Conversations with neighbors: Brides open yoga studio : Bushwick Daily
On a recent Friday afternoon, I found BODYHOO’s two founders, Arrie Fae Bronson-Davidson and Meghann Bronson-Davidson, at the top of the sun-drenched staircase.
“It’s really cool that we’re all connected,” Arrie said, pointing to the cafe below.
The Deep End, a different bar and restaurant, is a few doors down from Fein Coffee. It leads to a performance space operated by a circus troupe. This performance space also leads back to BODYHOO studios.
Arrie and Meghann, themselves a circus duo who perform under the name The Brides, said they chose to open shop at the particular location because they felt its proximity to these other businesses gave it a feel. collective. A kind of ecosystem.
Inside BODYHOO, there’s a pilates room — outfitted with tables, pulleys, and harnesses — and there’s a yoga room with dark varnished wood floors, mats, and cushions. There is a hall with a large crescent-shaped desk. A wall of lockers. Fitting rooms. And a small workshop that Arrie uses to repair and paint training equipment.
While Arrie is a sought-after Pilates teacher and Megghan an accomplished dancer and physical therapist, the two BODYHOO founders say they envision a rotation of teachers at their new health club who can cater to the varied tastes of the community.
“It will be mostly yoga and pilates,” Arrie said. “But we will offer a circus workshop, a handstand class… belly dancing… We want to hear what the neighborhood wants. If it’s a salsa lesson, we will offer a salsa lesson.
The most important thing about BODYHOO, Arrie and Meghann told me, is that it feels like a welcoming, non-judgmental and supportive environment.
“We also want it to be a place where people who teach here and people who come here for classes are excited to be here,” Meghann said.
“Exactly,” Arrie said. “Just having a space where anyone can go ‘good, I can feel good there. Like, walking in the door, I don’t have to feel judged or there’s a standard .'”
“Okay,” Meghann said.
Arrie continued, “I can guarantee you that if you take my course, you’ll get a great course, and you’ll get sound correction and you’ll be fit. But…if you walk through the door, get moving, and understand your body better…that’s a success. All other goals are yours. The fact that you’re moving your body, that you feel better today… That’s the main thing you need to do.
The duo’s ambitions with BODYHOO are both modest and grand. They have no illusions about riches or future franchises, but they want to make their mark.
“It’s not about feeling that there has to be a change in your body type for you to feel like a healthier person. It’s about how you feel.
In August, BODYHOO will take over a nearby street to hold a two-day carnival, which Arrie and Meghann hope to turn into an annual affair.
“We want to be this neighborhood’s circus show like they have in Coney Island,” Arrie said.
Still, Arrie said that at the root what drove her and Meghann to open BODYHOO was the very humble desire to survive in this world as artists and performers.
“It was about – ‘how can we create a sustainable income model for ourselves as artists that isn’t always based on grants or donations?’ ‘” Arrie said of BODYHOO’s concept origins.
“The goal is this,” added Arrie. “I want to get to a point where I own the slum I live in instead of renting it. We want to have enough in the bank without having to stress ourselves out. We can take a vacation and not feel like we’re starving. And if that was everyone’s idea of success, I think we would all be able to function much better.
Arrie threw his arms up in the air. “I want you to go, ‘I’m going to BODYHOO today, and I feel better already!’ This is what I want.”
“One of the ways we can help break down people’s inhibitions I think is the humor aspect… Not taking yourself too seriously,” Meghann added.
“I take my teaching seriously,” Arrie replied. “I don’t take myself seriously.”
“To the right.”
“I’m not trying to be a guru or anything like that.”
“We want people to find joy in all of this.”
Go to the BODYHOO studios website to sign for the class. Further parallel performances of Arrie and Meghann will take place at the studio’s adjacent performance space on April 23 and 24.
Top image courtesy of Atticus Media Productions.
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