NORTHBROOK, IL — Like many local businesses, the Swan Dive Center For Pilates was forced to close its doors in March amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Northbrook-based business, which opened in 2006, needed to figure out how to survive.
“We immediately started offering daily group virtual sessions on Zoom for a very reasonable price,” said Wendy Helton, who co-founded the business at 3302 Commercial Ave., with Susie Pines. “Our goal was to serve our community as best we could during these stressful times.”
The Swan Dive Center For Pilates also has a Deerfield location.
She said that among the benefits of offering classes virtually was the return of clients who had moved to other parts of the country and whom the owners hadn’t seen in many years.
Fast-forward to the present, and though they still offer classes on Zoom, the Pilates center is back to holding in-person classes. Helton said the decision has been well-received by most clients.
“We adapted the way we offer in-person training significantly upon reopening in July,” Helton said. “Unlike so many Pilates studios, we are really lucky to have a unique floor plan.”
What makes the Swan Dive Center For Pilates different, according to its owners, is that most studios are one open room. At the Swan Dive Center, there are four separate rooms at the Northbrook location. Equipment was moved around, separating it so that each private Pilates session is conducted in a separate space away from other sessions.
“You could say we go way above and beyond the idea of 6 feet of social distancing,” Helton said. “Our group classes are down to a maximum of four participants and class is conducted in a separate room from privates.”
Other safety measures at the center include the addition of professional grade air purifiers and following all Centers For Disease Control guidelines for safety, including temperature taking and sanitization.
“Our biggest challenge had previously been figuring out how to adapt to what the new normal needed to look like,” Helton said. “This experience has forced us all to pivot and find a way to make things work in this new, challenging situation where everyone’s safety absolutely comes first.”
The Swan Dive Center For Pilates prides itself on personalized, holistic and sincere attention to its clients. Licensed massage therapists offer a variety of styles and approaches from deep tissue or Swedish to myofascial release and cupping.
“Our signature session is called a Blended Session and it’s 30 minutes of Pilates and 25 minutes of massage,” Helton said. “It’s important to us that we improve our clients lives through better movement, strength, balance as well as overall health and wellbeing.”
She added that this extends to emotional well-being as well. How people view and honor their body’s health positively and see themselves as fit, capable and strong “makes such a difference in how they feel,” according to Helton.
In the long term, the business hopes to develop the physical therapy side of what they currently offer. The staff includes a licensed physical therapist as well as an assistant, who both look forward to developing the rehab portion of the business.
“Short term, our goals are to provide as much work to our Pilates instructors as possible so that they can recover from the economic challenge of the quarantine,” Helton said. “Our instructors are like family to us and love what they do and only want to be busy serving more people, getting them healthy and fit.”
To learn more about the Swan Dive Center For Pilates, visit https://swan-divepilates.com/h….
Stay Patched In!
This article originally appeared on the Northbrook Patch