Category Archives: entrepreneurship

Pilates offers Freedom, So Let’s Get Moving! “What Pilates Is and Why I Teach It”

By: Courtney Holcomb, PMA-CPT, Owner Waveforms Pilates

What Pilates Is

Pilates helps to close the gap between your physical moving body, and what your mind believes is your movement potential.  My role as a Pilates instructor is to assist in building confidence in your movement potential. 

What Pilates Is Not

When I first tell people I teach Pilates, I often get the response: “Oh, I can’t do Pilates, it’s too hard!”  Though there are many advanced movements in the Pilates repertoire that is just a small limb of the work. That is not the essence of the work.  Pilates has the unique ability to meet any body where it is at, and propel it forward to its potential.  I don’t practice or teach Pilates to be able to master a pose, to develop super strong muscles that can make shapes, or to perform high-performance elitist tasks.  It’s not about poses, or positions, it’s about movement.  I do Pilates so that I can move, so that I can be capable of moving, and so that I have more pain-free options throughout the day.  It’s all about movement potential, not about building rigid shapes, forms, bound muscle, or tense bodies.  Movement and Pilates gives me freedom to do whatever I might have to do during the day, and to experience my body in the world with the physical experience I was designed to have and enjoy.

Why I Like and Teach Pilates

If you are wondering why I like Pilates, it’s because it’s a tool that helps me move and experience freedom in my body.  That is the type of message that I like to send with the way that I teach my students.  That is the way that I want my students to feel when they leave the studio space.  That they are more capable of moving in their bodies, and that they experience and feel more freedom in their bodies.  I want to help them feel more capable and build self-confidence in their movement than when they first stepped foot in the door.  I want them to find a sense of liberation from any of the list of conditions or symptoms they may feel they are experiencing that they believe limit their ability to move freely.  They are not an accumulation of all of “those things”, but a wonderful, capable, and free body, with great movement potential.

As a Pilates instructor, I will help you build confidence in areas you don’t believe you are capable, to offer the options that you may not have thought were available, to help your mind and body work to free you of any restrictive “labels”, and to help you feel at ease in both mind and body.

For me, being a Pilates instructor helps me offers freedom.

So, let’s get moving!

From dancer, to Pilates student, to Pilates instructor, and beyond…
It’s all about MOVEMENT.

We are growing, moving, and adding more trainers!

Estin and I are excited to announce that Waveforms Pilates has moved to a commercial space!

For any classes, or one-on-one sessions that are booked for March 1st and beyond, you will find us at 210 S. Commercial Street, Neenah, WI.  This location is just one mile from our previous location, right off of the Neenah Downtown area, just follow the Neenah Clock Tower and you’ll find us.  There is a parking lot, so you will not have to worry about finding space.  We are currently working on getting our sign, so please look for the address plaque for now.  We are directly left of J. Anthony Jewelers.

We have enjoyed sharing our home with you all, and are excited for this new chapter.  We look forward to leaving our shampoo in the shower, using the crock-pot in the kitchen instead of our bedroom, using our wood-burning fireplace, and other simple things. 

It’s because of the support of all of you that this is possible! We are so grateful for your business, referrals, dedication, and encouragement!

 

Waveforms Pilates will still be a private studio space specializing in customized one-on-one Pilates training, small group Pilates mat classes, and educational workshops. Our new space is a stand-alone building, at around 800 square feet, we will have a little more room to breathe, house our growing array of Pilates equipment and accessories, and welcome Waveforms Pilates newest Pilates Trainer, Molly Jo Mathe.

Not only is Molly Jo Mathe a fabulous Pilates trainer, but Courtney and Molly Jo met their senior years of high school at their UW-Stevens Point Dance Department auditions, and have been friends ever since. They were roommates in college, were in each others weddings, and began their Pilates training journeys together. Post-graduation, Molly Jo moved to the greater Chicago area where she continued her Pilates career and has been teaching for the past 6 years. Together we will bring you twice as much expertise, vibrant energy and excitement about movement, and more specialized offerings. We are THRILLED to have Molly Jo joining us! She will be teaching our Thursday AM mat class, alternating Saturday AM mat classes with Courtney, and will be available for booking one-on-one sessions beginning March 5th.

WELCOME Molly Jo Mathe—

Being a dancer for most of her life, Molly Jo found that Pilates was a great way to maintain balance in her body through vigorous dance rehearsals and performances. Since then, she has been captivated by the profound work of Pilates and enthralled by its opportunity for creativity. Molly Jo believes that Pilates is for every body of every age, and that it’s never too late to take charge of your own health and movement practice. Molly Jo graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance. While she finished her degree, Molly Jo also completed her Pilates Mat I and II certifications through Balanced Body in 2012 and has since completed the Fletcher Pilates Comprehensive Program in Chicago, IL. Molly Jo teaches Pilates to a variety of clientele and special considerations including men, women, dancers, pre and postnatal moms, diastasis recti, back injuries, and post-rehabilitation. She draws experience from her extensive dance and movement background and applies it to her clients in a unique way in order to increase their flexibility, strength, and awareness. Molly Jo loves to implement creative teaching methods to shape a fun and informative learning environment to motivate clients to achieve their goals with a sense of enthusiasm and joy. Molly Jo will be accepting new clients as of March 5th, and as always refer a friend for private training and you will receive a free session.

