Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Pilates studio focuses on helping clients tune in to their bodies

by SUMMER ZALESKY Daily Inter Lake
| May 19, 2024 12:00 AM

Jennie Johnson had always loved teaching, and with only a handful of fitness studios in the Flathead Valley that specialize in pilates, she decided to combine her two loves and open The Pilates Scene in 2019. 

But only a few months after opening, the pandemic hit, and she almost lost her business. 

“I was lucky because the person that gave me the space said I didn’t have to pay rent,” said Johnson. “If I had moved into a space where I had to pay rent during that time, I don't think that we would be here.”

The Kalispell studio has continued to grow and they have since moved out of the KM building and into a new home on East Idaho Street. 

“People recommend us to their friends so we’ve really grown just by word of mouth,” said Johnson. 

Over the years, Johnson has taught pilates, TRX, and barre, and has her degree in health and human performance with a specialization in health enhancement. While Johnson was teaching at Space Pilates in Kalispell, which has since closed, she met a client who encouraged her to finally open her own studio. 

“I’ve been to some trendy pilates studios where I’m not dressed appropriately and I don’t want that kind of stereotype here. I want [the Pilates Scene] to be for everyone,” she said. “Pilates is for everybody and every body.”

The Pilates Scene offers mat, barre, and private sessions which are individually tailored to the client’s goals. As an outdoors person, who enjoys snowboarding, snowmobiling, hiking and rafting, Johnson said she loves that pilates can help her to be more in tune with her body and with the space around her. 

“When you’re doing these exercises, you feel like you're just a better sportsman in general,” Johnson said. “It's amazing for your body and it’s great for cross training too which I love for those people who may do HIIT, crossfit, or weightlifting.”

Because pilates is low impact and uses more controlled movements, it is also a gentler workout for people who are trying to build back strength and use the lesser used muscles, said Johnson.

Currently, Johnson is focusing on becoming a BASI certified faculty in order to be qualified in teaching others to become pilates instructors. BASI, which stands for Body Arts and Science International, was established in 1989 by world-renowned Pilates Educator, Rael Isacowitz and is one of the leaders in pilates education.

“I love teaching people who are eager to learn and I love BASI because their standards are so high and they are worldwide. If you were to go to another BASI host studio in another state, they are all on the same page,” she said.

Johnson will take the exam in July during which she will be asked a panel of questions as well as to perform three exercises at random out of 350 which she said “must be performed perfectly.” 

After receiving this certification, Johnson will be one of the only BASI certified faculty instructors in Montana making the Pilates Scene the only BASI host studio in Montana according to Johnson. 

“People who want to become BASI certified have to leave Montana and go to Idaho, Colorado, Washington, or California. This will help people who want to become pilates instructors and give them a home base,” she said.

“This is also a great opportunity for those who are trying to change their career or people who are looking to retire. People can also do this on the side and teach a couple times a week. It’s fun and you can enjoy other people’s company.”

The Pilates Scene is open Monday through Sunday and is located at 417 E. Idaho St. in Kalispell and can be reached by phone 406-253-8836. To find out more about the studio, visit thepilatesscene.com or visit their Facebook or Instagram page @thepilatesscene. 

Reporter Summer Zalesky may be reached at szalesky@dailyinterlake.com.

    Jennie Johnson opened The Pilates Scene in 2019 in Kalispell. (Photo courtesy of Haley Jessat of Haley J Photo)
    Jennie Johnson, owner of The Pilates Scene, works with a client. (Photo courtesy of Haley Jessat of Haley J Photo)