The first thing Katie King sees when she walks into Silhouette Studio, the boutique yoga center she founded, is a poem written by a middle school friend painted on one wall. Titled, “Just to dance” it includes this verse:
“Just to pose / With body sculpted statuesque / To execute an arabesque / And with fragile, artful grace sustain your stance”
Those words help King hold close the memory of Melissa Temsook Knott, who wrote that poem in King’s honor. She died suddenly from an ectopic pregnancy in 2016.
“Melissa was always my biggest champion,” King said. “This studio would make her proud.”
King, who grew up in Howard County, has always had a deep and intuitive understanding of how bodies move, whether in the water (she was a competitive swimmer as a child), in toe and tap shoes (she is a lifelong dancer) or now, in her yoga studio.
“The body is my happy place,” she said.
For a long time, King thought that dance was her calling. She performed for four years with The Collective dance studio in Baltimore and owned her own dance studio from 2009 to 2020. But she was becoming concerned about the increasing number of injuries she was seeing.
“In order to be competitive in dance, young girls had to do stuff that was potentially dangerous,” King said.
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“Sometimes the injury was bad enough to count them out as dancers. I began doing yoga because I wanted to figure out a way to lengthen their lives as dancers and athletes.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, King shut down her dance studio to concentrate on yoga full-time. She became certified in myofascial release, a form of physical therapy that aims to relieve pain in the muscular system. In September, 2021, she opened Silhouette studio and said she’s been struck by the affinities between the art form and the exercise.
“Some people have described yoga as ‘moving meditations.‘” King said. “Yoga calmed me down. It made me feel powerful again.”
Now, she works with clients one-on-one. After the first, one-month commitment of four, one-hour-long sessions costing $360, customers can schedule additional classes at $90 apiece.
Some of King’s clients say their shoulders loosen the moment they pull into her long, tree-lined driveway. The 17-acre wooded property owned by King and her husband, James J. King, a restaurateur and former Maryland delegate representing Anne Arundel County, abuts a nature preserve. In front of the studio is a fire pit and behind it, a level lawn overlooking a densely wooded ravine where on warm days King and her clients practice yoga.
“The whole setup is very inviting,” said longtime client, Stacey Manis, 59, of Annapolis.
“I feel safe there. People would always say, ‘Come to yoga and you’ll relax’ and I would ask: ‘Relax? How do you do that?’ But you go to Katie, and that’s what happens. It’s amazing. She guides you through releasing your jaw and your shoulders and clearing thoughts out of your head, and the next thing you know, class is over.”