hall of fame

JURATE

Jurate (pronouced Yur-ah-teh) joined our Studio B community in May of last year and has since completed almost 150 barre classes! We absolutely love having her in our studio, and if we're lucky, sometimes she brings her lovely husband and young daughter with her. Find out more about this Lithuanian-born mother of three and why she makes barre a family affair, below.

 

How did you get introduced to Studio B?

I heard about Studio B from a friend – Rashmi Joshee. She told me great things about the workouts, but it took me a couple of months to stop procrastinating and try them out.

Why do you barre so hard?

Mostly, because it makes me feel good. It is that one hour of my day that I have just for me, and I can take what I need from it. I relax and stretch (thank you, Marie!); I push myself till I can barely breathe (thanks, Claire!); I find ways that I didn’t think my body could twist and bend (oh, Lindsay!); I clear my brain with cool music (Lauren’s techno works miracles!); I relax with fun dance moves (love them, Kate), or just have a good time (yes, Jill, I am having a good time even on Monday evenings!). If I have to miss a workout, my body and my mind aren’t happy.

How has barre impacted you?

It has helped me shift my mindset to actively taking care of myself. It’s made me physically stronger and healthier. My work involves long periods of sitting and lots of computer work, and mid-way through the school year, I’d get regular back paints, problems with tennis elbow, and general lack of energy. This is the first year I’ve been physically fine. I have more energy to do things I want to get done. And, most importantly, barre has helped me psychologically. The combination of focus and fun that we have at barre really help me clear my mind and deal with stress. I have to admit I love the chats after barre sessions as well. 😊

What keeps you motivated and coming back to Studio B?

To be honest, I’ve taken up the mindset that I don’t need motivation. I am a former debater, so I can convince myself (and others) pretty much into or out of anything. I can come up with great reasons why I am not motivated to work out, but I realized that if I wait for motivation to come or to feel just right, I’ll never be fit. Between the family and three jobs I’m juggling, there is almost never the right mood or the right feeling or the right time to exercise even though we know it’s essential. And we don’t need to be motivated for essential things, right? Just like I don’t need motivation to eat, I don’t allow myself to contemplate my motivation for barre. It just is part of life now, and it has to happen.

But of course, Studio B makes it very easy too - having multiple levels of exercise and supportive but open minded coaches really helps. If I am too tired, I focus more on stretches, if I am angry, I go nuts with those dang jumping jacks… I like when they say “You do you today.” It helps me assess and focus on the needs of my body and my mind on the given day.

I guess my family has also been motivating me. Well, not really motivating, more just kick me out of home when workout time comes 😊 It might be because they are getting more free time, but I’d like to think that it’s because of the positive difference they see in me since I started barre.

Favourite barre exercise or series?

My favorite part is the stretches at the end. I love those moments of tranquility when I can refocus and re-set. The favorite challenging series is the down-up-low jacks. I could barely do this monstrosity of an exercise when I started at Studio B, so being able to do the series now feels like a big achievement.

Other than barre, what other types of exercising or activities do you do?

I excel at the new Olympic sport of espresso drinking. I also love hiking or anything in nature – mushrooming, fishing….

What do you love about exercising with your family members?

I think it is just fun to do something we all love together. I really wanted to get my daughter involved at Studio B to help her feel more confident about herself, and to help her get over her anxiety of making mistakes. Seeing me and my husband screw up our moves or doing some exercises wrong has helped her (I think) to be ok with trying things, getting out of her comfort zone, and doing her best on that day. I love seeing her become a stronger and happier young woman. As for my husband, to be honest, I thought he would not be up for a challenge. He wanted to check Studio B out to see why I come back so happy after each workout. I thought I’d teach him a lesson and the very first class I dragged him to was B-Bold. But not only did he survive the class, he wanted to go for more! It’s really cool to share our barre experience, challenge each other, and encourage each other (especially when it feels that the leg is going to fall off after those gazillion repetitions of “fire-hydrant.”)

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

I used to do kayaking slalom when I was a teen.

Favourite way to treat yourself?

Coming to barre 😊 My second favorite is – a hot bath with herbal oils and a binge-worthy show.

Favourite movie and book of all time?

I love reading and have lots of favorite books. One book that I love coming back to for fun or for teaching is Atwood’s The Robber Bride. Movie… now it’s Mad Max Fury Road.

Favourite place to eat in Edmonton?

My living room. My family has such different tastes and preferences that it is almost impossible to find a place that works for all five. So we order food (from pizza to Thai seafood), hang out, watch a movie and then listen to my hubby and our oldest son arguing about the movie we just watched.

Favourite local spot?

The River Valley. We used to go for walks there with my hubby before we got married. Now, years later, we walk the same trails with three kids and two dogs. I love these walks because they remind me of how much we’ve grown since when met back in 2001.

What is your favourite quote?

Lately, it’s Winnie the Pooh “You are braver than you believe, you’re stronger than you seem, and you are smarter than you think."

yvette

If you've been in a class beside Yvette, who has taken over 600 barre and SOAR classes in less than 2 years, you can't help but be inspired by how hard she works every single class. Yvette gives it her ALL, even during those 6 a.m. classes she loves to start her day with. Learn more about this powerhouse below!

 

How did you get introduced to Studio B?

My friend Alexandra had been going to barre for a while and late in 2017 received a complimentary 1-month pass to give a friend; I was the lucky friend. Since I received the opportunity to attend 1 month of classes free of charge, I figured I might as well take advantage and attend as many as I could. Four weeks and 24+ classes later, I was hooked.

