Clients' Reviews

As a professional musician, I have always wanted to learn ballroom dancing. I have been taking dance lessons for over half a year now, and I have had such an amazing time with Mary Louise King and Jim Wallace! Although I have a musical background, Mary Louise and Jim break down the dance steps in such a way that even a beginner can follow them.


Mary Louise always has a smile that is contagious. She brings such joy and enthusiasm to her dance lessons. It is obvious that dance is something she is incredibly passionate about. Mary Louise provides important feedback and provides the male dance student with the female dance partner’s perspective.


Jim keeps the dance lessons moving along at pace that is productive to learning. He gradually introduces new dance moves while reviewing older ones. Jim always knows when it is time to try a new dance move with music. He is knowledgeable and willing to answer any questions the student might have.


As an added bonus Mary Louise and Jim invite their students to dances in the local area. This is a great way for dance students to enjoy what they have learned. I am very satisfied with the level of instruction that I’ve received from Mary Louise and Jim.


     -Christopher Engel, Director of Music and Organist at Kanawha Church

“Love my class! Mary Louise is a top-notch instructor who gets us moving big time! We strengthen major muscles and improve our balance. We work on our core and range of motion. We strengthen our wrists and ankles. These exercises even seem to improve our thinking and memory! Just had to share the great benefits of exercising with Mary Louise. I guarantee this class will help relieve your aches & pains and get you feeling great again! Come join us!”

– Becky Sutphin

"Retired for several years now, working out at home, the gym, or in a group has been a part of my lifestyle for 30+ years. I would walk by the Pilates classes 'knowing' I was in better shape and would not be joining a class to be an 'X' among 'O's. But, after being hounded by someone I respected, I 'gave in' and tried a class. Then another, and a few more....So after giving it a 'try' for about 4 years, what did I discover? Could there be areas missed with just weight training? Without a doubt. Pilates benefits might be summed up....remember your 20s and 30s....would you like another taste?

– a male student

“As a 16-year survivor of open-heart bypass surgery, I try to make every effort to maintain good health practices. Mary Louise makes exercise fun. Her energy and positive attitude are contagious, and she works every body part. With many in class being elderly, she gently encourages and allows each participant to work at his/her own pace and within each individual’s limitations. She is motivating, supportive and her approach is both instructional and educational, and I have personally benefitted from her class.”

– Dick Allowatt

“Mary Louise is such a beautiful lady, always wearing a smile along with her pearls. As a senior, I appreciate the kindness and concern she shows toward each senior in our class. She explains everything we do, always telling us what area of our body this exercise will help. We have been able to increase our weights. Our strength and balance have improved greatly.”

– Barbara and Phil Laughery

“I've been taking yoga, Pilates, and ‘yogalates’ classes from Mary Louise for over nine years. I started taking the classes for exercise but soon learned that these classes were much more. Not only do you get a great workout but also for me a sense of peace and calm. Mary Louise is a wonderful teacher, very knowledgeable about her classes and very caring towards her students. Give class a try. You won't be sorry!!”

– Carolyn Menello

“My wife had to drag me to class the first time. Now I wouldn't miss it. I ‘pooh-poohed’ exercising in a chair (which is about 90% of it), but I urge any senior to give it a go. You'll be surprised. Mary Louise makes the exercising kind of fun. She explains the reason we do certain exercises. She watches the class and seems to know when we need a minute to catch our breath. She seems to find different muscles to work every session.”

– Paul Lowen

“We both look forward to class with Mary Louise. Since beginning to take her class, my posture has improved. I have more stamina and just generally feel better. If we know we are going to miss a class, we find another location where she is teaching. She lives by her motto - "Fitness - Fun - Friends.”

– Jane Lowen

“It is a pleasure for us to comment on the skills that Mary Louise has as a teacher and demonstrator in our exercise program. Not only does she lead us in the various physical activities we do, but she also explains the benefits we experience in those parts of our body of each exercise. We have attended her class for several years and find her constantly cheerful and complimentary. In all these years, she has never, ever been critical of anyone's ‘performance.’”

– David and Barbara Koontz

“To Mary Louise, Just wanted to take the time to thank you for all you have done for me! For those who do not know me, I am a male, 63-years-old, and was injured in a car wreck at the age of 19 years. The injury was to my spine & caused me severe back and hip pain. I have lived with this pain for years. But since I have been taking your Pilates and yoga classes, I feel they have helped me to be more flexible & they have also helped me with my strength & stamina! I no longer have the back pain now! Thank God and you, Mary Louise, for this! I also know without the help of your classes I would not be able to function and do all of the ordinary things in everyday life. I am also able to still get on the floor with my grandchildren & wrestle & tickle them! After all, that is part of papa's job! Again thank you.”

– Joe Sayer

“You could go through a hundred trainers and not find one more knowledgeable, enthusiastic, helpful, kind, upbeat and fun than Mary Louise King. She will do all she can to help you reach your fitness goals and make sure that you enjoy every minute of it. Highest recommendation for MLK! Mary Louise, I can’t believe how great I still feel hours after doing the yoga class today. May have to make that a weekly thing again. Thank you!!!”

– Cathy Grant

“I have been looking for an exercise class that would give me an overall workout. I am not a fan of exercise, but I knew I needed the exercise to help bring my blood sugar down and feel better. I started taking classes with Mary Louise and I loved it. Mary Louise makes exercise fun and she is so encouraging and motivating that I want to keep coming back. She has become a great influence in my life, and I am always wanting to strive to do better.”

