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Meet Stephanie Vanderbeck of Purely Pilates Center in Southlake

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Vanderbeck.

Stephanie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up in New Orleans among a family of small business owners and health club owners. Fitness has always been my passion and full-time career. My undergrad degree is in Exercise Physiology. I worked throughout college as an ACSM personal trainer until I had the good fortune to take Pilates at a local gym. Two weeks into taking classes, I said “this is definitely for me!” and I enrolled in teacher training. Back then Pilates was still relatively new, so I had to drive several hours away to learn the method. I was blown away by how much skill and body control Pilates required, and also how I got much faster muscle tone practicing it than anything I previously tried.

During my first years as a teacher, I also served as rehab director and co-owner of a chiropractic and Pilates clinic. This provided a rich environment to learn and studio the body and spinal conditions. In 2013 I moved to Southlake to take over operations of Purely Pilates Center, and ultimately, I bought the business in 2015. There have been so many changes in the business since then! The studio has now expanded twice, doubled its class offerings, added new faces, and gained a reputation for being therapy focused with new class offerings such as Perfect Posture ELDOA, a revolutionary system that works on the fascia to decompress the spine. I’m so excited to share my passion for Pilates movement and all of its therapeutic benefits.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I ultimately planned to become a physical therapist, however during my first week of post graduate school, Hurricane Katrina wiped out my school, my home and life as I knew it. What seemed at the time like a great misfortune was in fact a blessing. I was in Houston taking my final test to become a Pilates instructor on August 29, 2005, the day Katrina made landfall. I watched on the news from a Houston hotel as my home was swallowed by water. This forever changed the course of my life, but it also solidified that Pilates would be a career path.

Becoming a business owner after many years working as an instructor has provided countless challenges as well, but I view these as opportunities to grow. From its beginnings in 2009 until late 2015, Purely Pilates was the only studio in the Southlake area. As the business grew, I quickly realized that if I wanted great instructors to meet the growing demand, I would have to dig in my heels and create a training program. I started my first in-house comprehensive Pilates teacher certification last year to provide a place for local students to learn and study the art and science of Pilates. As many Pilates-inspired studios open locally, we remain firmly grounded in a “client first” mentality, with a focus on mindful movement.

Purely Pilates Center – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Purely Pilates distinguishes itself by catering to the local community, providing a high level of hand-on customer service. We really get to know our clients. Class sizes are small and this allows us to be focused on safety and attention to detail. The studio has a community feel—we know your name and we know what ails you. The attitude of the studio is more comfy and relaxed than high-fashion. Purely has a reputation for catering to those recovering from injuries—many of our referrals come from spine doctors, chiropractors and other PTs. When a patient is released from physical therapy, they are often told “go do Pilates”. We work to earn their trust by providing high-quality instruction that is tailored to the individual, versus “one size fits all” group classes. My instructors are handpicked for having both teaching experience and advanced certifications and degrees. We really encourage the consumer to ask questions when choosing a Pilates instructor and to seek out a well-educated individual, especially when working through an injury. Our team includes two physical therapists that provide “therapeutic Pilates” along with more traditional physical therapy. This bridges that wide gap of “I’m released from physical therapy but not quite ready for group classes. Now what?”. Purely Pilates is a great place to practice Pilates in all stages of life, from the teen athlete to the aging baby boomer, and everyone in between. We believe that if you treat your body well, it will return the favor.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me is helping my clients to live fuller, richer lives because of the physical practice of Pilates. Founder Joseph Pilates deeply desired that his students live out their fitness outside of the studio and “off the mat”. We do some deep digging into goals before starting the physical practice. It’s not enough to say “I want to tone up”. Everyone has a WHY. It is far more meaningful to me to help someone get stronger so that they are able to be a better parent, or to gain enough mobility so that they can walk through the grocery store confidently. This just moves my needle much more than trying help someone fit into skinnier jeans. The more I understand the underlying “why”, the better I am able to serve my clients’ real needs.


  • Intro 3 private sessions $199
  • 3 privates plus first 6 classes $259
  • Therapeutic Pilates Consult plus one hour Pilates with a physical therapist $135

Contact Info:

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