 

Why do you barre so hard? What makes you want to SOAR?

I am a fairly competitive person - when it comes to working out - more so with myself than with other people. I love to push myself and see how far I can go. Often in my head, I ask myself, “What can you do?” I want to find out. I didn’t have a trampoline growing up, so every time I step on the rebounder, I feel a little giddy. The fact that I am strengthening my bones and sweating like there is no tomorrow is an added bonus.

 

How has barre and SOAR impacted you?

At first, the differences were small, but over time I have noticed an improvement in overall tone and musculature. I had been going to the gym several times a week for years doing weight training and cardio classes. While I got stronger and was fairly fit, it wasn’t until I started attending barre classes on a regular basis that I noticed the smaller muscles in my body really taking shape, supporting the larger muscle groups to make me even stronger.

 

What keeps you motivated and coming back to Studio B?

The fact that, after nearly two years, I can still find small ways to make the simplest move harder keeps me coming back for more. I love the fact that no class is ever exactly like another – the instructors constantly mix up the series and introduce different elements into each class. I can’t sleepwalk through barre classes or allow my mind to wander. I am forced to stay present and that makes me work harder.

 

Favourite part about SOAR?

Soaring! I love pushing myself and going hard, especially during wide turbulence or skiers, but near the end of class, when we get to jump as high as we want, those moments of weightlessness are pure joy.

Favourite barre exercise or series?

I sometimes feel as though I am a glutton for punishment, but I “enjoy” the exercises which I find difficult or cannot easily execute properly. Pretzel has a special place in my heart because it is never easy, and I struggle with it every single time. A close second is stacked hip at the barre. Not as much for the difficulty, but because I feel the burn very quickly while also getting a great stretch.

 

Other than barre and SOAR, what other types of exercising or activities do you do?

I go for runs in the River Valley, play volleyball with ESSC (Edmonton Social Sports Club), snowshoe (in the winter), and hike in the mountains (in spring/summer). Now and again, I also like going to Rock Jungle or Blocs to rock climb. Time spent with friends and family, or time at home with a good book round out my evenings and weekends.

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

It makes me uncomfortable to swear, and I rarely do, especially in the company of others.

Favourite way to treat yourself?

Lately, it seems to be with new pairs of grip socks…

 

Favourite movie and book of all time?

Depends if favourite refers to something that you would read or watch again and again because you love it so much/trapped on a deserted island and have no other options, or if it’s something you have read or watched only once, will probably not read or watch again, but was simply amazing. I’ll give both!

Book: His Dark Materials (whole trilogy) by Philip Pullman; Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

Movie: Matrix (whole trilogy but especially the first one); City of God

 

Favourite place to eat in Edmonton?

Prairie Noodle Shop.

 

Favourite local spot?

It’s a toss-up between the River Valley and El Cortez (running or sipping tequila…decisions, decisions…)

 

What is your favourite quote?

“You can stand anything for 10 seconds*.” – Kimmy Schmidt

*void if (Instructor) Michelle is counting ;)

RACINE

Racine has been coming to Studio B since 2015 and has completed over 600 barre classes! Never without a smile, Racine has such a bubbly and outgoing personality and we absolutely love having her in class! 

 

How did you get introduced to Studio B?

I’ve always loved exercising but found it difficult to exercise on my own, especially at the gym. One day I just got tired of walking around the gym like a chicken with its head cut off and wanted to join some sort of class. I remembered hearing about barre many years before I actually started going and wondered if it had made its way to Edmonton. Sure enough it was 5 minutes from my office at the time and we have been an item ever since.

 

Why do you barre so hard?

It’s so ADDICTING. I literally cannot help myself from going.

How has barre impacted you?

It has taught me that exercise can be fun and something to look forward to.

What keeps you motivated and coming back to Studio B?

I love the sense of community and how beautiful inside and out everyone is.

Favourite barre exercise or series?

All of them.

Other than barre, what other types of exercising or activities do you do?

Yoga and I go way back. I've been practicing religiously for over 10 years now and I can finally touch my toes. I also have become obsessed with paddleboarding. So, Jason if you're reading this, I would love one for my birthday in a couple of weeks, thanks.

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

After skipping University following high school and landing a good career at a young age. I decided to go back to University and pursue my dream of becoming an Elementary School Teacher. After managing a career full time and school full time my dream has officially come true and I've been teaching grade 2 since January.

Favourite way to treat yourself?

Oh boy, food gets me every time.

Favourite movie and book of all time?

I recently read Where the Crawdads Sing and it was amazing.

Favourite place to eat in Edmonton?

Rge Rd or Fairmont Hotel MacDonald brunch. I am also still a sucker for nuggets at Mcdonald’s. (Don't judge me LOL!)

Favourite local spot?

If I don’t say "my backyard" Jason will kill me. He recently just built us the deck of our dreams, with a hot tub and it is truly spectacular.

 

What is your favourite quote? 

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” - Gandhi

ambrose

Ambrose is on his way to completing 300 barre and SOAR classes in just under a year! We love having him in our studio - he brings such a positive energy to Studio B and his smile is contagious! 

 

How did you get introduced to Studio B?

One of my friends introduced me to Studio B after they heard about it at Fit Fest here in Edmonton.

 

Why do you barre so hard? What makes you want to SOAR?

