Zen Meets Chi at Studio Elevé: Dance and Yoga Inspire Adults to Move Elevate Your Life at Studio Elevé

 by Susan Schabackereleve

Studio Elevé is a place where tranquility meets vitality.  It is a beautiful new dance, conditioning, and yoga studio located at “The Factory” in Kernersville, offering a variety of movement classes for active adults seeking to improve their health and well-being.

Often, the first thing people notice when they enter the space is the calm, inviting atmosphere of this 2,000 square foot facility.  They walk into the repurposed loft, onto 100-year-old maple wood floors, and utter a sigh of relief.  Then, stepping onto the new dance floor, within the spacious, sunlit studio, they surrender to an instructor’s voice and the sound of music.

“This is what Mark and I had imagined the studio to be,” says Christine Spizzo, co-owner/manager of Studio Elevé, “…a sort of refuge, where people could escape their increasingly busy lives, and engage in a soothing or invigorating class.”  Christine, along with her business partner, Mark McCullough, and ten other professional instructors, is dedicated to helping people “stay younger longer” through dance, wellness, and fitness classes.

From various styles of Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi; from Ballet to Belly Dance, to Hoop Dance, and Saka Dance Fitness, there is something for everyone here, so get ready to move!  People can choose one of 18 classes offered each week which will mesh with their own schedule and lifestyle.  One can pay for an individual class, or purchase an “Elevé Pass” (a “buy ten, get one free” punch card).  There are no registration or membership fees.  Private and semi-private classes are available by appointment.

Christine and Mark have united in an ideal partnership, combining their life experiences in ballet and yoga, respectively. Christine’s professional background is 30+ years in classical ballet.  She was a soloist with American Ballet Theatre, danced in “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway, and was on faculty at UNC School of the Arts for 10 years, all of which informs her eloquent teaching of this art form.  She is known for her energetic demonstrations, and colorful use of analogies when describing anatomical, physiological, and technical aspects of classical ballet.

Mark began practicing yoga nearly ten years ago, while managing his own commercial painting company in Charlotte.  In 2010, he established the Mobile Yoga Company, with the intention of bringing yoga to progressive individuals and corporations.  He currently teaches at the Gateway YWCA, Kernersville Fitness Center, and Gramercy Research Group, as well as at the UNC School of the Arts, and for American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive Programs at UNCSA.

Mark’s teaching is influenced by the Vinyasa style of yoga.  His classes promote internal awareness through mindful breathing and concentration, while working through dynamic poses.

Restorative Yoga classes are taught by Julie Dunton.  Julie’s classes are calm, restful, and perfect for beginners.  She gives free classes each month on behalf of the Kernersville Crisis Control Ministries.

Grace Parra, Pilates Instructor, teaches a concentrated mat class, with an emphasis on building core strength, while increasing flexibility and balancing the whole body.

James King has a 1st Degree Black Sash in Tai Chi.  He teaches the Yang style of Tai Chi.  Mr. King gently guides students through movement patterns which create an energized, yet relaxed state of mind, while explaining the historical and philosophical aspects of Tai Chi.

Martial Arts/Self-Defense Instructor, Erik Johnson, welcomes both men and women to his classes.  There you will learn basic postures, movements, and etiquette of martial arts, and the critically effective moves of self-defense.

Theresa McCullough’s Senior Exercise classes provide a balanced routine of cardio and stretching exercises for older adults who feel they are suffering from “old age.”  However, these classes are not limited to “over 60” seniors.  Adults of any age will enjoy this fun, low-impact workout.  Theresa encourages her students to move at their own pace, yet challenges them to keep up with her (she will be 82 on her birthday this month!).

Belly Dance Instructor, Luci Jennings, teaches the “American Tribal Style” form of belly dancing, which involves a variety of fast and slow foot patterns, graceful arm movements, and shimmies.  Besides teaching, she enjoys hosting an occasional “hafla” at Studio Elevé!

Tammy Shearer and Sheryl Pope, Hoop Dance Instructors, take “hoola-hooping” to a whole new level.  Students will delight in developing core strength and coordination, while burning approximately 600-800 calories per hour!

Patrice Topper’s Saka Dance Fitness classes are also lively and fun.  Although similar to Zumba, Saka is based on Afro-Caribbean-Latin rhythms, and involves the entire body with an emphasis on the mid-section.  Patrice also incorporates spirituality and sensuality in her classes.

Classes at Studio Elevé are fun for adults of all ages.  Over time, most will likely notice improvement in their concentration, circulation, flexibility, and endurance. Whether dropping by for a single class or multiple classes, everyone will surely enjoy the “Elevé-ting” experience of Studio Elevé.

Learn more about all of the instructors and available classes at www.StudioEleve.com.


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