Out-of-the-way studio keeps community in fitness
Body Tuning Aerobics offers small classes
When it comes to the big exercise club alternative, Body Tuning Aerobics Studio is a hidden gem.
Literally. Good luck spotting it from the street.
"It's just off the beaten path enough because you can't see it from North Avenue," instructor Michelle Kellom said. "I lived 2 ½ blocks from Body Tuning, and I didn't know it was there. We usually tell people it's behind RadioShack."
In fact, if you stand in the RadioShack parking lot and look west, you'll see a kitchen table-sized sign featuring a lopsided heart - that's the Body Tuning logo - and an arrow pointing to a walkway between the buildings. Follow the walkway, turn right and look for the red door.
The studio's out-of-the-way location, and virtually non-existent marketing budget, is probably the reason each class is so small. About five to 10 people attend aerobics and strength-training classes, which are available throughout the week as early as 5:30 a.m. (that's Kellom's class) and as late as 6:45 p.m.
"It tends to serve the neighborhood. People find it by word of mouth," Kellom said.
Once they find the place, she said, people tend to stay. They leave their shoes in the cabinet. They bring their kids.
It's probably the reason the one-room studio survived the Great Recession, Kellom said.
"Body Tuning seems to have some magic component. Somehow, there is just enough community support to keep it going."
Kellom discovered that more than 12 years ago, when she found Body Tuning in the Yellow Pages. She wanted to lose weight after her second child and became a student.
Today, she is part of a team of eight instructors - all women, all with full-time jobs.
"Great friendships have developed with women I probably wouldn't have crossed paths with otherwise," Kellom said.
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JUST THE FACTS
BUSINESS: Body Tuning Aerobics Studio
ADDRESS: 6421 W. North Ave.
PHONE: (414) 453-6622
TYPE OF BUSINESS: aerobics studio
PEARLS OF WISDOM: "Somehow, there is just enough community support to keep it going."
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