10 questions with Jude Chatelain of Balanced Body
While Pilates is hitting the celebrity scene as one of the hottest “new” exercise routines, Jude Chatelain and his team at Balanced Body have been ahead of the curve since the studio’s opening in July of 2000. Now with 17 years of experience, Balanced Body has a place firmly in the hearts, and routines, of Baton Rouge. We sat down with Chatelain to learn more about the history of Balanced Body, as well as the details of the core-strengthening exercise that is Pilates.
1. What is a typical day like for you and your team? A typical day starts early. Our first class begins at 5:30 a.m. Being that we deal with so many clients with different backgrounds and issues, each day can be a little different. Each class definitely has its own personality. Therefore, the routines we teach can be all over the map, which makes it sometimes challenging but always interesting.
2. What is your professional background? How did you get into fitness? I have a degree in Kinesiology/Health Studies. I first started in education as a physical education and health teacher and coach at a middle and high school level. During college, I worked as a trainer at several health clubs in town. About that same time, my sister, Renee Chatelain, and her business partner at the time, Cecile Bankston, owned Lemoine/Chatelain Dance Center, which included a small area dedicated to Pilates in one of the rooms. It was there I was first introduced to Pilates. However, athletics and fitness were part of my life from a young age. I was always intrigued by weightlifting and how that incorporated into athletics. I had the blessing of growing up in close proximity to Baton Rouge Athletic and Racquet Club and also the Wallbanger. We would ride bikes to their pools and then, when we got a little older, started to take part in their weightlifting programs.
3. What are the first things clients see when they walk through your doors? They see a state-of-the-art facility fully furnished with first-rate Pilates equipment. On the equipment, clients will see other clients being instructed by the best Pilates staff around!
4. What sets your facility apart? We offer individualized routines for each person. Although our classes are called group classes, each person is guided through their own routine during that group class.
5. What is one thing you think clients should know about Balanced Body that they may not be aware of? We existed as a small studio before joining forces with Baton Rouge Physical Therapy–Lake.
6. How do you keep your classes new and exciting? We are committed to the original work of Joseph Pilates, but we also incorporate modern ideas when appropriate. Our team is always studying new techniques. We get most of our new techniques through continuing education courses and also websites such as Pilates Anytime.
7. Can you share a hint about any new exercises or events coming soon? We will soon be incorporating some Functional Movement Screens as part of our program.
8. When did Balanced Body open, and how has it grown or changed since then? Balanced Body opened with BRPTLake on July 5, 2000, in a 1,000-square-foot facility on Shadows Lane. Since 2012, we have been operating at a much larger facility at 5222 Brittany Drive.
9. What does Pilates add to a fitness routine? Pilates is known for its emphasis on core strengthening and improving overall flexibility. Pilates adds awareness to all of life’s movements. A good Pilates instructor will teach a client to be aware of correct body mechanics not only in their fitness routines but throughout their everyday life.
10. What is your favorite exercise to incorporate into classes? Double Leg Stretch is my favorite Pilates exercise to teach and to perform. Whether it is performed in a mat class or on a piece of equipment, the exercise incorporates core strength, flexibility and coordination. It can be challenging but also feels good while performing it.
To learn more about Balanced Body, visit pilatesbatonrouge.com.