I’ve been going to some meetings with some folks at our exercise studio on Huron Ave. The Center has been running the studio since the late 90s. Before we took it over, it was known as the Sporer Studio, run by Erna Sporer, who was a bit of a legend in Cambridge (for a great read, check out the article the globe wrote on her passing in early 2006).
Ms. Sporer taught exercise for more than 50 years, starting in Vienna and Paris before transplanting to Boston and Cambridge. This was way before going to the gym became standard fare for women. Her studio, and now ours, is a large one room spot on Huron Ave in Cambridge (map), with a dedicated community of lovely women from around the area. A lot of them have been taking exercise and dance classes for many years, and I always enjoy talking to them (older folks love me).
Recently the studio’s experienced a bit of a decline in enrollment. We took a particularly heavy hit in the previous year, and talks of someone else taking the studio over has been circulating around. A committee was formed by Stephanie, the studio director, and several of the students there, to think about ways to increase membership. During the meetings I’ve attended, we’ve talked about renaming, and possible renovations. The studio’s in a tight spot, b/c of much of what they’d like to do to increase inflow surrounds renovating the exterior (there isn’t any prominent sign-age, so people often pass it without noticing what it is). However, the Center can’t spend a lot of money on renovations without revenue from the students. It’s a bad cycle in that respect, but there are other things that we can do that don’t cost as much.
We recently made a new flyer (check it out). There’s a coupon for a free class, and if you’re up for some movement, this might be a good opportunity for you, too. The community of women there are wonderful, and while most range in the 40s and up, there are often younger folks in the dance classes. We’ll continue to screw our heads around how we can get the word out about the studio, because it really is a great place. People are lovely, they know each others names, and it’s a great alternative to the big, nameless gym communities you find in the commercial arena.
I might have to dust off my tap shoes…