DeeDee Potts, owner and director of Pilates West Bay in East Greenwich, says she has always been “a mover.” Growing up in an active family, she danced, skied and swam competitively throughout her youth. But it wasn’t until she was forced to stop moving that she found herself on the path to becoming a Pilates teacher. ”I had been wanting to experience Pilates since I first became aware of it in my early twenties, but when I had a ski accident that resulted in ACL surgery, I finally acted on my urge,” she says. After reading everything she could about Pilates, DeeDee began practicing on her own before finding a mentor to further guide her. “My body changed through a consistent Pilates practice,” she says, “and that’s all it took for me to want to share it.” In 2002, DeeDee became a Pilates teacher.
At first she offered only Pilates at the studio, but DeeDee says that expanding was always part of her vision. The latest of DeeDee’ additions to the studio is Piloxing, which she describes as “a great full-body, low-impact cardio class.” Fun and challenging, it’s a core-centric interval workout that mixes boxing moves with the principles of Pilates to tone and sculpt. DeeDee has added Gyrokenesis and PhysicalFusion Barre Sculpt to the studio’s repertoire, as well. All classes are designed to allow DeeDee’s diverse clientele – men and women ranging in age from 16 to over 70 – to integrate more movement into their Pilates practices. “Much of what we do incorporates many muscles at once,” she explains, which results in “a well-balanced body and improved health.”
As for staying in shape herself, DeeDee makes sure that fitness is a part of her everyday lifestyle – but withholds from attaching unnecessary expectations to it: “I am thrilled at all my body does for me. I don’t beat myself up. I have learned my body responds much better to positive feedback.”
At Pilates West Bay, DeeDee says students will find that the classes are “smaller in number, so no one person is unattended or left hanging, wondering if they are doing the exercise correctly.” Students will also find that Potts does not offer an outlet for the excuses that keep people from movement. “We can come up with lots of excuses not to do things,” she says. But “movement is an expression of life. Fortunately for me, I happen to love it. I make a point of instilling that in others.”