Our Excellence Begins with Our Team

  • Addie Kelzer

    Owner, trainer, Pilates instructor, nutrition geek and new client welcome team.

    Growing up I was a fit and healthy kid. I ran track every spring and enjoyed snowboarding during the winter. When I first moved to Minnesota to go to college, staying fit wasn’t one of my priorities.

    I adopted a sedentary lifestyle and dined indiscriminately in the cafeteria. I became lethargic and unproductive. My poor nutrition led to severe acne and I gained twenty pounds immediately. My life was in disarray. I didn’t feel good or good about myself and wouldn’t until something changed.

    I wanted more energy and a life that better represented who I felt I could be. After struggling to maintain a healthy lifestyle, my weight fluctuated over the next 5 years. It wasn’t until the third time I’d shed that extra twenty pounds that it stuck. The key: KNOWLEDGE! I always had a passion for athletics and craved more information about nutrition. After earning my Bachelors degree at Hamline University, I went back to school for personal training and nutrition consulting.  These skills deeply impacted my own life and helped me build a career I feel passionate about.

    Fast forward about ten years and you’ll find me connecting twice weekly with my own trainer to help me maintain focus on the essentials all week long! I try not to take myself too seriously, but I believe it is important that I exemplify the values and recommendations of Urban Fitness TC. I take great pride in having built a business that is rich in relationships and education regarding the why as well as the how.

    I like to bike, both outdoors and in my basement, make and send cards and read non-fiction or historical fiction books. I’m committed to batch cooking to feed my family healthy foods and bake on occasion just for fun. I walk to the park with my daughter, Genevieve, to play whenever possible.  My husband, Kory, enriches my life and supports me on my quest to support others who are seeking their best life!

    I am happy to offer safe and effective personal training as a nationally certified NPTI – Advanced Certified Personal Trainer. Additionally, my skills include NPTI Nutrition Consulting and a background in Stott Pilates Matwork. I established Urban Fitness TC in 2011 on fundamental fitness and nutrition principals although the practical application of these principals is the backbone of our training. I currently perform both behind-the-scenes operations as well as training and coaching clients one on one. Committed to education and sharing our knowledge with others, Kaethe and I work each month to create free videos and written content meant to assist others on their journey toward better health and fitness. We ask our clients to learn and grow every month and I also strive to do the same.

  • Kaethe Birkner

    Pilates Instructor, professional ballet dancer and alignment guru

    My goal as a teacher is to help you achieve your goals! I believe the way to do that is through conscious exercise, consistency, personal attention, and corrections.

    Currently, I am a professional ballet dancer with Continental Ballet Company (CBC) which mostly does classical works with the occasional bit of contemporary. I moved to Minnesota in August of 2016 for the job at CBC. Not long after moving, I met Addie Kelzer at Urban Fitness TC and began teaching Pilates and stretching for her in March 2017.

    When my sister and I were growing up, our parents put us in various sports to keep us physically active. I started playing soccer when I was only slightly bigger than the ball. Later, I became a soccer referee, which paid much better than baby sitting. My mother enrolled my sister and me in taekwondo when I was in middle school. After a number of years, we earned our first degree black belts. We then taught taekwondo when our teacher moved out of state. As much as I enjoyed all of these activities, it was ballet that was, and still is, my first love.

    My mother took me to see the Bolshoi perform Swan Lake when I was just two years old. It is a three hour long ballet and, obviously, my mother expected me to fuss or cry at some point, but I did not. I sat in quiet awe for the entire performance. While I don’t remember this, for as long as I can remember I wanted to dance. I began taking ballet when I was eight. I was determined to be a professional ballet dancer, despite not having the “typical” ballet body. When I was eighteen, it became apparent that, despite having had some very good teachers, I had not been well trained through my high school days. This meant, if I was going to be a professional, I had to retrain. This life experience is why I understand what it is like to have old habits that one has to change. It is always more difficult to change habits than to learn something right the first time, but it is doable!

    While retraining at an older age made a professional dance career even less likely, I was fortunate enough to start my professional career in 2008. I have now danced with ballet companies in Austin and Dallas, Texas; Baltimore, Maryland; and Bloomington, Minnesota. I have danced everything from corps to principal roles and have really enjoyed all I have learned and experienced. It is the dream of many little girls to be ballet dancers, but I get to count myself among the lucky and determined few to actually be one.

    It was because of my love for ballet, and my need to retrain, that I became interested in Pilates. I was introduced to Pilates through my ballet school in high school. When I started retraining, my teachers recommended that I do more in-depth Pilates studying. Therefore, I added equipment classes to my weekly mat classes. Pilates helped me find muscles I never knew existed. In addition to helping improve my ballet, I found I really liked Pilates. When I got my first out-of-town dance job, I needed something to do for a second job. My parents suggested I get my Pilates certification so that I could have a second job and not have to continue paying for Pilates classes. I got my Mat Pilates certification through Balanced Body in the summer of 2012. Pilates has not only helped me stay in better shape for ballet, due to its very effective cross training, it has also helped me recover from various injuries and kept me active while I was injured. I enjoy being able to share my Pilates knowledge with all my students, regardless of what class they are taking.

    While I had done some teaching through taekwondo and ballet, my teaching career really began when I moved to Baltimore in fall of 2012. Since then, I have taught Pilates and ballet consistently. I started teaching deep stretch classes while living in Dallas two years later. I have taught ages three to senior in group and private settings. While kids can be fun and offer a number of different challenges, I learned that, given my personality and past, I understand and work better with adults and enthusiastic teens.

    As someone who has been physically active her whole life, and has taken classes all over the world, I know what I like in a class and a teacher. It is the classes and teachers that I gain the most from as a student, that I, as a teacher, work to emulate. I always give corrections, hands on and/or verbal. I do demonstrate as needed but I prefer not doing the movement with my clients because it allows me to watch them and provide feedback. I love questions: both asking and answering them. I understand that all movement comes with a risk (though not as much risk as never moving). Injury prevention and recovery play key roles in all my classes, from what exercises we do to the corrections I make. I keep a vigilant eye on my students as they do their exercises and help them correct perhaps long-standing habits that can lead to injuries or other physical complications later in life. I never ask more of my students than I ask of myself but I always believe in pushing them to be the best they can be at that moment. While my students learn from me, I also learn from them; my students are equal human beings who deserve respect. I am fortunate enough to have built friendships through my teaching that have lasted despite my various moves over the years. It is lucky to get to do what you love. It is even luckier when it introduces you to people who can become lifelong friends.

    Not only am I blessed with careers that I love and students that I adore, I am also blessed with a loving and supportive family. In addition to my work accomplishments, I have an Associates Degree in English and a B.A. in History and Government from University of Texas at Austin. My dance career introduced me to my husband Dan, a theater and sound technician, in 2016. We married in April of 2020. I have a great home with my husband and our amazing roommate in South Minneapolis. In my free time I enjoy knitting, reading, writing, and spending time (in-person or virtually) with friends and family near and far.

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