I met Tallie Neltner and Mikel Quast back in 2012. I used to fangirl over Tallie and her class at Pure Barre in Fort Wright, and Mikel was a permanent fixture at the barre (right side, front of class). It came as no surprise to me when I heard that they were opening a studio of their own. I moved away shortly after they opened, but when I came home for breaks, more and more of my friends were talking about the new boutique studio in Oakley Square, and how they were all joining. It was, of course, Tallie and Mikel’s studio, DEFINE body & mind.
You have all heard the cliches “everything happens for a reason” and “when it’s right, things seem to just fall into place”. This was truly the case for these women. No, they didn’t just decide overnight that they should open a studio. Their entire lives lead up to this.
Tallie danced competitively at Louisiana State University, got a degree in business management, and had always dreamed of opening up a dance studio. Realizing that the hours wouldn’t be ideal for having a family (most dance studio hours are 3p-10p), she switched her focus to fitness. She was working in recruitment and HR during the day, and teaching Pure Barre at night, when her mother-in-law got very sick. While she was at her side during this time, her mother-in-law encouraged to not waste time and to not wait until you are sick to start your bucket list. Do it NOW.
Meanwhile, Mikel was teaching early childhood education, and like me, was Pure Barre obsessed. The two of them became friends, and Mikel had similar aspirations as Tallie to open her own studio. When Tallie felt compelled, Mikel was there to join her. The two of them, newly married and on the verge of starting families, jumped in head first.
DEFINE: Oakley was the first DEFINE studio to open outside of Texas. They wanted a studio that offered more than one format, and was a good fit for clients of all age and fitness levels. When they came across the DEFINE franchise, it was exactly what they were looking for.
There are 4 class formats at DEFINE.
Rev, which is their “spin” on cycling,
Mind (yoga and meditation),
And, their newest format, Bounce.
Mer and I took their Rev class on Cinco De Mayo, which was, of course, celebrated with Latin music, sombreros, and maracas. It reminded us exactly how they can pack out nearly every. single. Rev class. The key reasons being:
The 45 minute class isn’t a competition. There is no leaderboard or even screen to track your own progress.
You ride to the beat of the music, and adjust the resistance accordingly (if your legs are moving too fast for the beat, you know you need to turn the torq up, and vice versa).
They incorporate abs and core stabilization nearly the entire class by utilizing a small med ball. It’s amazing how placing your hands on the ball versus on the bike handles causes your abs to fire.
The instructors. They are SO entertaining, positive, upbeat, and play amazing music.
The community. You’ve heard me say it before, but positive people attract more positive people (and to quote Elle Woods, exercise creates endorphins, and endorphins make you happy). It doesn’t matter what kind of day you had leading up to class- you are guaranteed to walk out of class grinning from ear to ear.
YOU DRIP SWEAT.
Tallie and Mikel are hard working small business owners, yes, but they also each have two small children. Understanding the challenges of balancing being a parent and staying fit, they offer child care at the studio so that parents can take class while their kids are entertained.
Define just celebrated their 4 year anniversary. Over the past 4 years, these women have changed the lives of so many by bringing DEFINE to Cincinnati. We’re looking forward to seeing how Tallie, Mikel, and their amazing team continue to define not just our bodies, but the Cincinnati fitness community.
DEFINE might be a good fit for you if you are looking for a studio that offers multiple different formats, like the convenience of having childcare on site, and you are looking for a supportive community of smiling faces that keep you coming back.