BODY MANORS Details
Address & Phone1201 NE 26th St. Suite 106
Wilton Manors, FL 33305
Hours of Operation
Building the Gayborhood, One Body at a Time
When Andrew LaRochelle first visited South Florida, he fell in love with the people, the climate, and the lifestyle. A student at the University of North Florida—from which he graduated with a B.A. in communications—he was also grappling with important issues in his life. “At the time, I was dating girls and just felt that something wasn’t right,” he recalls. “Then I met someone, and realized that I needed to ‘come out,’ and live my life honestly.”
“I came from a family of entrepreneurs, so I knew early on that I wanted my own business,” LaRochelle says. “My father had three different businesses, and my mom had two. Being cut from the ‘same cloth,’ I just had to decide on my own fate.” That fate included a stint in public service.
“In Boston, I worked for the state Treasury Department,” says the native of Andover. “I went on to do work on a campaign for a candidate running for Governor of Massachusetts. Unfortunately, it was an ill-fated run, and following his defeat, there was a house-cleaning within the department.” LaRochelle says he wasn’t fazed—much—by the sudden freedom to find a new job. “I had come to Fort Lauderdale previously, and fell in love with the city. So I packed up and moved south.”
LaRochelle’s love for the area didn’t mean that he could sit on his proverbial laurels. “I moved here last November, and I opened my studio—Body Manors—in January. I decided upon Wilton Station at Five Points as the location, due to its strategic position in the community.”
Like a lot of transplants, LaRochelle found that the Gayborhood was more than he expected. “I do have to say that this is a little different than what I originally thought,” he notes, then cites an example. “In Boston, Zumba [a dance-fitness program that incorporates elements of aerobics, dance, and martial arts] was huge. Since it originated in South Florida, I thought that it would be a hit here—and guess what? It hasn’t been.”
Undaunted, LaRochelle adapted his fitness program to meet the needs of local fitness consumers. “What has really caught on are a number of our other classes, such as dance, and kickboxing has been amazing. We also offer yoga, massage, and our hugely-popular cross training.”
Body Manors also has assembled several fitness groups, in which attendees get a great workout, but share the cost of the class, making it much more cost effective. “In these groups, I really challenge the participants, and we mix up the workout, so that the muscles don’t get complacent,” LaRochelle explains. “The one thing that I want to make sure of is that when clients come in, we make it fun for them.”
The Bean Town transplant has gotten comfortable in his new digs during these past eight months. “One of the great things about being in Wilton Station is we have 600 residents, and they are now learning that we are here, and they are beginning to attend the sessions.” LaRochelle says a key to success is keeping things fluid and fun. “On Saturday nights, we offer nude yoga for men. We also have sports yoga and meditation sessions, and we offer Swedish, deep tissue, sport, and hot stone massages. That last one has really become one of our client favorites.” Body Manors has a number of summer specials for its kickboxing and other classes, and LaRochelle says that Guy Magazine readers will receive one class FREE by mentioning this story. Now, that’s a deal.