WATCHUNG, NJ – After three long months, the Pilates Design Studio in Watchung finally has the green light to reopen, effective July 2.
The studio, which was ordered to close back in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will reopen slowly with 1:1 in-person instruction only at this time. Instructors and clients will be staggered to accommodate social distancing and several safety measures will be implemented.
"We are so excited and ready to reopen and to see our clients, in person, again,” said owner Danielle Conner, noting that, in preparation of the reopening, air purifiers and fans have been placed throughout the studio, there is ample hand sanitizer, instructors will wear masks, and all spaces will be disinfected with a CDC-approved cleaning solution that kills the virus in three minutes.
"The cleanser is key to getting us back on track. Knowing I have something that kills the virus in three minutes makes me feel more comfortable reopening our doors,” said Conner. “We are taking all the right steps to ensure everyone's safety and comfort levels."
In addition to 1:1 sessions, group classes, which have been conducted virtually since the first week of the shutdown, will also continue on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays until further notice.
"I knew I was going to have to do something to keep everyone moving during this time. Besides the benefits of physical health, I knew mentally everyone was going to need something to look forward to and to keep some kind of normalcy in their lives to get through this,” she said. "I was pleasantly surprised that the virtual sessions were working as well as they were! It definitely exceeded my expectations. Ironically I gained a few new clients through it as well, which was amazing!”
According to Conner, some clients are ready to run through the door and get back on their schedules again, while others would prefer to remain virtual over the next few weeks. In an effort to meet all clients’ needs, the studio will continue to offer virtual sessions at this time.
“Our clients have the option to either start now or remain virtual and return when they are ready. I want everyone to feel safe and comfortable coming back in and if they are too anxious and not there yet, that’s okay, too,” she said, adding that she is looking forward to all of her clients returning to the studio when they are ready.
“Even though virtual sessions held us up and kept us going, it's definitely not the answer or the most ideal way to work on injury or chronic pain,” Conner said. “We are in the same storm but in different ships, and we are all trying to navigate our way as best we can. Our clients can be secure in the fact that their comfort and safety levels are our priority, and we will make sure they have everything that they will need here.”