After sustaining a knee injury, Melissa discovered the wonders of Pilates during her injury rehabilitation. There she changed her course of action after finishing her studies in Human Movement at University, to completing various Pilates courses and then going on to instruct.
After 10 years of experience running the clinical Pilates program at Windy hill, then instructing at Essendon Football Club, Melissa decided to open Fusion Pilates Studio.
Fusion Pilates Studio is based in Essendon, Victoria and offers a number of different classes from Clinical Pilates, Reformer sessions and barre classes.
We got to chat to Melissa about running the studio, balancing work and life, and the future of Fusion Pilates. Have a read below:
Why did you start Pilates and what made you want to run your own studio?
While at university studying Human Movement and working with some forward thinking Osteopaths I hurt my knee via Tennis & Taekwando requiring surgery. We trialed Clinical Pilates for injury rehab on my knee and there started my love affair with Pilates! Instead of moving on from Human Movement and completing a Physiotherapy degree as was the plan, I went on to complete various Pilates courses enjoying the way you can use Pilates in so many different ways from mind body movement, to fitness, to aiding sports performance to injury prevention and rehabilitation.
After 10 years implementing and running the Clinical Pilates program at Windy Hill Physio, 6 of those years at Essendon Football Club as their in-house Pilates Instructor, it was time for a change. I felt stuck, running out of space and time to accommodate my clients. That was when I decided to open my own studio.
What qualities do you think are important for a pilates instructor to have?
Knowledge / Higher Education
Passion for what they do.
What is your favourite pilates move and why?
At the moment I am obsessed with a series of pull up exercises on the Balanced Body A2 reformers, with the bar ¾ back, working against the springs, so many different variations to play with!
What would you be doing if you weren’t running Fusion Pilates?
I would probably be back at uni, studying my Masters. I have a strong interest in Sports Rehabilitation. However being mid-year, I’d be off on a European holiday
Apart from pilates how do you stay balanced while running a business?
I am still learning to stay balanced as my business is only 18 months old. Making sure I take time out for myself, go for a bike ride, get a massage, right now I am trying to book an extra-long long weekend break somewhere warm & sunny – anytime I’m by a beach I am relaxed!
What’s the biggest challenge about running a fitness and pilates studio?
At the moment its getting the work / life balance right and also finding like-minded staff.
What’s the biggest reward?
I love progressing clients to get to their goals via Pilates. Whether they are athletes/weekend warriors looking to improve their core & mobility for injury prevention and sports performance, or everyday people coming in to rehab from surgeries, pain management, pre/post natal, breast cancer, to clients wanting to just get moving, boost their fitness, I love helping people get there and when they do – that’s my reward, I love it!
Where do you see Fusion Pilates in 5 years?
I’d love to have a great balance of Pilates & Allied health/ Biomechanics here at the studio, staff who are as passionate as I am about what they do and possibly Fusion II!