The COVID-19 pandemic, health struggles generally and time can make anyone change. Tevia Ladin has handled each and hopes to use that experience to help others at her new workout studio.
Since May, the Wausau area resident has been in the process of developing the Belle Force Barre Studio at 900 Grand Ave. in Schofield. The facility is having a soft opening Saturday and those interested can get free tickets to it on Eventbrite. The class presents a low impact and high intensity program which infuses movements of ballet, yoga and Pilates.
Ladin did not intend to become a Barre teacher. She previously performed corporate logistics work in the Chicago region.
But then, life gave her new plans and an illness scare to boot.
“After I moved [to Chicago] I found out I had a rare muscle cancer,” Ladin says. “It derailed me from seeing the city and really exploring and seeing what Chicago has to offer. I had three surgeries, was off work for almost five months, doing physical therapy three times a week and the doctors said I would not be able to bend my knee past 90 degrees. I was like, ‘heck that’.”
So, from there, Ladin went to work. She worked hard in therapy, can now bend her knee 140 degrees and it was on her journey to wellness when she discovered the workout program she is offering locally. It is something which is all over and is in other Wisconsin communities like Appleton. As the COVID-19 pandemic started shifting many norms, she thought about it more.
“I thought ‘I think I want to do this. This is a passion. I don’t want to be in a corporate job,’” she says. “I really dove in, learned, went to classes every single day, taught myself and fell in love.”
After moving back to the Wausau area, Ladin got pulled in other directions as anyone can and she put off her project as she reconnected with old friends and family. The work was not moving in the way she thought it would and she began to miss her former community. But, once finding her space in Schofield, she got goosebumps, electricity and knew making a space for people to change themselves and discover new horizons cannot be tossed aside easily.
“It was like euphoric. A ‘this is it’ thing,” Ladin says. “Once I saw the space I had my vision in my head. I knew it was gametime and so the lease was signed in January and we got to work.”
Equipment is now in place, a contracted employee has been hired and the classes Ladin put blood, sweat and her tears into getting herself ready to offer people will be available to all Monday. There will be outdoor offerings, a free first class for people new to the experience and monthly memberships ranging from $150-75 alongside individual classes at $13.50. Ladin has ideas for the future but, for now, hopes it gives people what it brings her each and every day.
“I think this brings an opening to people’s eyes of what they are capable of,” she says. “Maybe this ends up being something you didn’t know you wanted or needed in life. I want people to embrace themselves, to be proud and own who they are on the inside and on the outside.”
Belle Force Barre Studio can be reached at the Belle Force Barre Studio LLC page on Facebook. Their number is 715-432-0883 and they are open Monday through Friday from 4:30-8:30 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, they are open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Evan J. Pretzer is a contributor to City Pages. He can be reached at [email protected].