Parallels between the nightlife and wellness industries may not be obvious, but Harrison Raphael – one of the owners of Hindley Street club Loverboy and party pop-up Archie’s Clubhouse – thinks there’s a way to bridge the gap. To prove it, he’s enlisted best friends and long-time business partners Danny Cooray and Dylan Auciello, along with physiotherapist and trainer Lauren Sebastiani, to open their very first pilates studio.
“It’s not as different as you might think,” Raphael tells Broadsheet when we ask about the change in direction. “In terms of what the three of us [Raphael, Cooray and Auciello] did … we’ve kind of been in charge of the marketing, the fit-out, everything else, and then Lauren brings that authentic pilates, fitness side of things to it. I think it’s just creating a space for people to come and be together … We tried to bring that aesthetic and fun of clubs, just without the negative impacts on health. So just a nice, wholesome version of that.”
Raphael says the classes on offer at Studio Spring, which opened earlier this month in Stepney, acknowledge the realities of a life that sometimes includes partying. He says it’s a place you can feel comfortable visiting after a Saturday night out, with a chance to start the week feeling stronger, more relaxed and – hopefully – energised for the week to come. The signature class is the Spring Classic – a 45-minute full-body reformer workout. There’s also mat pilates, yoga and cardio classes, as well as body-part-focused sessions such as Hard Core (abs) and Peaches & Cream (glutes).
Lauren Sebastiani, a physiotherapist who’s long been involved the fitness industry, designed the list of classes. Right now, she’s training a team of instructors to help her at the studio as time goes on.
Studio Spring’s fit-out is a major drawcard. High ceilings and plenty of natural light give the space an airy feel, and strategically placed house plants – in front of a partition facing the outside – mean it’s surprisingly private, despite being on a main road. The checked floor and yellow mirror in the bathroom are begging to be photographed, and – true to the studio’s name – yes, there are flowers.
Raphael – who recently launched a podcast, Boys Don’t Cry, to encourage men (and women) to open up about their mental health – and the team also want to erase the idea that pilates is primarily a woman’s workout. A male-only “Jerry Springer’s” class aims to address this.
“Something we’ve all thought about the entire time through this is that we were under the impression pilates was for women,” he says. “We’re really trying to support [men’s attendance]. After trying it, it is one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever had to do. I’m very used to the classic weightlifting, running – simple things. But doing this, it works your whole body.”
Studio Spring memberships are available for a weekly fee ($49). There’s also a seven-class intro pack available for $70.