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Dixon Digs Deep

Katie Dixon, owner of Kadi Fit Lifestyle Design Studio

Katie Dixon, owner of Kadi Fit Lifestyle Design Studio

By Suzanne Fulton. A holistic lifestyle is important to Katie Dixon, owner of Kadi Fit Lifestyle Design Studio, so she established a community garden out back a few years ago, providing the raised beds and soil. She wanted people to be able to have a plot and grow vegetables. The McFadden family plot, for example, was a focal point of conversation.

So when Janet McFadden passed away in April, this community gathered to remember her, say a prayer and erect a garden bench in her honor. Daughter Megan is a yoga instructor at Kadi Fit.

The business is all about fostering community. Dixon recalls that in a single weekend in 2011, when the studio moved to a large unit at 19725 Oak St., friends quickly transformed it for classes. Artists and others volunteered their hands and turned the plain white room into a rustic but chic environment. They stripped off the white paint, created a graffiti wall mural, a dictionary page-clad wall, painted a Betsy Ross American flag on the high ceiling and more.

The large room adjacent to the studio, which houses a wet bar, is used by Bella Love for open mic nights and other special events, including a place to meet during ‘Tawba Walks and other events downtown.

Dixon leads a prayer at the Janet McFadden memorial

Dixon leads a prayer at the Janet McFadden memorial

Dixon believes in a balanced approach to fitness. The studio’s offerings address cardio, strength and mobility. Men and women alike partake in the array. In the beginning, she explained, classes focused on cardio dance and were attended by women.

Patrons can go primal—with a punching bag and boxing. Of course there are kids programs, too, including Hip Hop and Break Dance.

The path toward owning a studio began when Dixon was 24. She quit an HR position and collaborated with her husband on how to own and run a fitness studio. Kadi Fit opened in 2010; husband Mike teaches some classes, although he has his own internet-based business.

Dixon,33, has about 200 members plus quite a few others who purchase a limited package. The studio is open seven days a week. On average, six classes are held each day, she added. Staff members, called ambassadors, conduct classes.

A package of 10 classes is $150; a year’s membership is $1,200.

Kadi Fit also is a conduit for Dixon to inspire members to enrich their soul as well as their body. With each class, participants hear an inspirational message delivered by the instructor. Dixon believes that’s one reason why participants keep coming back.

“I love hearing from members that a message has resonated.”

Dixon is a key influencer downtown. She and Case Warnemunde founded the Cornelius Cultural Arts Group, a nonprofit that helps bring artists and events together, not to mention people to a part of Cornelius that was dead six years ago. She and Mike presently serve on the board.

As a member of the board of the Kilgoris Project, which she said she learned about through Journey Church, Dixon has gained a very personal kind of enrichment. Kadi Fit raised $18,000 to build a school building in Kenya. She made her second trip there in two years in May. Several Kadi Fit instructors went on the first trip.

Kadi Fit is on solid footing but Dixon claims that her biggest reward is that her studio “has fostered a tight-knit community, which is different from a lot of other gyms.” Her dream is to  expand to other locations, she said.