I barre hard because of how I feel after every class. Pushing myself to make that mind-body connection feels amazing. It never ceases to amaze me how much our bodies can do when we make that connection. I SOAR because it is such a unique, fun, high-energy workout. It engages every muscle in your body when you hit that rebounder. There really isn’t any other workout like that!

How has barre and SOAR impacted you?

I’ve been going to barre and SOAR classes for about a year now and it’s definitely impacted my physical and mental health in positive ways. The strength, endurance, and flexibility I’ve gained has made a big difference in my work life as my job can be physically demanding. I’m a high-energy person and I’ve noticed that I have way more energy for day-to-day activities than I previously did as well.

What keeps you motivated and coming back to Studio B?

I usually go to class with a friend and that makes a huge difference in keeping me motivated to keep coming back. The instructors also make a big difference. They’re extremely motivating and knowledgeable about all of the exercises. They also make sure to have a killer playlist for every class; and you can be sure that no two classes will ever be the same.

Favourite part about SOAR?

My favourite part about SOAR would have to be just that, getting to SOAR! Bouncing on the rebounder and getting to the top of your jump where you have that split second of weightlessness is like nothing else!

Favourite barre exercise or series?

My favourite barre series would have to be the bend and snap. The bend helps with lower body/hip flexibility and the snap for upper body strength; a perfect combo!

Other than barre and SOAR, what other types of exercising or activities do you do?

I love snowboarding, skating, hiking, swimming, reading, and games (board & video); especially Super Mario!

What would you say to a dude who is thinking of trying barre or SOAR but might be intimidated or hesitant to?

If another guy was thinking of trying out barre or SOAR but was intimidated or hesitant, I’d tell them not to worry. The staff at Studio B were so friendly and welcoming when I started that any worry or hesitation I had didn’t last long. Other clients at the studio have also been friendly and encouraging. One common misconception about barre that I’ve heard from other guys is that you need to be really flexible for class. It’s not something that you need to start, but it is definitely something that you will develop over time by going to class.

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

I’m originally from Newfoundland and moved here about 7 years ago to be a travel nurse. Now I work as an RN at the Cross Cancer Institute.

Favourite way to treat yourself?

My favourite way to treat myself would have to be nuggies (McDonald’s chicken nuggets) with hot mustard dipping sauce!

Favourite movie and book of all time?

Movie: Wonder Woman; and favourite book (I can’t pick just one) would have to be the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.

Favourite place to eat in Edmonton?

It’s a toss up between Co Co Di’s and Workshop Eatery; so good!

Favourite local spot?

Greenland Nursery. I have way too many plants at my place, and I would have to blame them haha.

 

What is your favourite quote?

“Everything happens for a reason.”

cHRISTINA

No stranger to 6 a.m. barre classes, Christina has completed over 500 classes in just two years! Read on to learn more about this hard-working barre babe who loves a challenge.

How did you get introduced to barre?

It was through my good friend Breanne who is also a barre star! She kept talking about barre and how I should try it out and how amazing it was. After getting the 2 week unlimited pass I was hooked and have kept going ever since.

Why do you barre so hard?

It makes me feel good! Every class you always find that deeper burn and are able to challenge yourself not only physically but mentally as well. Barre allows me to shut out the rest of the world for that 45 mins/1 hour and have ‘me’ time.

How has barre impacted you?

It has made me take time for myself and reach my goals of feeling healthy and looking my best!

What keeps you motivated and coming back to Studio B? And how do you stay motivated for those 6 a.m. classes? ; )

Definitely the awesome barre Instructors play a key factor into this as well as the intense full body workout. For me I’m my best in the morning so a 6:00 am class is just what I need to start my day off right!

Favourite barre exercise or series?

This is a tough one but I would have to say the second position fold over as well as anything with biceps!

Other than barre, what other types of exercising or activities do you do?

Barre definitely is my daily fix for exercise and then in-between I like to add some extra cardio whether it’s jogging or walking and I love, love to hike!

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

My first home with my fiancé was in Dublin, Ireland where we lived, worked and traveled for 1 year. Ireland definitely has a special place in our heart among other places in Europe!

 

Favourite way to treat yourself?

CoCo Bubble Tea.

 

Favourite movie and book of all time?

Movie – My Best Friend's Wedding and Pretty Woman (I love Julia Roberts.)

Book- Do cookbooks count?! I love to bake and take baking classes and right now my favourite book is the Duchess Cookbook ;)

 

What is your favourite quote?

"Be healthy and take care of yourself, but be happy with the beautiful things that make you, you." Beyoncé

PAM

With almost 150 SOAR classes under her belt, Pam is no stranger to the rebounder. She's always working her butt off in class, with her encouraging energy giving our instructors an extra boost while teaching. Learn more this sweet and gentle soul below!

 

How did you get introduced to SOAR?

I was searching the internet for low impact cardio ideas, and came across the bellicon rebounder. The search results also returned Studio B's SOAR website that offered classes in Edmonton.

 

Why do you SOAR?

I am an avid tennis player, but I injured my shoulder last winter and I needed to take a break from tennis. I also have a previous knee injury from years ago, all the ligaments in my right knee are completely torn. Because of my bad knee I am limited in what type of fitness I can participate in. I was looking for something low impact on my knees other than swimming or yoga, which I don’t really enjoy doing. I find that a SOAR class is perfect for me because I get a great cardio workout and it does not bother my knee as much as other activities.

 

How has SOAR impacted you?

My cardio is much better and my quality of sleep has improved.

 

What keeps you motivated and coming back to Studio B?

