Chanda Fetter’s injuries as ballet dancer lead her to open Core Sport
This business owner is helping the community through pilates and ballet.
Core Sport owner Chanda Fetter suffered several injuries throughout her dance career, but the pain brought her to pilates, where she found therapy not only for her body but also her soul.
The Sacramento native began dancing at the age of 10 and performed as a professional dancer with the Sacramento Ballet upon graduating from high school.
After two years, however, she hung up her ballet shoes and moved to Santa Barbara to join her sister, who was attending Westmont College.
After taking classes at Santa Barbara Community College, she transferred to UCSB to study sociology and physical training.
Now, as the owner and master trainer of her business, Mrs. Fetter marries her two degrees to bring people together through pilates.
“I have such an incredible clientele,” she gushed.
About half of her current client base has been with the business since it opened in 2007. The 2,000-square-foot boutique hosts 200 regular clients, but the venue sees about 550 people throughout the week.
Her team measures about 10 people, and they’ve been hand-selected by Mrs. Fetter.
Core Sport was the only niche, pilates boutique in the area in 2007, Mrs. Fetter said.
Now, competitors are all around, she said. A block away from Core Sport on State Street, for example, is San Roque Pilates.
However, the competition motivates Mrs. Fetter.
“It’s made me have to be very good at what to do and move with the trends,” Mrs. Fetter said, adding that she stays in touch with trends by attending fitness conventions and traveling. “You just have to pay attention.”
And attention she pays to her business and clients. Through the hardships of life, such as deaths, divorces and natural disasters, the business has been sort of an abode for the clients. When a client lost her 25-year-old son in an accident, “We shut the studio down and went to the funeral,” said Mrs. Fetter.
Currently, the studio runs at 75 percent of its capacity, compared to 20 percent when it first opened, said Mrs. Fetter. The three-quarters level is just right for the owner, who wants to keep it at a level that allows her to be in touch with the community.
Core Sport, however, is not the only thing on Mrs. Fetter’s plate.
“Now that my daughter is 4, I have a bit more time on my hands,” she said.
And so, Mrs. Fetter is tapping into her days of ballet. She has joined the board of State Street Ballet, where she hopes to mentor girls through the demanding world of ballet and the downsides that may come with it.
Mrs. Fetter hopes to be someone young dancers can talk with about struggling with self-image issues or eating disorders. She herself struggled with anorexia when she was a dancer, and with her leadership position, she looks forward to talking openly about such issues.
The owner and master trainer of the pilates business already seems to serve as a confidante for her Core Sport clients. She told the News-Press that her sociology degree comes in handy because she deals with different folks everyday, personally and professionally.
Those interested in joining Core Sport can try it out with a free trial class. In addition to group classes, the business offers personal training. Memberships range from about $200 to $300 for group classes. The business is at 3554 State St.