We are grateful for your continued support and look forward to serving you at our new location.

 


What’s In a Name? – Waveforms Pilates

Starting a Pilates business five years ago under my name, “Courtney Anne,” I felt ready to develop a brand. I wanted it to represent the way holistic wellness feels doing Pilates work.  It’s not about me, and it never was about me, so I didn’t want to have my name representative of the business.

Spring of 2016, I began the process of brainstorming what represents Pilates, my voice in the industry, and how I wanted my students to feel after a session.  Through this journey, I solidified key aspects of my to-be brand and what I wanted to accomplish to further Pilates education.

 

Identifying a Brand

I took a Spring trip to Denver, Colorado, for a Pilates continuing education. I treated it like a sabbatical to take time to think about my business.  I collaborated with my creative-guru, engineering friend Eileen, and began the process of identifying “the brand.”

This was a scary process for me.  Though I’d been in the field for over five years, sitting down to identify what I did, why I did it, and what represented the business best, all felt like huge questions to answer.  Where do you even begin?  

My prescription: The classic brainstorming list. 

Eileen and I wrote down all the words we could think of that relate to Pilates.  GO!  We looked for connections, what were the underlying themes in words that keep coming up?  What stood out as most important?    

 

Finding Underlying Themes

After making the lists, we decided to go for a hike.  Fresh air to clear the mind and talk.  Maybe as two minds, we could better identify that string holding it all together.  We talked through the ideas that came up during our brainstorm and I shared with her my excitement about working in Pilates.

In my movement instruction, we identified a focus on form.  The movements are not random or performed without a clear intention.  They require thoughtfulness, and mindfulness.  I also love that Pilates is truly for any body, and for anyone, no matter what stage of life they are in.  I’ve worked with ages eight to eighty-six years old, with all various health considerations and fitness goals.  That is the beauty of Pilates.  I also firmly believe that Pilates helps you stay healthy and active through your entire life.  Helping you find freedom and ease in your movement.  

Claiming an LLC

Feeling refueled after my trip, I returned with many ideas I loved for a name. I started searching online only to discover many of them were already claimed or too similar to existing businesses. I was frustrated and felt back at square one. My husband, Estin, decided we needed to just pick a name we liked to file for an LLC. He realized that once we file, we could name a studio under that LLC as anything we wanted. This gave us more time to think about what we wanted our outward-facing brand to be.

When I was out for the day, he sent in a request for Waveforms, LLC.  Being a musician of synthesizers, he deals with waveforms all day: sawtooth-waves, square-waves, sine-waves, triangle-waves.  Waveforms…he thought it sounded cool.

Coming home, he told me that he filed as Waveforms, LLC.  I was initially irritated.  We had not discussed a name of anything close this beforehand.  I felt like something I had spent so much time thinking about was simplified into something I didn’t feel related to the business I wanted.

For the next few days, I tried to come up with unrelated names to our new LLC name for the studio.  I was at a stand-still.  But, the more and more I sat with the name Waveforms, underlying connections started to come together.

 

Running with Waveforms – Form and Intention

Doug Lowe, in his article about Measuring Electronic Waves describes waveforms as this:

“Waveforms are the characteristic patterns—These patterns indicate how the voltage in the signal changes over time — does it rise and fall slow or fast, is the voltage change steady or irregular, and so on.”

Suddenly, the connections was clear to me.  My husband’s music world and my movement world collided.  The body does just what this definition describes, patterns of movement.  Some efficient, some irregular and imbalanced.  This is what Pilates helps solve, bringing form and intention to our movement patterns.

Viewing a waveform on an oscilloscope, the device used for viewing an electronic wave, you can see that a wave is in constant motion.  Just as a wave in the ocean.  These patterns are capable of change over time.

Waveforms Pilates, it’s about movement and change. Constant movement and change, that can be charted overtime.  This is what Pilates is about.

 

Constant and Easeful Motion

I love the water.  Being a Scorpio, water is my natural element.  Being near the water always makes me feel calm, pensive, focused, strong, and connected to something greater.  I love watching the waves and seeing the repetitive, effortless, circular movement.  

Waves are created by sending energy through the water.  In Pilates, we send motion through our body by sending energy through it.  We keep the body in constant motion, much like a wave.

