As Charlotte itself grows, the fitness scene is booming alongside it. Our local community is increasingly curious about finding the space to play, thrive, and grow together instead of simply going through the motions. Katie Dixon, who opened Bloc. this year and also owns Kadi Fit in Cornelius, is no stranger to this concept. Dixon sees the expanding interest in the industry as an opportunity for something greater to take place: not only a personal transformation or a community transformation, but an evolution of the fitness industry itself. As the co-founder of Bloc., alongside her partners Duncan Littlefield and Liz Joyce, Dixon offers a comprehensive approach to fitness, pushing the bounds of the workout trend to encompass a truly holistic healthy lifestyle and a “one-stop-shop” of sorts inside the doors.
The three make for a compelling bunch: They’re clearly all-in; invested, eager, and energetic, and they’re all first to say that they too were as desiring of this type of community as they hoped their clientele would be. As friends and business partners, the friends and coworkers had their own little circle already, especially in the Lake Norman area; now, they’ve widened it to share with Charlotte what fuels and inspires them. Bloc. is a stylish little (not really, it’s actually a fairly large space) Dilworth spot, with hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, high ceilings, and plenty of plants to cozy things up. The cafe offers a community table and stools to perch on, and the recovery room is complete with plush chairs and plenty of room to relax. What’s next for fitness is anyone’s bet, but these three are sure to be on the cutting edge, keeping health and wellness open and available for all.
What made you want to branch off from your first business, Kadi Fit?
My audacious goal has always been to create something that would shift the fitness industry and impact people’s lives beyond the four walls of the gym. In order to do this, I knew we would need something scalable, [which is why] I spent seven years building a rock solid team at Kadi Fit and curating the perfect template to replicate.
How did Bloc. come to fruition?
In 2016, my friend Wes Knight was leading free workouts around the city and asked me to help lead. He ultimately ended up handing over the reigns [to me]. My initial intention there was to increase my network with the idea of another Kadi on the horizon. What I didn’t realize was that, by really practicing [Wes’ advice to me of] “collaboration over competition,” I would establish a solid team of talented visionaries that would form a brand-new concept, Bloc., and even build the space to house it. Soon, the regular park workouts were replaced by work days for the space. It all took a very considerable amount of patience, but there is nothing like savasana: reflecting on the reward and the story.
What sets Bloc. apart from other fitness centers?
Variety is everything, and we offer a membership that each person can make their own. Whether it’s the 6am-er looking to sweat it out, shower, have her cup of joe, and take the first few calls at the space while sitting in our recovery compression boots, or it’s the evening athlete who arrives a few hours early to class to enjoy an afternoon smoothie pick-me-up, knock out the last few emails, and jump into a dance class—we’ve got you covered. We provide all of the resources for a healthy, empowered day: workout, showers, workspace, coffee and smoothie bar, and an active recovery lounge all under one roof.
How would you describe the style of workout?
Primal, Cardio Dance, and Mobility are our core classes. Primal is designed to build endurance and strength by using basic human movement, combining innovative movements and patterns for both cardio and strength. Cardio Dance is simple and repetitive hip-hop choreography for an intense sweat. Mobility is an active recovery class–a blend of Self Myofascial Release techniques designed to keep the body moving optimally through the release of trigger points, improved range of motion, and increased flexibility.
Tell us about the choice of the name.
[Co-founder] Duncan Littlefield and I initially came up with the idea of ‘block,’ to make people think of a block party. For us, a block party was this great memory of a community getting together, sharing food, laughs, and truly enjoying each other’s company. We then broke it down further and discovered more: Building Lifestyle On Community, aka Bloc., which was everything we needed to say and mo
Why are you interested in building a community for your clientele?Relationships are the starting point for everything we do. At the heart of our community is the practice of cultivating authentic, meaningful relationships and providing the platform for people to be vulnerable, comfortable, gritty, and unapologetically themselves. We truly “welcome the authentic you,” as it states on our front door. My main objective is to open people’s awareness how their mindset creates their reality; thoughts become actions. At Bloc., we put that practice into motion with your workout and find an upward shift. Changing our physical bodies is purely a by-product of something greater.