pilates and boxing moves into a fat burning, muscle sculpting, core-centric interval workout. Piloxing blends the power, speed and agility of boxing with the sculpting and flexibility of Pilates, with dance moves thrown in. The workout incorporates the use of weighted gloves that tone the arms and maximize the cardiovascular benefit. The classes will continue weekly at 10:30 a.m. Monday, 5:30 p.m Wednesday and 12:45 p.m. Saturday.
There are no contracts required by The Main Loft. Each class can be paid for individually at a cost of $6. Passes are available offering 10 classes of choice for $50. Class times and other information about the studio is available at www.themainloft.com. The Main Loft entrance is on the upper sidewalk, third door on the right from the skywalk ramp located near the Downtown Barber Shop.
- By Glenna Howington, Tribune Staff Writer