I really enjoy SOAR, I haven’t tried or can’t think of any other fitness that I get a great workout and is easy on my joints. The instructors are very positive and encouraging.

 

Favourite part of class?

End of the last sprint.

 

Other than SOAR, what other types of exercising or activities do you do?

Tennis and hiking.

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

I am a makeup and skincare junkie.

 

Favourite way to treat yourself?

I go for a massage every 3-4 weeks.

 

Favourite movie and book of all time?

Movie: Dr Zhivago. Book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

 

Do you have a favourite quote?

Yes. “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

RESA

Meet Resa - a lady whose sense of humour keeps us smiling at our studios, and who just can't help but to be herself. Resa has over 125 classes under her belt, and has overcome some major hurdles in terms of her physical health, always returning back to us. Keep reading to learn more about this bad-ass babe!

Why do you barre so hard?
At first it was driven by vanity. I was in my late 40's, in menopause, and the changes were coming fast and furious...my skin was melting off like a waterfall, and I grew an impressive udder seemingly overnight. I started Barre and I saw improvements, some in just weeks. I felt really good, proactive, and strong; I loved the community I was tapping into, and it was the first form of fitness I have bonded with successfully. Later, barre became about my health; I was diagnosed with osteoporosis and had a hysterectomy within 4 months of each other. Being a barre babe already, helped my recovery from surgery go smoother, helped with pelvic floor recovery, and has improved core function and balance to hopefully help me avoid future falls so I can rock this whole aging thing on my own two feet. Also, I get to legitimately wear lulu sausage casing and feel sassy with all the other gorgeous women in my classes. They inspire me: all ages, all types, all stages of life. Don't get me started on the barre tenders... wonderful, passionate, compassionate cheerleaders. Everyone needs one in their court. <3
 
How has barre impacted you? 
Barre was a game changer. It has improved my balance, strength, flexibility, bum (I have flat bum phobia)... and an unforeseen bonus was that I have actually made some wonderful friends there. Barre has enhanced my body awareness, inspired me to eat better, and to strive for the best me possible. I now walk up to total strangers and complement their bums, backs... efforts... where else can you do that without a restraining order slapped on you? For real!
 
How did you get introduced to barre? 
A lovely woman that I work with, April, goes... I asked her what she does to get so disgustingly fit, and she dragged me to my first class. 
 
What keeps you motivated and coming back to barre? 
The gains I have achieved... my health... touching my bum and giggling... the ladies I see there, my favourite barre tenders (you know who you are), the encouragement I receive, and sweating to music without the pain and humiliation of "jazzercise"!
 
Other than barre, what other activities do you do? 
I have added weight training into the mix for bone density, and take the stairs at work (500-700 a day). I also love dancing but this usually means I am in my kitchen terrorizing my family with my hot moves.
 
Tell us something we don't know about you?
I am older than dust, have 4 children, and am addicted to high-end skin care and cosmetics. Also, I still have all my own teeth! 
 
What is your favourite way to treat yourself? 
I avoid all household responsibilities, and unknowingly purchase the same shade of lipstick over and over again thinking it's different. I know I can't be the only one who does this...
 
What is your favourite quote?
"Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product" ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
"Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen" ~ BrenéBrown
"I don't give a damn about my bad reputation" ~ Joan Jett
 
What is your favourite book/movie/TV show of all time?
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
 
What is your favourite barre move?
Okay... don't hate me, but I actually love side-lines, and glute-bridges using the bar :D

Jordan

Meet Jordan - a man who has been coming to barre hard with us since before we were even open! Jordan started coming to class when we held our very first boys at the barre class back in 2013, and has been coming to us ever since. He began his barre journey by discovering the benefits of ballet as an adult, and joined us not long after. Whoever said barre was just for women, right?! Keep reading to find out more about Jordan and his barre journey.

Why do you barre so hard?

I barre for the other benefits in my life. I didn’t take good care of my body when it was new, so I have lots of aches to deal with, but I still like to stay active in my work and my play. Barre helps me with my flexibility, core strength, balance, and proprioception to maximize my performance in other sports. Except for the morning after class, I feel much better for my time at Barre. I started because I wanted to be in better shape and feel stronger. I keep on because the variety of exercises we do during the class: strength training, stretching, weights works out all the muscles in my body. I really enjoy how Barre is a near-perfect mix of yoga, Pilates, ballet training, strength training, balance, and endurance.

 

How has barre impacted you? 

For most of my life, exercise and active living weren’t things I did – they were just things that happened to me. Work was physical, and I’ve always been involved in sports or activities that kept me moving. As I aged, work became more sedentary and I had to put more effort into staying active. By spending time at the Barre, I’ve regained some core strength and flexibility, and I’ve found a fun, positive, and supportive group of people to train with.  

 

How did you get introduced to barre? 

My sister-in-law was a ballet teacher, and she convinced me to take her adult beginner ballet classes. It was fun, and it helped with my flexibility and strength, so I stayed in the class until she moved to Toronto.  When trying to find another ballet class, classes were either way too serious, or the teachers looked at me and announced that the classes were full.  I stumbled onto Barre Body Studio while trying to find a ballet class that would take me.  

 

What keeps you motivated and coming back to barre?

Mostly, it’s because I have fun. The instructors are motivating and entertaining, the music’s good, and in every class I can challenge myself to work a little harder. Even if I come in tired or sore, the instructors bring the energy to pick me up and get me sweating. I see the benefits of regular attendance through strength and stamina, and keeping my body looking good caters to my vanity.

