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Meet Zoe Stein Pierce of Z Moves Studio in Fort Worth

Today we’d like to introduce you to Zoe Stein Pierce.

Zoe, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started out as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. I grew up in Skokie, IL and went to Evanston High School. I received a BA in Modern Dance from the University of Colorado in Boulder. I moved to NYC after graduation and attended the Laban-Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, receiving my certification in Movement Analysis.

In New York I studied with many modern dance and ballet teachers and performed with independent choreographers. We moved to Fort Worth in 1988, for my husband, Glen, to become the Assistant Baseball Coach at TCU. I was fortunate to receive a scholarship from TCU to be in the Master of Fine Arts Program in Modern Dance. I had faculty members at TCU who helped me launch my career in dance by giving me many great opportunities to perform, teach and choreograph. Ellen Page Shelton was the faculty chair in the TCU Dance Department and she was a powerful advocate for dance and the arts. Susan Douglas Roberts taught me how to organize performances on tour and how to lead workshops.

David Hochoy, a former member of the Martha Graham Dance Company, taught me Graham Technique, insisted on excellence and pushed me to develop myself as fully as possible as an artist. I taught dance classes all over Fort Worth and opened my studio, Dancescape, in 1992. I had my own company, Ekstasis ,and we performed contemporary choreography in the Metroplex. I also taught dance and choreographed musicals at TCC and taught dance, anatomy and physiology for dancers and Pilates as an adjunct faculty member at TCU. Pilates was growing in the mid-’90s and I was the first Pilates Studio in Fort Worth. I was also a teacher certification instructor for the Physical Mind Institute.

In 1999 our son Eliot was born and I focused on teaching Pilates. I have had so many wonderful clients over the years. Teaching people to use their bodies to move better and accomplish their goals has been a very satisfying career. I also am a certified teacher of the Gyrotonic Expansion System, which offers another approach to my theory that we have to “make friends with gravity.” I added another career path a few years ago and it is working with horses. I am a Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist.

Therapeutic touch with horses is a magnificent exchange of energy. Horses are truly a mirror of ourselves. I found my way back to riding, something I had not done in forty years. I was in the saddle for maybe a minute when I realized that I was feeling the same joy, electricity and connection to spirit that I always felt when I was dancing. I love people and I love animals. I have a career that lets me keep learning about what fascinates me most: how we move with grace and efficiency, on two legs or on four.

Has it been a smooth road?
Never a smooth road! The bumps and struggles are where the lessons live. How do you connect with your clients and provide a service that they want to pay for and that you can make a living performing?

Making a business out of what you love to do is the best and worst! When your business is you, it can be very hard to be objective. I work with people and animals and everyone feels a little or a lot of different everyday. Being able to take my skillset and work well with whatever is going on that day is my challenge. I have this time on this day to help my clients. It is all about focus and being in the moment.

We’d love to hear more about Z Moves Studio.
My business started in 1992 as a dance studio. I became certified in Pilates in 1995 and was the first fully equipped studio in Tarrant County. I added the Gyrotonic Expansion System to the studio about ten years ago. Teaching excellence has always been important to me. Every day I think about a quote from Bill T. Jones where he said “ for those of us who have lived bravely in our bodies”. How do you live your most extraordinary life in the body that you have?

I am grateful for the many referrals I receive from my fitness colleagues, health care professionals and equine professionals. It means a great deal to me that my contemporaries, talented people themselves, send their clients to me. I have their trust because of my many years of experience. Nothing is too challenging for me: everyone deserves the opportunity to create positive change in their body.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see my industry flourishing again! I am in a unique setting with my studio situated in D Wellness. We are a wellness center where excellent practitioners can provide integrated care for our clients. Fitness, exercise science, massage and medicine all work together at D Wellness. I think Dale Watson’s business model for wellness centers is the future.

As for the equine side of my business: my home base, Benbrook Stables, gives people a chance to connect with horses and have experiences that make memories. Real-time adventure in the beautiful outdoors. Equine massage lets me help horses live happier lives. When you are with horses, you are always in the moment.

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