I very often get asked about having a studio in my home. Some think it’s the best thing since sliced bread and others are aghast at the thought.
I started my studio in the basement of my house in 1994. I was the mother of two young children ages 6 and 3. My professional dance career had ended in the delivery room when I gave birth to my first daughter. Gone were the thoughts of flinging her over my shoulder with my dance bag, heading back to class. I wasn’t prepared for that fierce protective “tiger mother” feeling. Once my second daugther was born I was basically a recluse. NO ONE was going to look after my children. EVERY one was a prospective child molester as far as I was concerned. (I have to admit, by the time my third daughter made her appearance, I was close to selling my children anyway)
But motherhood can be a very draining career and I was beginning to chomp at the bit to be doing something else. So unexpectedly pregnant with my last child, I went about building a studio into the walk out basement of my house. It was supposed to be a temporary measure. It was also supposed to be something to make me some pocket money.
Having the home studio served it’s purpose well. I never had to leave the house in below freezing temperatures, I never had to miss teaching if I had a sick child at home and I could ALWAYS do the laundry, cook the dinner, mop the floors, make the beds, clean the bathrooms, change the cat litter, dig up weeds, in between clients.
On the business side, the money I made was ALL mine. I had no overheads. I bought my Pilates equipment with cash. I never owed anyone anything. But as my children got older, I wanted sonething more. I WANTED to get ready and GO to work. I wanted to see other people in the course of the day. I wanted to sit at Starbucks and watch the world go by in my free time.
But in 2008, when the recession hit Michigan, I was so very glad I never made the move out of my basement. I have survived the last few years because of where I am. If I only had 3 clients and not 30, it didn’t matter. I didn’t have to stress. And in the quiet time, I slowly built up my Teacher Training Programs and began to teach internationally. Now I travel most weekends, sometimes as far away as Australia or as close as downtown Ann Arbor.
And I am so thankful for my sanctuary here in the quiet of my basement. I sit at my computer in one room, writing my programs and all I have to do is jump up and try a new exercise out on reformer or chair in the other room. I look out onto the back garden, all flowers and butterflies at this time of year and see the blue heron in the water catching fish.
I can still keep an eye on my only child left at home, listening for her footsteps overhead. I have my last remaining cat, sitting on my desk next to the model of the pelvis.
I sit here in the morning with my cup of tea and I am still sitting here at 6 in the evening with my glass of wine. The outside world is far away and its peaceful and calm.
Ummm no, wait …something’s going on upstairs and it doesn’t sound good. “sigh”