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Instructor Megan Neuman leads a pilates class at Pixie Dust Pilates & Wellness Club in Wakefield on Aug. 17.

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Driving down Main Street in South Kingstown, it’s hard to miss Pixie Dust Pilates & Wellness Club. The studio is located in a bright pink wood frame house with emerald green trim and a large sign out front, featuring cursive lettering and the silhouette of a fairy.

Co-Founder and COO of Pixie Dust Justine Jennings said the aesthetic quality of the studio was a priority from its inception.

“I really wanted it to be beautiful,” Jennings said. “I wanted it to be a place that ladies could come and escape everyday life. A beautiful place with a glitter wall, and a fireplace. I want to do unique stuff, because I know anyone can offer Pilates, but I want to make it really unique.”

Jennings and her mother, Adriana, purchased the space last year with the intention of opening a franchise of Dickies, a popular barbecue restaurant in their native state of Texas. Jennings said they decided to pivot and open a Pilates studio because of the lack of Pilates options in the area. A Pilates lover herself, when Jennings moved to South County, she was unhappy with driving an hour round trip several days a week to get a workout in. Thus, in June of this year, Pixie Dust was born.

Currently, Pixie Dust offers four core classes: Yoga, Barre, Mat Pilates and Reformer Pilates. Reformer Pilates uses a Pilates machine, several of which are located in the main room of Pixie Dust, whereas Mat Pilates requires only a traditional yoga mat, and is taught in the studio’s front room. Jennings said that Pixie Dust plans to add ‘80s Dance Classes to the core menu in the coming weeks.

Reformer Pilates Instructor Megan Neuman said she heard about Pixie Dust online before the studio even existed.

“I decided to reach out to them, and I met Justine, and it was not even built yet, she had just gotten the building, and she told me her vision for it,” Neuman said. “I thought, it’s local, she had an exciting perspective, and I thought people would just fall in love with Pilates, like I had, once they tried it.”

Neuman has been teaching at Pixie Dust for the month of August, and plans to continue to offer classes in the fall. If you take a class with Neuman, you can expect to move everything.

“My flows work the whole body, every class works the entire body, so it’s not just arm or glute or leg centric, it’s usually a total body workout,” Neuman said.  

Anyone who is interested can sign up and pay for a membership, which gives you access to all of Pixie Dust’s core classes. Jennings also hopes to create what she calls an open-play membership, which caters to a specific population of exercise enthusiasts.

“It’s for people who don’t necessarily want to come and take a class, but maybe they want to come and use the space,” Jennings said. “Maybe they want to bring their friends and hang out in the back area for a little bit, maybe they want to go upstairs and use the boxing ring for a little bit, maybe they’ve been doing Reformer Pilates for 20 years and they don’t need a teacher to teach them—they just need a reformer, cause they don’t want to spend the 30 grand for a reformer in their house.”

The open-play membership concept is consistent with Jennings’ philosophy, by which she prioritizes giving back to the community and making fitness available to anyone who wants to try it out.  

“I noticed that the places that I was going were very very expensive, and I really wanted to make this something that was accessible to everybody,” Jennings said. “I didn’t want anyone to feel like, ‘I would love to try that, but I just can’t afford it.’”

Jennings added that the need for easy workout options has been exacerbated by the pandemic.

“I felt like during COVID, once it was over, people were going to need a space to start moving their bodies again, and to reconnect to everyone else around them and to themselves,” Jennings said. “When you’re not moving, you’re stagnating and everything internally, inside of you is kind of like, ‘uhhh’. I’ve always been someone who has a heart of service, so I love doing things that help people and that make people feel really good. What better thing than fitness and wellness?”

Since its soft opening in the beginning of June, business has been booming at Pixie Dust, particularly for reformer Pilates classes. Jennings said she hopes to offer five Reformer Pilates classes per day in September, in addition to three or four other daily core classes in the front room of the studio.

Neuman said she truly believes that anyone can benefit from a regular Pilates practice.

“I’m really excited for more people to get introduced to Pilates this way,” Neuman said. “I think it’s something literally for every gender, every shape and fitness level. It’s such a neat way to exercise or rehabilitate or whatever you’re looking for.”

Jennings added that, even if Pixie Dust’s exterior doesn’t exactly appeal to your aesthetic sensibilities, you are welcome to come in and take a class.

“Although we are a pink building, we have had a few men join us in class, which is great,” Jennings said. “I love to see that. If you’re focused on your health and wellness, we want you to be here, as long as you can be respectful.”

Emma L. Smith is a freelance reporter. She can be reached at elsmith@wesleyan.edu.

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