Some definitions of a wave include: to move freely; to bend or sway; to be moved, especially in opposite directions; a mass movement; a swell, surge, or rush, as a feeling or condition; any surging or progressing movement.

Yes! Pilates is all of these things.  Pilates offers all of these things.  Waveforms Pilates identifies with all of these things.  

Pilates is about finding effortless movement. Discovering inner peace and relaxation. Creating and passing energy through the body and feeling connected.

 

Pilates through All Stages of Life

Our body desires to move even when we don’t feel like it. It craves it.  Pilates helps us bring form to the movements of life.  We have peaks and valleys, just like a triangle waveform.  You may be coming off of an injury, you may have just lost a loved-one, you may have gained weight, you may be training for an upcoming race, you may be experiencing depression, Pilates can help move you.  

And when you move, you will be energized. You will feel more connected in your body and mind.  You will make measurable changes overtime.  You will experience ease in the body.  You will find better form and function.  You will feel more confident in you.  We believe this.    


We Are Waveforms Pilates

This is what we stand for:

Using Pilates to bring form and intention to movement, to allow you to stay in constant and easeful motion through all the stages of life.  

See what Pilates feels like in your body. Send us an email to schedule your first session today.


The Road to Waveforms Pilates


We all have different ways of discovering new things that change the course of our lives. Simple or complicated, they arise and change our homeostasis. They drive us to become better, more diverse individuals. For me, I found passion in Pilates. Although my journey wasn’t direct, it’s led me to starting Waveforms Pilates. I hope this inspires you to follow your passions and those feelings that pull you towards change.


Discovering Pilates

My first exposure to Pilates was back when I was twelve.  As a dancer, I decided to take Pilates classes to help build my strength for the stage.  After my first class, I knew this was something I wanted to pursue long-term.  I loved movement from an early age and something about Pilates was not only satisfying for my body, but also my mind.  In my high school entrepreneurship class I outlined a formal business plan for a Pilates studio.  I tucked away my plan in a binder, and went on to college.

 

Movement Education

I pursued dance at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and grew even more fascinated by the body in motion.  While in college, I continued my Pilates education and began the certification process through Balanced Body Education.

Performing Concert Dance at the UniversityClass, rehearsals, Pilates student teaching, observation hours,  performing, apprenticing at the Pilates studio, and then graduating.  I was back and forth from the dance studio to Pilates studio.  While still maintaining a passion for dance, I realized that it wasn’t dance that I was drawn to, but more so movement.  I left the university passionate about movement and ready to use it to change lives.

 

Defining Ourselves

Before leaving college, the head of the department helped us define the road ahead of us. She told us:

“As artists, dancers, movers, it will be easy to define yourself by the jobs that you work. Many of us will wait tables, bartend, and work odd jobs, but that does not mean that’s who we are.  When someone asks you what you do, you have the choice in how you answer.  You can say anything.  You need not say that you are a waitress, but rather let them know you are a performing artist, you are a dancer, you are a choreographer, you are a Pilates instructor, you are a mover.  We are not defined by our work, but by our being.  Tell them who you are.”

And I did exactly that, I waited tables. I waited tables, but did not identify myself with waitressing.  When asked, I told people I was passionate about changing lives through movement.  That I was a performing artist, choreographer, and Pilates instructor.  These jobs weren’t my primary source of income, but they were my being.

 

Trusting to Leap

Over the next two years, I slowly shifted from waiting less tables, to working more with movement.  All along I was teaching Pilates and dance, but now the scale was shifting to this being a greater part of my workday.  After landing a new job as a Pilates instructor, I turned in my apron and decided to take the leap.  Establishing trust with myself, I decided I would only do work relevant to my passion—work with movement.

 

Waveforms Pilates is Born

Fast forward two more years, supportive husband alongside me, moving from an apartment to our new home…I find my high school entrepreneurship binder.  I sensed a beauty of being on track.  Though I forgot about this specific dream of mine from ten years prior, I subconsciously set myself on the path to achieving it.  I completed the education, I gained the teaching experience, I strengthened my body, and I established a following.  I was ready to expand my reach and open a Pilates studio.  My loving husband Estin on board and excited, we started an LLC, and Waveforms Pilates was born.

 

Being a Modern-Day Entrepreneur

With the new fast-pace to society, change is our only constant, and being open to change is essential.  When we trust in our purest passions and desires for our lives, we move towards change for the better.  I challenge you to take a leap and trust the path towards change.  Change that aligns you toward your passions.

I am grateful for the team of people around me who supported my passions, helped on my educational journey, and rallied behind me.  Though being an entrepreneur may not be easy, there is ease in me.  I am excited for the adventures on the road ahead for Waveforms Pilates.


Courtney Holcomb

Certified Pilates Instructor, Waveforms Pilates

http://waveformspilates.com