Now open: mXe Movement Studio in Linden Hills

Heather Corndorf teaches a bodyweight cardio and strength class at mXe Movement Studio, now open at 4279 Sheridan Ave. S.

mXe 17“Perfection isn’t allowed in here,” shouts Heather Corndorf as women dance to choreography she creates on the fly. “Look in the mirror. Look at yourself. You’re amazing.”

Classes at mXe Movement Studio (pronounced “moxie”) range from cardio dance to kickboxing, hip hop, yoga sculpt, Pilates and core conditioning. Instructors are prepared to teach at all fitness levels.

“It’s a party,” said Marissa Bader. “It’s fun choreography and it’s no pressure. It’s a family. It’s different than any other workout facility, I think, because of that.”

“It feels like you’re not working out, because it’s so fun,” said Carissa Hogan.

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While they work out, some parents drop off their kids for classes upstairs. Instructor Jen Feriancek — known as “Miss Jen” at Burroughs Elementary — teaches skills like courage and mindfulness, sending kids home with stickers that say: “I have moxie.”

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“We’re trying to bring people’s moxie out,” Corndorf said. “There is a deeper meaning behind all of this movement. … It’s not just a gym, it’s a lifestyle.”

The studio challenges people to break out of their personal bubbles. “Call someone instead of texting,” states the chalkboard. At an event on March 11, people will assemble kits to distribute to the homeless. It’s something Corndorf does at home. She keeps a pile of Ziploc bags in the car filled with dried fruit, jerky and notes from her kids, and she passes them out as she sees people in need.

“Any age can do this,” she said. “We let kids know it’s really easy to be compassionate.”

Corndorf majored in dance at the University of Michigan and worked at a professional dance company in Chicago. The next 20-plus years of her career fell into place when she took a kickboxing class and the instructor suggested she learn how to teach.

“The things I was doing in the classroom were just magical,” she said. “I have the best job.”

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She went on to teach at facilities that include Life Time Fitness and Calhoun Beach Club. She wasn’t certain about opening a studio of her own until her daughter crawled into her lap and said: “Mommy, I want to see you try something new.”

“I say this to my kids all the time: You have to do something scary, you have to do something new. It would be failure not to try,” she said.


Though she has several workout videos on the market, she’d rather see people join a class — any class, even if it’s not at mXe.

“Go somewhere, meet some people and move,” she said.