By Donn Swaby


The Focus Fish Mission

If you’re a mom or dad who has always wanted to try out a yoga or Pilates class but can’t find the time between work and taking care of the little ones, then I’ve found the perfect gym/recreational center for you. At Focus Fish, you can take a dance class, learn circus skills, or work out on their state-of-the-art gyrokinesis machines while your kids decorate journals in art class, play in a room filled with toys, games, a chalk board, plush pillows and mats, or learn how to swing on a trapeze in a circus class of their own. A qualified staff member is on hand to supervise the children. However, if you prefer you can all learn how to climb fabrics or balance on balls in the Circus family class or the Mommy and Me class. Oh, and if you don’t have any kids, that’s okay; many single professional go here too.

Kristy Zornes-Beauvais, founder of Focus Fish, studied at NYU’s Tisch School for the Performing Arts. “I wanted to create a non-competitive environment where people feel comfortable,” says Zornes-Beauvais. After her husband Paul helped design the space, she set out to hire a diverse group of dancers, instructors, and trainers. Her efforts produced Josie Walsh, head of the Myo Dance Company, who teaches Rock-n-Roll Ballet. The dancers learn to pliet and releve to good old rock-n-roll music, thereby lifting the “it - for-girls- only- dancing-to-classical” stigma from the dance form and creating an opportunity for even young boys to participate without fear of feeling “uncool.”

Then there’s Stevie McKinley who teaches Dances Around the World, including Persian and Egyptian belly dancing, Russian, African, and East Indian. Dante Phillips, also in the Myo Dance Company, teaches the circus classes. Visial artists Anne Cormack (who’s paintings decorate the walls) and Lone Hanson instruct kids and adults alike to make such beautiful creations as unique looking dream catchers.

When asked about the origin of the name, Zornes-Beauvais replied, “ when I was teaching at the kids program at the Strasberg Institute (in West Hollywood), I was angry at the kids for their lack of focus, so I made a fish face and said, ‘Focus!’” Zornes-Beauvais further explained how the word focus came to represent a focus on improvement in one’s life, while the word fish represented grace and fluidity of movement. She even offered a philosophical take on the idea of fish swimming in the ocean, the ocean being a metaphor for the unknown. At Focus Fish one is encouraged to explore the unknown, to feel safe to explore their full potential.

In addition to everything I’ve talked about, Focus Fish also has a snack room (with all healthy alternatives, locker rooms, two dance spaces, and a wall shelf displaying merchandise such as shirts, circus instruction videos, and other work out equipment. Zornes-Beauvais has a plan to not only expand retail capacity, but also to get the Focus Fish physical Education program to be statewide and then eventually nation wide. “Unfortunately PE is being taken out of schools,” says Zornes-Beavais. The program would depend upon corporate sponsorship and Zornes-Beauvais is ready to do what it takes. Meanwhile, the positive feedback and happy faces seen at Focus Fish remind her that she is already making a difference in the lives of people young and old.

Focus Fish
6121 Santa Monica Blvd. (at Gower)
Los Angeles, CA
323- 957-0901

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© Melt Magazine 2005