 

Other than barre, what other activities do you do?

My main activity is skiing. I teach skiing and snowboarding for fun, and I plan my winters around making time to ski. The best trips, back country touring, don’t involve ski lifts; instead we glue climbing skins to our skis so we can climb mountains and ski down. Since we aren’t lucky enough to have winter all year, I round out my activities with cycling, horseback riding, walking my dog, and windsurfing.

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you?

For many years, I was a farrier. I took care of horses’ feet, which included trimming their toe nails, making and applying shoes, and managing conformation or lameness problems.  It spins off into the hobbies of blacksmithing and anvil collecting.

 

What is your favourite way to treat yourself? 

There’s something magical about springtime ski touring in a secluded valley in the mountains. Climbing a mountain on a cool but sunny day, without a sound other than the slipping of skins on snow and clicking of boots on skis – not even the birds sing up there – taking in the majesty of the peaks surrounding the group, and finding that perfect slope with light, soft snow to play in for the ski down. Repeat that all day, and finish it with a beer while soaking in the afternoon sun… 

 

What is your favourite barre move?

Do the deep, cleansing breaths at the end of class count? There are some variations on sideline series that I like, targeting the glute med, obliques, and the outer leg. Chair always feels like I’m becoming a better person. 4th position plies build character…

Sonja

Meet Sonja -  a barre superstar who has over 500 classes under her belt, and not stopping any day soon. Sonja started with us in October of 2014, and can mostly be found over at our Holland Plaza Studio in the evenings hanging out with us behind the desk or chatting to her tribe. Sonja's energy is so contagious and we love seeing her in the studio every time she comes! Check out her feature below!

Why do you barre so hard?

I love how barre constantly challenges me to get better, whether that’s with increased weights, flexibility or doing advanced positions. Each class and instructor brings their own unique and diverse exercises and I love not knowing or expecting what is next.

That being said, ultimately the community, the tribe, the people and the fun is what keeps me coming back and working hard. It takes the word “work” out of workout (even though I do excessively sweat and work my ass off) and is something I WANT and look forward to doing.

How has barre impacted you?

Three words – booty booty booty! But honestly, this tush has always struggled to get that extra oomph we all crave; even with at minimum two leg days at the gym a week. I started noticing results in that department after the 30 day challenge that got me started, and I am pretty sure my butt has perked up at least two inches. In addition it has also immensely improved my very horrible posture, plus my flexibility (still working on those splits).

Apart from the obvious physical impacts, I have also gained so many incredible life long friendships through the community. People I now talk to on a daily basis, barre or not, who I can’t imagine not having in my life!

How did you get introduced to barre?

A friend who was going to the studio asked me to go. I was hesitant at first as I typically focus on heavy lifting at the gym and therefore thought a “dance” class would not be down my alley (funny stereotype I originally had). Boy was I wrong, because I got my ass whooped and have been addicted ever since.

What keeps you motivated and coming back to barre?

The positive changes I see in my body as well as the inspiring motivating instructors (and now friends). I also pretend I work there, so need to show up for my “shifts” ;) 

Other than barre, what other activities do you do?

I am all about the activities. I go to the gym at lunch every day for weights/cardio, spin, slo-pitch, curl, bowl, rollerblade, wakesurf, run or bike with the love of my life Norman (my fur-child) and wine…..wine counts right?

Tell us something we don’t know about you?

I did not become a Canadian citizen until I was 24 (born in Germany)…. I also have an addiction to almonds, and anyone that knows me knows that is not a joke… I cannot stop eating them.

What is your favourite way to treat yourself?

Traveling the world, listening to music and socializing with my amazing circle of friends (add wine to all of those things of course).

What is your favourite book, movie, or TV show of all time?

This is actually the most difficult question of all. 

Book = Gone Girl (I love twisty dark reads)

Movie = Marley & Me OR anything Brad Pitt (aka. Future hubs)

TV Show = This is Us (I never thought ducks would make me cry so much

Amanda

Meet Amanda - a barre all-star, who is an absolute pleasure to have in each class. She is a force to be reckoned with, pursuing each move in the class with such grace and tenacity. Amanda isn’t afraid to take on the challenges of class – whether it’s a new cardio move or a new combo movement, she is giving it 100% each time. Amanda’s positive energy each class contributes to the energy that is barre body studio. It is a joy to have Amanda with us each and every time. She is always so welcoming to others in class, to the staff, and is the definition of strength.

 

Why do you barre so hard?
I barre so hard to create balance in my life.
 
How has barre impacted you?
I can honestly say that barre has improved my overall quality of life. Prior to discovering barre I found myself in a physical activity rut. I had no drive or desire to go to the gym like I once use to. The effects of the rut were evident. I had put on weight, had low energy and was irritable. I felt completely suffocated. This went on for several years until I was introduced to barre. I still recall my first class. It was a Barre Press class instructed by Katherine. I intentionally selected the 45-minute class thinking it would be less physically and mentally demanding that the 60-minute classes offered. Katherine quickly proved my theory wrong. I remember thinking it was pure torture. However, a funny twist occurred. Much like others, in a flash I found myself addicted. Barre has improved my over-all health, boosted my self-esteem, and reduced my stress, while bettering my mood and energy levels.

What is your favourite way to treat yourself?
Wine + Netfix + My Bed (dog included) = Bliss

I cannot think of a better way to indulge.

 

What is your favourite book, movie, or TV show of all time?

