LANSING, Mich. — Gyms and fitness studios in Michigan will be able to offer classes indoors again starting Monday.
"Starting Jan. 16 through Jan. 31, indoor group fitness and exercise may resume, with masks," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a Wednesday press conference.
After the announcement, Susan Byrd, owner of Living Arts Dance Studio in both Mason and Williamston, posted a TikToK video of herself dancing for joy.
Byrd says that her studio was closed from mid-March through Sept. 7 and was then closed again by Nov.15.
"It has affected our business drastically. When we started enrolling students, we had less than half than we had last year, because of the pandemic," Byrd said. "When we enrolled students, 95 percent of our students and their parents wanted to be in-person…As soon as we got the okay to open back up yesterday, enrollments are going up already...I mean, instantly.”
Both Byrd and Misty Belous, owner of People’s Yoga in REO Town, pivoted to virtual teaching while shut down. Flahie’s studio, opened in August 2019, has been closed for longer than it has been open, but by teaching virtually, she has been able to instruct larger classes.
“The biggest class that we’ve taught…I think we had 56…I could never get 56 people in the studio," Belous laughed.
Justin Grinnell, owner of State of Fitness in East Lansing, says that because he owns a personal training facility that has plenty of space to socially distance, this won’t affect him directly, but it will affect many of his peers who have seen memberships at their facilities drop sharply.
“For two reasons: some people just simply don’t want to wear a mask or don’t want to work out with a mask," Grinnell saied. "Then, two, some people just aren’t comfortable coming back into…not necessarily a group setting, but a gym or any other type of facility where people are breathing hard.”
Both Byrd and Belous will continue to allow members to join by Zoom for their in-person classes, in order to accommodate all of their students.
“If you go on vacation and you want to take class from the beach, you can take class from the beach,” Byrd smiled.
“If people can’t show up for the class while it’s happening live, we send out the recording of the class so people really can take any of the classes on the schedule and do it at their leisure,” Belous said.
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