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Karina Ramírez: Yoga, Pilates instructor offering classes at studio

Carissa Laitinen-Kniss said yoga is the kind of exercise people have to enjoy in order to embrace it.

“People who have never tried it end up falling in love with it,” she said.

For more than 12 years, Laitinen-Kniss, 30, has taught dance, yoga and Pilates to people of all ages and abilities.

She began studying yoga and Pilates in 1999. In 2002, she received her yoga teacher certification from the Yoga Institute of Houston. She began her Pilates teacher training that same year while studying at Texas Woman’s University.

When she is not teaching her classes, Laitinen-Kniss is the special education teacher at Argyle High School. She also does a lot of community work with the Denton school district and works with football team members at Argyle High School.

“I do a lot of outreach stuff, but the biggest thing I do is a volunteer activity where I go to a surf camp and teach kids with autism and help them interact socially,” she said about the program that is now going on its third year. “We do beach yoga with them.”

Since she does not have a storefront, Laitinen-Kniss began teaching her private classes at Dragonfly Pilates Studio last year and joined forces with her business partner, Khristen Pahler, 34, about three months ago to form Twisted Bodies Pilates & Yoga.

In addition to Pilates and yoga classes, her studio offers family yoga and “Grin and Barre It” pole fitness classes as well as equipment training, athletic conditioning and special programs.

On May 31, her studio will have a new event called “Twisted After Dark,” which is a private party for women ages 18 and older, in conjunction with the pole fitness classes. Clients can come to the studio or arrange to have a private event at the studio.

Currently, she is also completing a new certification through Stott Pilates, a contemporary approach to the original exercise method pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates, and working on acquiring a pole fitness certification through a studio in Las Vegas.

Twisted Bodies is located at 121 W. Pecan St. inside Dragonfly Pilates Studio.

For a full list of classes and times, visit .

The Petco store at Rayzor Ranch Marketplace opens from noon to 4 p.m. today.

Floyd Carnrike is the manager of the new location of the pet supply retailer.

Grand-opening activities are scheduled for April, 5-7, according to Linda Hinton, general manager of RED Development LLC.

The store is located at 2640 W. University Drive, No. 1280.

Normal hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, call 940-382-7263.

Next Sunday, people will embrace Easter in style and on budget, according to the National Retail Federation.

In their latest survey, the federation said consumers are expected to spend an average of $145.13 on candy, decor, apparel and food, a few more cents than the previous year ($145.28). Total spending on Easter items is estimated to reach $17.2 billion, the federation said.

The survey found the majority of the family budget would be spent on food for a family brunch or dinner — 86.9 percent of those celebrating Easter will spend an average of $45.26 on items needed for their holiday meal.

Traditionally known as the kickoff to spring, Easter is when many consumers specifically set out to purchase new spring attire. Nearly half (48.4 percent) will purchase clothing this Easter, spending an average of $25.91 on new outfits for their children and even something new for themselves. And 9 in 10 will stock up on Easter candy, spending an average of $20.66 on jellybeans, chocolate and more. Additionally, consumers are expected to spend an average of $20.82 on gifts, $9.49 on flowers and $9.11 on decorations.



M1 Support Services has been nominated for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support’s Freedom Award, the U.S. Department of Defense’s highest recognition for employers supporting employees serving in the Guard and Reserve, according to a news release.

This year, 205 Texas Guard and Reserve members nominated their employers for the award. The employers include airlines, grocery store chains, national retail brands and information technology firms, as well as small businesses and state and local governments. The agency received 2,899 nominations nationwide, according to the release.

Up to 15 award recipients will be announced this summer and honored in Washington, D.C., later this year at the 18th annual Freedom Award ceremony. Past award recipients have met with senior leaders of the White House and Department of Defense as part of the award recognition, the news release said.

M1 Support Services is a service-disabled veteran-owned, woman-owned small business with a wide range of capabilities in aviation support services, logistics, information technology, training services, supply chain management, acquisition and facilities and equipment maintenance, according to its website.

The company is located at 300 N. Elm St., Suite 101. For more information, call 940-323-1119.

Michael P. Eiseman, recently joined Insurance Connection USA as an agent and senior products specialist. Eiseman will focus on the Medicare market, according to a news release.

Eiseman, a McKinney resident, was director of operations at Eiseman Business Concepts in McKinney for several years. He also worked as an account manager at EC Systems in Plano. He earned bachelor’s degrees in English and business from Regis University in Denver in 1968.

In addition to Denton, Insurance Connections’ other satellite offices are in Dallas, Seattle and Santa Fe, N.M.

For more information, visit .


Employment opportunity

JPMorgan Chase and the 100,000 Jobs Mission will conduct a hiring event for U.S. military veterans, transitioning service members, Guard and Reserve members and military spouses from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 11 at the Dallas Convention Center, Ballroom A, 650 S. Griffin St.

The 100,000 Jobs Mission was launched in 2011 by JPMorgan Chase and 10 other companies with the goal to collectively hire at least 100,000 U.S. military veterans by 2020. In two years, the coalition has grown to 99 companies that have collectively hired more than 51,000 veterans.

For additional details, visit the Biz Buzz blog at  .


Coming up

The Legacy Group, part of Denton’s first REMAX North Associates satellite office, will conduct a grand-opening celebration from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at 301 Dallas Drive.

Kelly Peace and business partner Derek King, the brokers/agents of the new office, run the Legacy Group. The office opened in October.

The celebration will feature cocktails, food, entertainment and door prizes.

The event is open to the public.

For more information, call 940-220-7480 or visit .

Oakmont Women’s Club will be conducting its second annual Spring Tea from 1 to 3 p.m. April 20 in the main dining room at Oakmont Country Club, 1901 Oakmont Drive in Corinth.

The event is open to the public. Cost is $20 per person, which includes four courses provided by a club chef. A hat contest will also take place during the event.

Proceeds from the event will go toward local charities.

For tickets or more information, call Tina Henderson at 940-326-9797 or Carolyn Moore at 940-321-4474.

KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is .