Contrary to conventional wisdom, a heavy dose of SALT isn’t always bad for your health.
Owners of The Dailey Method in Kenilworth and Northbrook recently broke away from their franchise agreement and rebranded their fitness studios as SALT, a new workout concept aimed at bringing the three distinct disciplines of barre, cycle and foundation interval training (FIT) together under one roof.
The change marks a break from the owners’ longstanding franchise agreement with California-based parent company The Dailey Method (TDM), a national chain of dance barre fitness studios founded 17 years ago by Jill Dailey. Leanne Kurtzwell, together with Tami Conway, has owned the TDM Kenilworth studio for 6 years. Kurtzwell and co-owner Katy Kerr opened TDM’s Northbrook location on Willow Road in 2013.
‘This is the next step in our entrepreneurial journey,” said Kurtzwell.
Although rumors had circulated for weeks of an impending change, regular clients at the busy Northbrook and Kenilworth studios received an email blast on November 14 announcing the name change. That same morning, a new green neon SALT sign blazed inside the former TDM storefront in Kenilworth on Green Bay Road.
Since joining The Dailey Method as an instructor 10 years ago in Bucktown, Kurtzwell said she’s been watching the market for single-purpose studios change gradually over the past decade.
“Research tells us 60% of our client base is now mixing at least two different workouts each week,” said Kurtzwell. “With the launch of SALT, we’re going back to the essential elements of fitness by bringing everything our clients need into one studio.”
The SALT concept, Kurtzwell said, represents the next generation of fitness: a one-stop shop for exercise without the full-blown annual gym membership. And while class names have changed, the studios’ existing weekly schedules, instructors, and pricing packages remain largely the same. As with The Dailey Method, SALT offers clients single classes, monthly memberships and flexible multi-class packs that can be redeemed at any time. All purchases are transferrable between barre, cycle, and FIT classes.
“Science shows that challenging muscles in different ways is important to getting continuously good results,” said Kurtzwell. “The goal with SALT is to end the ‘one-class stand.’ We encourage everyone to try all three formats.”
In addition to new carpets and signage, Kurtzwell said, the two studio spaces will be reconfigured in the coming months to accommodate new classes and equipment. Plans are also underway to add in-house coffee bars at both locations.
“We’re looking to make some changes that will make the spaces feel more like a community,” said Kurtzwell, who also plans to expand the range of lifestyle and athletic apparel featured at the two North Shore studios.
Winnetka resident and TDM devotee Wendy Baker said she welcomes the SALT rebranding. Baker began exercising regularly at The Daily Method’s Kenilworth studio in 2011 after the birth of her third child. With toddler twins and a baby to juggle, Baker was initially drawn to the studio’s highly rated onsite childcare facility, an amenity still available at SALT.
“I dropped about four sizes after I started going there,” said Baker. “When I found a workout that made me sore after every single class, I knew it was for me.”
At the same time, Baker also admitted that she supplements her TDM barre workouts with interval training and high-energy sessions at a local cycle studio, a routine she’ll likely rethink now that all three options are available at SALT.
“Anytime you change there can be some hesitancy,” said Baker. “But I trust Leanne and Tammy. They’ve taken a formula that works and ramped it up to challenge us even further.”
Baker said she enjoys the boutique atmosphere of the small studio and the pleasure of seeing familiar faces at the studio. It has been business as usual at her regularly scheduled Wednesday barre class since the name change to SALT.
“It’s been a pretty seamless transition, “ said Baker. “There’s definitely reassurance when you walk in and see all the same people you’ve gotten to know over the years.”
For more information, visit saltfit.com.