Our October Flagship Studio Highlight is TDM Healdsburg and the vibrant owner, Catherine Ziegler. The strength of the Healdsburg community has shined over these past few years with Catherine and her team leading the way. Read about Catherine’s path to studio ownership and the challenges and triumphs that come with opening a studio 5 months before the pandemic.
I had my first (of three) daughters when I was living in Oakland in 2012. Four months postpartum, sleep-deprived, and with little free time, I decided to take a Dailey Method class (at Dailey Method Piedmont + Berkeley) simply because the studios were so close to my house. As a lover of exercise, competing in gymnastics as a kid, and working part-time as a personal trainer in pre-baby days, I was a total novice to barre. The isolated movements were brand new to me and something felt different and empowering about tapping into deep inner strength. It took me about three months of regularly going to classes to adopt a newfound sense of alignment and understand core strength in a deeper way. I fell in love with “The Dailey Method” as an exercise modality and am equally in love with the overall positive strengthening community vibe. I needed guidance and support in building myself back up physically and mentally post-baby and that community support was instrumental.
From 2012 on, I became a dedicated student throughout the rest of my pregnancies and births. I also worked full-time in the wine industry and after my third baby was born in 2016, I knew I wanted to take a bigger step with my involvement in The Dailey Method. I trained to be a teacher at The Dailey Method Santa Rosa in 2017 and was surprised at how much I absolutely loved teaching via a mic to a group, leading students through a mind/body experience. To not only feel the inner strength in myself but to then empower those around me and see them discover their own strength was a game changer for me. I left the wine industry and focused on opening The Dailey Method Healdsburg in October of 2019.
We opened the Dailey Method in October of 2019 with full support from the community. Because we had a fairly long lead time in building out the studio and training our team, it was incredibly rewarding to open our doors and be met with overwhelming excitement and engagement from our community. Even with us having to close our studio for a week after we first opened due to fires (!), we rode that level of excitement all the way to COVID days. I would say it was incredibly rewarding, even amidst our COVID world, to carry a really strong baseline of the same enthusiasm we opened with.
When we closed our studio doors temporarily in March of 2020, we immediately pivoted to an online livestream platform. Our entire team showed up daily to record videos and stay engaged with everyone during Shelter in Place. Because we had kept a strong core group involved during the livestream days, so many members were ecstatic to make the in-person transition via an outdoor platform. I remember specifically some of our members showing tears of joy and gratitude at being able to be together again, albeit outdoors at a distance. I feel incredibly lucky that we live in an area where we were able to have outdoor options such as local parks and that our studio is in a shopping center community that is so amenable to seeing us succeed via our studio deck. We continued on with a strong base of virtual and outdoor members, though of course operating at less than half capacity of what we started with membership wise in our first year of business definitely has had financial challenges. Now we are fully back indoors again and rebuilding our membership, which coming off of a 3 weeks Align + Shine studio challenge has felt incredibly uplifting.
I am a silver lining person so I am always finding the cracks of light : ) I am a believer that if we trust the process and trust the change that inevitably is always heading our way, there is less suffering and more opportunities to find joy with ease. How do we move through hard things with grace? This has been a question I have asked myself over and over again these past few years from both a personal and professional standpoint. When I allow and go with the flow of the waves that have been magnified these past few years, there always seems to be a path that unfolds that I never thought about before. Every initial loss can be reframed as an incredible gain, in retrospect.
The Dailey Method is here for anyone wherever they are in their fitness journey. Every teacher and member at our studio was at one time a total newbie. We know and understand the challenge of starting something new and we love to help our people feel supported, whether it’s someone’s first or 200th class. Our entire teacher team is incredibly supportive, knows everyone by name and encourages the growth of new students and their goals as much as those who have been with us for the past year. We are an intimate community and thrive from the personal connection we have with each individual.