Port Washington woman finds old mill an inviting setting for pilates studio
The whimsical name of Port Washington resident Lisa Moberly’s Pilates studio, Flying Frog, is a litmus test of how knowledgeable a
person is about the increasingly popular fitness regime.
“People kind of chuckle at the name, but it is an exercise in Pilates,” Moberly said, “and Frog was my nickname in college, so it kind of
Moberly is a certified Pilates instructor with more 800 hours of training. She recently moved her studio from Grafton to the historic
“I got my bachelor’s degree in dance at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and while in college I began teaching dance and was
exposed to Pilates,” she said.
After college, Moberly performed with professional dance companies in Madison and Chicago.
While living in Chicago, she completed her Pilates training and began teaching the exercise program.
Moberly combined those passions when she moved to Milwaukee, where she taught at various health clubs and dance studios. She
served as an instructor at Danceworks and the Department of Dance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for 15 years.
Five years ago, after giving birth to a child, she began teaching Pilates and modern dance at the Milwaukee Ballet School.
Moberly then opened the original Flying Frog Pilates studio on 13th Avenue in Grafton, the only such studio in Ozaukee County.
“However, for whatever reason, my former clients in the North Shore thought going to Grafton was too far to travel,” she said.
That led to the Thiensville location.
“The building has a lot of charm and is home to a lot of health-care practitioners who work to make people feel better, so the studio seems to be a perfect fit. We take a very low-key, playful approach to exercise,” Moberly said.
Because of the intimacy of the setting, she said her studio emphasizes small-group and individual training.
In hopes of introducing more people to Pilates, Moberly is planning to hold “open gym” periods when people are invited to tour the facility
and learn about the advantages Pilates training offers.
“I realize that trying something new can be scary — until they experience it and see how Pilates works with their body,” Moberly said.
She said her students range in age from children to people “well into their 70s.”
Moberly said Pilates relies on gentle stretching exercises that build strength, flexibility and stabilization.
Those goals are enhanced by the addition of Gyrotonic equipment, which is available in only two other locations in the state.
Moberly explained the Cobra Elite Tower is designed to use three-dimensional spiral movements that compliment the linear movement of
Pilates. Both approaches rely on the importance of breath.
Before she was able to add the Gyrotonic equipment to her studio, she had to complete additional training with Juliu Horvath, developer
of the Gyrokinesis exercise system.
“I had to put in my hours and pass a written test,” Moberly said.
Flying Frog is located at 122 Green Bay Rd. in Thiensville.
Image Information: FLYING FROG PILATES owner Lisa Moberly demonstrates a gentle stretching exercise on the Cobra Elite Tower, a piece of Gryrotonic equipment. Photo by Mark Jaeger