Living Well in Litchfield County, Connecticut

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Following her hunch—Wanessa Anderson and W. Rhythm Fitness & Wellness

Following her hunch—Wanessa Anderson and W. Rhythm Fitness & Wellness

When Wanessa Anderson took over the fitness center on Main Street in Kent back in December 2015, she had a completely new vision for it.

“It was hard because I didn’t even know if people would understand what I was talking about, if people would like what I was offering. It was a shot in the dark, but I’m like, I have to just try it!”

Walking through her tidy, sunlight-filled, pastel studio spaces on the second floor of 25 North Main Street, the tall Brazilian no longer exudes an iota of doubt. What Wanessa (“spells with a ‘W’, but you can say Vanessa”) had envisioned was a place of wellness and healing for the body, mind and soul—quite a shift, she says, from the more body-bashing workouts previously done there. 

W. Rhythm studio
W. Rhythm studio

“Realizing what the population here needed, I knew there was something missing.”

Now offering a full menu of low-impact workouts, and an expansion to include reiki, massage therapy, acupuncture, and halotherapy, it seems Anderson’s hunch was right. The Zumba and PiYo instructor decided early on W.Rhythm Fitness & Wellness would make Pilates and barre central to her offerings.  

Happy clients

Anderson, who landed in Kent by way of marriage and family, was first introduced to Pilates at 15, by one of her dance instructors in Brazil. In 2015, her father’s doctor prescribed Pilates for healing from a bone marrow transplant—at the same time Anderson was acquiring the gym. That was the moment she decided to commit to the two-year certification process.

“When I started to see all these things happening in my own family, for my own father, I was like it’s just stupid that I don’t complete the certification… I know the method, I know how much it will be beneficial.”

Like her father, most of W.Rhythm’s members and patrons are well over 40. She wanted to offer private or group workouts that would make them stronger in every way.

“There’s a mind-body connection in all the classes I teach … not everybody likes it. Some people like to be beat up. That’s not what I do.”

But that doesn’t mean she goes easy on her clients either.

“I’m strict. I’m not the yelling drill sergeant type of instructor. But I make sure that when they are here, they are here to take care of themselves. When the class starts we are present, and we are focused. My students feed off of me, and they know I mean business.”

wanessa hanging
Wanessa Anderson

Her fierceness in stature and strength, are quickly countered by her enthusiastic eyes, easy-going demeanor, and a set of dimples. It’s easy to see how she stirs inspiration and camaraderie in her clients… and was named Litchfield Magazine’s Best Barre Studio in 2019.

“My clients are of a similar age group, they are going through the same things in life, and they share experiences so it’s really a place to look forward to.”

The fitness center straddles two spaces in the same building—the Pilates personal training studio faces Main St.; the studio at the end of the hall houses group sessions for barre, yoga, mat pilates, and Zumba. Clients have the option of membership or purchasing punch cards. Anderson says the mix of stamina, endurance, muscle mass, cardiovascular, and strength training she offers every week is actually a program—the Tuesday through Sunday classes all complement each other…and it works.

“One lady came to me today, she’s in her late 60s. She just had a routine procedure done. And she said, ‘The nurse came to me and said not only do you look good, you have the vitals of a 25-year-old!’  And I hear this all the time. All the time. They go to the doctor, and the doctor asks, ‘What are you doing?!’” Winner of Litchfield Magazine’s 2019 Reader’s Choice Award. {SPONSORED POST}

Written by by Brandee Gilmore.

Rhythm Fitness & Wellness
25 N Main St, Kent


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