I am drawn to anything that is wrought with human misery. My all-time favorite book is titled Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald. I first read it when I was 19 years old before it was featured by Oprah’s Book Club. I feel inclined to include that detail as I have a strong dislike of Mrs. Winfrey. I was immediately captivated by the dark plot of the book. My goal is to reread it every ten years as my interpretation of the themes changes with age. I just celebrated my 40th birthday this last summer. As such, I am due to pick it up again.

Marta

Meet Marta - a barre superstar, an amazing mom, and one of the sweetest ladies that we know! Not only does Marta bring her friendly attitude and charming smile to the barre, she also brings some major dedication. Marta has been pulsing it out with us since 2014 and gets her workout in almost every, single day! You can often see Marta accompanied by her daughter, Brianne. Not only is the totally mother-daughter goals, but we also praise Marta for being an incredible role model for her daughter. Read more about where Marta fits within the BBS tribe! 

Why do you barre so hard?
Barre has been the only exercise that I have been able to stick with for the last 3 years. I have tried everything with terrible results. I love the feeling I get after I finish a class - energized without the sweat ... I do SOAR for that!!!
 
What does being a part of our studio mean to you?
The community is a great group of strong and amazing women (& a few men) that motivate and inspire me to be heathy and get in shape, especially when we do challenges together. They are great support when I need it the most (you know who you are gals.) I also love bonding with my daughter Brianne at barre. Through barre I am able to showing her what it is like to live a healthy lifestyle. You'll see us once in a while at barre or SOAR together. 

Other than barre, what exercises do you do to stay well-rounded?
I love to go for long walks in the river valley. SOAR classes have become my favorite cardio ever since they were brought to the studio. 

What keeps you inspired and motivated?
I love how the barretenders push me past limits that I didn't even know existed! They keep me motivated to continue to come on a regular basis, especially when I begin to see results ... my “love handles" are finally gone! I also love how I feel stronger than I ever have before. 

Tell us something that we don't know about you?
7 years ago my family and I hiked the Inca trail in MachuPicchu, Peru (where I'm from.) That has to be the hardest thing I have ever done, but it was also the most rewarding thing I have ever done. 

What is your favorite quote?
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

Kelly & Jon

When you both have a similar goal in mind, nothing can stop you. Meet Kelly and Jon - they are our #CoupleGoals! You've probably seen them pulsing at Holland Plaza or soaring through a bounce class. Either way, they use group fitness as an opportunity to motivate each other, maintain a healthy lifestyle and also, to spend time together. We chatted with these Hall of Fame-ers and asked them all about their experience with couple's fitness + our studio. Read what they have to say below!

Why do you barre so hard?
Kelly - I love that even though it’s a workout I am actually having fun doing it. Even when I think I don’t want to go I am smiling as soon as I walk through the doors. Everyone (plus the music!) is so upbeat and positive and the energy is awesome. I love that every class is different and challenges my strength in different ways. I walk away from each class knowing I’m stronger and have done something amazing for my mind and my body.

Jon - I love the Barre community. The people that come here and the instructors are always so positive and it helps make me want to push myself to the best of my abilities. The variety of the different types of classes as well as the different instructors keeps me working hard. Plus having a great looking butt is a bonus!

What other exercise do you live (in addition to Barre) to keep your routine well rounded?
Kelly - I like to throw one of Shaun T’s Insanity Max:30 or T25 workouts into the mix for a really good cardio or strength challenge. I like the option to use heavier dumbbells and the cardio workouts still kick my butt every time.  In the winter months I like to try and go to aquafit once a week for something totally different. I also love the Soar classes at the studio which have definitely helped to build my cardio endurance.

Jon - I love to play team sports and during the summer time I play Ultimate Frisbee with co-workers. I’ve been playing for about 5 years and it’s a great cardio workout since I don’t mind running with a purpose! During the winter time we like to try and swim and do Aquafit with friends.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Kelly - My guilty pleasure is curling up on the couch with some type of junk food and watching low quality TV shows such as: The Real Housewives of the O.C or Beverly Hills, Vanderpump Rules, Geordie Shore, and Teen Mom. I know there are so many better TV shows I could spend my time watching but I just can’t help but enjoy the “unscripted” drama!  

Jon - My guilty pleasure is playing video games. Nothing beats vegging on the couch and playing games for hours on end. I have also been known to watch Geordie Shore with Kelly (and enjoy it). Oh, and thanks to Kelly I am also a “Belieber”

Tell us something that we don’t know about you!
Kelly - I am a total Disney nerd! I love to watch Disney movies and my all-time favorite is The Little Mermaid. We have a house full of various Disney collectibles and my favorite place to vacation is Disney World in Orlando because it’s my happy place! We have been to a Disney theme park every year since 2008 (sometimes twice in the same year) and last year we completed my Disney bucket list item and have visited all the Disney theme parks around the world – Anaheim, Orlando, Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo!  

Jon - I was a competitive swimmer for about 15 years at a provincial level. I started when I was 5 after the swim instructors failed me at the red level for being too short since I couldn’t stand in the shallow end without my head sticking out of the water! I was also a swim coach for about 3 years after I had finished swimming competitively and have taught many of my friends how to swim better.

