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March 16, 2013

Entrepreneur works up a sweat

By Cathy B. Koplen
The Daily Star

---- — Walking through life, Stacy Mitchell is always thinking of new moves — slow yoga stretches, fast Zumba grooves and sharp kickboxing punches.

Mitchell owns Body by Stacy, a fitness studio on Main Street. She holds daily exercise classes in several different disciplines.

“I am always thinking of new routines everywhere I go,” Mitchell said. “I am always trying to keep it fresh and fun.”

Body by Stacy is located at 99 Main Street on the second floor of an old building. The high-ceiling room, wooden floor, good acoustics and stellar light show make her evening Zumba classes exciting. Mitchell leads the group from a stage centered along one wall. Behind her are mirrors that reflect the lights and movement.

In another room, Mitchell trains private clients to reach their fitness, strength and weight-loss goals.

Before opening Body By Stacy, Mitchell managed Friendly’s in Oneonta. She said she would find herself thinking about movement and how it would strengthen the body as she worked. In fact, it was as a general manager for Friendly’s that she discovered she had an unrequited passion for movement and decided to open her own studio.

“When they asked me to be the GM at Friendly’s, they told me I would have to give up my classes,” Mitchell said. “I agreed. It was what had to be done because I was so busy managing the restaurant. But I really missed it. I have a real passion for it.”

When she was working as part of the wait staff at Friendly’s, Mitchell also taught exercise classes for the YMCA and was a personal trainer for several clients. She never thought she would be able to open her own studio, until she had to give up her classes.

“It wasn’t planned, it just happened,” Mitchell said. “I couldn’t train people anymore because I was working at Friendly’s all the time. I really missed it. This space came open and I just thought, why not. If I am not successful I can always go back to Friendly’s.”

Body by Stacy has been successful. Mitchell opened her studio in a small space, but has recently rented a larger space, and added new clients and classes.

“I am 70 years old and it really helps me,” said Ruth Ann Lind of Oneonta who regularly attends Power Piloga class at Body by Stacy.

“This exercising has certainly helped my movement,” Lind said. “A lot of things have gotten easier. I feel like my strength is better and I am more flexible. After one of Stacy’s classes my brain is so full of oxygen.”

Mitchell is a certified group exercise instructor, personal trainer, kick box instructor, “ripped” instructor and Zumba instructor. Ripped is an anachronism for resistance, interval, power, plyometrics, endurance and diet – taught in combination to help the body become strong and healthy. Zumba is a Latin-style dance, exercise class.

“I come here every day, sometimes twice a day,” said Kelly Kingsbury, women’s field hockey coach at SUNY Oneonta. “She has some classes I like — Monday in the mornings there is ‘shape up’ and Monday afternoon there is ‘ripped to the core.’ I just had triplets and being a coach — I make my athletes work so I need to work out.”

Body By Stacy recently celebrated a one-year anniversary. In addition to exercise classes, Mitchell offers birthday parties and fundraiser at her studio. She has a bounce-house, karaoke machine and she specializes in themed parties.