Suzette Smith, a former ballerina, choreographer, and owner and founder of Shelter Island Pilates and Shelter Island Barre studios, leads her dedicated following with expertise, inspiration, and practices formulated to instill her ethos for “Aging Well.”
Suzette’s classes aren’t known for being easy. But they remain the most in demand fitness classes on Shelter Island, and securing a spot well in advance is essential. Attending her class on a regular basis produces incredible results both for body and mind.
We recently sat down with Suzette to learn more about her favorite barre and Pilates exercises, how she complements her regular teaching with other fitness programs, and how she enjoys spending a typical day on the idyllic Shelter Island.
Tell us about your business and what you love most about each day?
I love that my business helps people. I’m so lucky to have work that is a true expression of myself because as a breast cancer survivor marking 27 years cancer free I really do value well being. I truly know our health is our wealth. There is nothing more important. I get to dedicate my life to my own as well as my clients’ well being.
What are your favorite Pilates exercises and why?
I love that Pilates is a lifestyle, allowing me to age gracefully. Also, I love seeing my clients experience the same thing. I have many clients in their 80’s looking and feeling great, loving the body they live in and feeling great!
My favorite element of Pilates is taking all principles of the practice and incorporating them into my life. Pilates is functional mechanics – standing up straighter, moving with grace, and staying agile. There are an unlimited number of exercises you can incorporate into your everyday life. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Shelter Island Pilates, and I can honestly and happily say I am never bored.
And your favorite barre exercises?
As a former dancer and choreographer, Barre connects me to my dance days. During the workout you are so focused on grace, strength, and poise. Barre exercises are precise, and this workout attracts people that want to work hard, are focused, and have an intensity about them while connecting to their grace and elegance.
Which other sports and activities do you enjoy integrating into your routine and why?
I love paddle boarding, skiing, biking and dance. Doing Pilates regularly really enables you to keep doing activities like these because it keeps you strong and agile.
How do you enjoy spending a typical day on Shelter Island?
I take regular walks to the beach and on Shelter Island’s many trails. Being able to walk outside and enjoy the island’s beautiful beaches, historic neighborhoods, and nature preserves centers me.
Please share your favorite restaurants on Shelter Island and what you like to order.
I love Commander Cody’s fried shrimp and lobster. For an easy and delicious lunch by my studio in the Heights I love the rice and beans at Stars Cafe.
Do you cook at home? What are some of your favorite spring and summer dishes?
I really love to cook! I grill a lot, and eat seasonal food as much as possible. My favorite meals are simple and clean, with lots of protein, fresh fish, and veggies. And I do love french fries!
What are you most looking forward to this coming summer season?
This season I am so proud to celebrate Shelter Island Pilates 20th year anniversary! Now entering our 4th year after COVID, I am excited to welcome new teachers and staff to once again expand our team.
Our clients can look forward to more teachers, a new class schedule, and our new OnDemand library of classes which we just introduced in a subscription service on our website. Our clients can access their favorite barre, pilates, and stretch classes anytime and anywhere.
Additionally, being able to provide private and group Pilates sessions, Pilates mat and barre classes, as well as our extensive OnDemand library, makes me really happy to be able to offer clients a full range of price points. It’s for everyone.
Suzette Smith is the owner and founder of Shelter Island Pilates and Barre on Shelter Island, offering private, group, and online classes.