– Kathylynn Atkins

“I purchased some private sessions from Mary Louise King for my adult son as a Christmas gift this past December. Even though he hadn't exercised for a while, she had him working enthusiastically with her from the very beginning. She does a great job of customizing his twice-weekly routines to address his own personal fitness needs. He has benefited greatly and looks forward to each new session with her. Thanks, Mary Louise!”

– Gayle Panucci

“I enjoy my class every Tuesday and Thursday. Our instructor explains why we do a certain exercise and what muscle it affects. With her encouragement, I even walk 3 miles each day. I look forward to coming to class.”

–Janice W. Mosley

“Mary Louise’s yoga/Pilates classes are fun, affordable and effective!”

– Harry Mills

"I took private ballroom dance lessons from Mary Louise, and she worked wonders. First of all, I am not a dancer in any way. Mary Louise was very patient and professional with her approach to teaching me the basics to get started. She is a great teacher, and I learned quickly by following her instructions. I would recommend her to anyone, from a novice who just wants to learn enough not to embarrass themselves, to someone that is accomplished and wants to learn more.”

– Doug Spaulding

 “Mary Louise is a model of professionalism whose enthusiasm for her work and joy for life are contagious. Her knowledge of human anatomy allows her to customize instruction to students of all ages, as she explains the benefits of each exercise and inspires them to improve. She warmly welcomes each new student, and because of her caring nature and genuine interest in her clients, she establishes a sense of community in her classes, which are routinely overflowing. Each participant leaves feeling valued and thankful to have had the opportunity to partner with her for better health.”

– Linda Andresen

“I've been exercising with Mary Louise since November [2016]. I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my neck, shoulders, and hips. Since I've been doing this class, I have no arthritis pain. I had vertigo also, and now it's gone. It's amazing what simple exercise will do.”

– Randy Thomas

“I am an 84-year-old man. Because of Mary Louise's class and private sessions, I have found muscles that I had forgotten that I had!  This is very noticeable going up stairs and getting out of a chair. I feel that attending Mary Louise's classes has helped to keep my blood pressure normal. My balance is much improved. The classes are a great mix of age and ability. Mary Louise keeps the classes light and fun. It is a great way for us seniors to stay social. Private lessons were helpful to improve different exercises. She is very careful that we do not hurt ourselves all the while pushing us to improve. I have recommended both classes and private sessions to several people and all have been pleased. Mary Louise must be doing something right to have the class that I am in grow from several people to over 45 people attending in just over a year. She explains how each exercise is helping each part of our bodies. Besides all that, SHE IS PRETTY.”

– Phil Moore

I am a ballet teacher who has taken yoga classes all over the United States, from California to Rhode Island to West Virginia. I have never had such pleasant and effective yoga and stretch classes as I get from Mary Louise. Her classes help me stay flexible in my body and nourished in my soul. Mary Louise is an absolute precious gem of a person and instructor. You will not ever regret taking a class from her. 

- Kathi Curtis, 30-year dance teacher

I just want you to know how beneficial the upper body/arm/shoulders exercises, etc., were in the last SilverSneakers class on Tuesday. They so much help. Your classes are very encouraging - mentally, physically & spiritually. Actually, your classes promote overall well-being and promote a healing process to our bodies. I can testify for SURE that Pilates & SilverSneakers have increased arm & leg strength, especially for those of us students opening the door into our 70s & above -- U rate right up there with health care providers for our care & well-being -- without harmful meds. Sincere thanks & appreciation to you for all you do for seniors.

- Kay Hutchinson

I just want to thank you for the positive influence you have been on my life. Eight months ago, I decided to make a change to become healthier. I started going to your Pilates classes, then your yoga/Pilates classes. Then when I could, I took two of your classes in one day. Ha! I have been on a mission! I'm happy to say I feel better and stronger than I have for a long time. You are an excellent instructor! Thank you for being you! You truly have touched my life!

Linda Pritt

A desk job I worked at 27 years and my job now have done so much damage to my neck & back. If anyone else wants to feel better, and be more toned and flexible, you have to take a yoga/Pilates class. I'm only 6 classes in but it's unbelievable how it's helped me. I can't wait for Mondays & Wednesdays so I can feel better and get stronger. I would go every day if I could. If YOU have an hour, $5 and a yoga mat, come to South Charleston Community Center at 7 p.m. and give it a try. THANK YOU Mary Louise for being awesome and one of the sweetest ladies I know.

Kim Thaxton Thomas

I just want people to know how beneficial yoga classes are led by Mary Louise King. I've been practicing yoga for about 3-1/2 years and find that with regular exercise I have no aches and stiffness. Two times, I have hurt my back and have found yoga to relieve my pain and help my back to go back in place. (I have scoliosis and sciatica.) Mary Louise is always helpful and encouraging. She understands problems and has helped me to think what I can do to remedy the situation.. Thank you, Mary Louise.

Wanda Detinger

Two years ago, my husband had to undergo an unexpected fourfold heart bypass surgery at St. Mary's Hospital in Huntington. He had a rough time for several months after that with breathing problems, but he has been doing much better this past year. We go to Mary Louise's SilverSneakers classes twice a week for exercise, and he says that has helped him more than cardio rehab following surgery. I want to thank all my friends and family who prayed for him during that difficult time for your love and concern and especially your prayers. I am so thankful to the Lord for sparing Fred, the love of my life, and I never want to take one day for granted.

Karen Robinson

I had a neck and shoulder injury two months ago. I had been to a physical therapist in search of pain relief. When I asked Mary Louise for any suggestions, she immediately explained what exercises to do. Within one week, I am now pain free! Thank you, Mary Louise!

– Donna Carney, personal training client of Mary Louise