What made you start doing barre together?
Kelly - My best friend lives in Calgary and she had won a free month pass to the Barre Body Studio there. I was visiting her one weekend in November 2016 and she told me I had to come to class with her because she thought I would love barre. She was right! I loved how much it challenged my strength in a different way. I started the two week unlimited trial in December and was hooked. I had been in need of a change to my fitness routine as home workouts had become repetitive and motivation was getting hard to find. I have dragged Jon to all sorts of group fitness classes in the past (i.e step class, aquafit, bootcamp, Zumba) and figured he might as well give barre a try too since he was struggling just as much as I was in finding motivation to workout. I convinced him to give it a whirl and after his trial period we both ended up with monthly unlimited memberships and you’ll find us at the barre or on the trampolines most days of the week!

Jon - We have done group fitness classes together in the past and enjoy working out together. We started to do at home “Beachbody” workouts but after almost a year of doing them it got repetitive and boring. Kelly had started doing barre and told me that she had seen a few guys there and she told me I should give it a try.  I started with a three week unlimited and went as much as I could to maximize my experience and I ended up really enjoying the classes! After the trial period I signed up for a monthly unlimited pass and the rest is history!

How is working out together different than working out separately?
Kelly - I think working out together gives you a lot more motivation to get to a class or get a workout in because you become a team and you aren’t doing it just for yourself. It keeps me more accountable for my actions and choices because they impact my partner. I like working out together because even when there are days we might not be feeling up to it, we can borrow positive vibes and energy from each to get through the workout. I feel this gives you that extra push to challenge yourself and work a little harder each time. It also is just awesome to be able to spend time with my favorite person doing something that is actually good for you and enjoyable at the same time!

Jon - Working out with Kelly gives me more motivation to not only exercise but also to try harder and push myself. I have always found that working out by myself takes a lot of extra mental effort to push myself to do the best that I can since no one was watching me and it was easy to give up.  

If you had to choose 3 words to describe each other what would they be and why?
Kelly - Jon is patient, selfless, and laidback. He is the perfect match for my sometimes too “Type A” personality. I often say I am a “realist not a pessimist” but Jon is definitely an optimist. His positive attitude and outlook on everything is inspiring and keeps me striving to live life to the fullest every day. He is a patient listener and is always thinking of how he can take care of or make other people in his life happy and I admire that about him.

Jon - Kelly is motivating, witty and dedicated. She helps keep me on track when I’m feeling extra lazy, either at home or at the gym. She also is very quick witted and can always say something funny or sarcastic without missing a beat which always puts a smile on my face. She is extremely hard working and always puts her whole heart and soul into whatever she’s doing.

Lynn & Chelsea

Family that barres together, stays together. We are so excited to feature our first mother-daughter duo! This is Lynn and Chelsey, you can often catch them rocking the barre together at Holland Plaza. Check out their spotlight on our Hall of Fame, where they talk about how the barre brings their bond even closer.

Why do you barre so hard?  
Lynn - I love how it makes me feel – body and mind

Chelsey - barre is an addiction! I love how every class is different and it never gets boring. I love how it is an effective, whole body workout that targets all those little muscles I didn't know were there before I started barre.
 
What does being part of our studio mean to you?   
Lynn - I love the feeling of being welcomed every time I walk through the door, people are so friendly and feeling the burn at the same time as I am.

Chelsey - I love the supportive atmosphere at Barre. The instructors are always so positive and encouraging, which helps keep me motivated! 

What other exercise do you love (in addition to barre) to keep your routine well rounded? 
Lynn - Yoga has been my go to exercise for as long as I can remember. 

Chelsey - My newest addiction is Soar! And I also like yoga.  

How did you get introduced to barre?  
Lynn & Chelsey - Kirsten, one of the instructors – we work with her and she was always talking about it, she kept encouraging us to come and once we did we were hooked!

If you could choose any job what would it be?  
Lynn - My next job, which will be being retired!! 

Chelsey - I would also love to be retired! (haha) I would love any job that would allow me to travel the world and eat delicious food! 

How is working out with a partner different than working out on your own?
Lynn - working out with a partner is motivating and pushes me, I feel more accountable about attending class as it means we get some additional time together.

Chelsey - Exactly what my mom said, working out with a partner is definitely motivating, and makes working out more fun.  
 
If you had to choose three words to describe each other, what would they be and why? 
Lynn - Adventurous. Fun. Happy. Chelsea is a happy person and is fun to be with. I always enjoy my time with her, she has a very adventurous side to her (not sure where she gets it from_ but I am happy for all the adventures she has been on and the ones yet to come.

Chelsey - My mom is hardworking, caring and loving. She is the rock of our family and holds everyone/ everything together; we would be lost without her. She is very caring and loving and always here for us. She is extremely hardworking, and I am very excited for her to be heading into retirement in the next little while (so she can go to barre everyday, because that is what she says she is going to do.) 

Kylee

This is Kylee! She is the complete embodiment of everything that we strive for at our studio. She is committed and hardworking in class. Although she is still a newer member to our tribe, she has completed over 250 classes in just 8 month. It is quite clear that she is a true barre addict. But what really landed her a spot on our Hall of fame is her huge heart! Kylee lifts up the people around her and she is passionate about the community. We are obsessed with this type of 'women empowering women' attitude - keep it up Kylee!

Why do you barre so hard?
The upbeat music, the full body workout and the encouragement of the community originally hooked me and then kept me coming every day. Almost immediately, I saw results; I felt stronger, my strength increased and I gained back some of the flexibility I lost after I stopped dancing regularly. I always look forward to coming to the studio, and being a part of the incredible community has motivated me to push myself even harder.

What does being part of the studio mean to you?
Developing strong friendships with some inspirational women at the barre truly keeps me motivated to continue coming back to challenge myself more each class. We celebrate our “small victories” together, like upgrading to the next set of heavier weights, accepting the barretenders' more challenging modifications, or crushing double (or triple!) classes together in a day. I make a point of trying to get to know someone a little better each class, whether it’s the hard-working girls at the front desk or at Glow, congratulating the barre star beside me on getting through a tough series, or acknowledging our talented instructors. I can truly attest to the fact that “women supporting women” make us stronger; the women in the studio have really been one of the most influential reasons why I keep coming to barre classes.

What other exercise do you love (in addition to barre) to keep your routine well rounded?
To help with my conditioning when I was dancing competitively, I came across BeachBody’s INSANITY program by Shaun T. It is challenging, but the max interval training is seriously addictive. I also really like the SOAR classes at Holland Plaza -who wouldn’t love a crazy-cardio dance party in the dark on Bellicon rebounders, right?

My barre bestie, Darlene, also promised to take me to a spin class soon. I have never been to spin, but it sounds like it would be right up my alley!

How did you get introduced to barre?
Being a dancer, I was very intrigued by the concept of barre fitness, but I admittedly had never tried it. I have three dance friends who instruct at the studio (Erin and Erika, as well as Lauren, who instructs in Calgary – Erika and Lauren are actually both former dancer teachers of mine!), so I started following the studio on social media to learn a little more. After dancing for 24 years, I recently took a little hiatus from dance, and with our wedding over, I suddenly had so much more free time this Fall 2016. This was all perfect timing because about a year after I started following the page, I saw a post about a free class Megan was teaching for Holland Plaza’s first birthday. I decided on a whim to sign up and see what all the fuss was about with my new found free time. I was a little anxious that day and didn’t really know what to expect, but I met the sweetest girl (Rebecca) at my first class and I really enjoyed the challenging workout. Barre was a lot more difficult than I expected. I decided to stick around with the new client trial pass, then the October challenge started and I knew I had to get a membership so I could keep coming to classes; it’s safe to say I have become addicted to barre and feel so welcomed by the studio that it is really is my second home now.

Favorite way to treat yourself?
I do my best to meal prep and eat clean during the week, but I definitely indulge on the weekends. My favourite guilty pleasure to treat myself every weekend is poutine (my husband and I have poutine together almost every weekend, and we love this ritual so much that we even served a deluxe poutine bar as a late night snack at our wedding this summer to our guests. We take our “poutine routine” very seriously.). Also, my friends know I have a major obsession with cupcakes.

Tell us something that we don’t know about you!
I danced competitively for 24 years. It led to some incredible experiences, like performing on a cruise ship, dancing at Disney’s 50th Anniversary celebrations at Disney World in Florida, being accepted to train in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s summer intensive program,performing in Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker, and even being an Edmonton Eskimo cheerleader for six seasons. Dance is certainly my passion, and even though I don’t have the time to take classes anymore, I still put on spontaneous musical theatre performances while I’m at home alone… dance will always be a special part of my life.

Michelle

This is Michelle (and our favourite little guy, Nathaniel!) - both being very frequent barre stars, these two landed a spot on our Hall of Fame as December's Member of the Month. Michelle is coming up on her two year anniversary at our studio and in these past two years, between a wedding and welcoming this sweet little into the world, what an exciting two years it has been! Michelle continued to take classes right up until two days before Nathan was born, her motivation and commitment to her own fitness and wellness throughout her pregnancy is such an inspiration to us. You can now catch this momma-baby dynamic duo raising the barre together at baby barre each week (little N has been working hard on his plank + superman). Also, props to this busy mom for making the time to get to Fit class every once in a while too. We are so fortunate to be able to share a little piece in the journey of all of our barrestars, Michelle and Nathan included! 

Why do you barre so hard? 
I barre so hard because it makes me feel amazing! I feel strong and energized and capable! It has benefited me through all aspects of my life. I find that it truly is a full body workout that you can't master; the classes are always varied creating new challenges and goals to strive for which keeps me coming back!

What does being part of the studio mean to you?  
The barre community is amazing! The instructors are so upbeat and genuine. They along with the tribe are so supportive and motivating - I don’t know how many times I’ve looked up from a really challenging series to see a fellow barre star pushing through giving me the strength to keep going for another 8! Aside from the amazing workout I also look forward to coming to class to see everyone! 

Tell us your experience with both pre and post natal barre?
I was lucky to have a great pregnancy and was able to do barre until 2 days before Nathan was born. Near the end of my pregnancy I wasn’t able to go for walks anymore but thankfully I could still do barre!! I am sure that attending regular barre classes helped to keep Nathan and I strong and healthy and the support I received from everyone at the studio was amazing. It definitely helped to keep me positive and motivated! Doing barre through my pregnancy also helped me bounce back. I found it easy to get back into classes and enjoyed doing moves and series' that I wasn’t able to do while pregnant - such as plank on the barre!.

What is your favorite move @ the barre? 
I am honestly not sure if I can pick a favourite move, I enjoy all aspects of class! If,  however, I had to narrow it down I think I would  have to go with second position chair (awful I know - but I love the challenge, the burn and the shakes!) or plank - I am always up for a good plank series! 

What other exercise do you love (in addition to barre) to keep your routine well rounded?  
I think I was a mermaid or fish  in a previous life - I love to swim! I also like to go for walks and last year I took up Pole Dancing - it was so much fun as well as a great workout! 

Tell us something that we don’t know about you! 
I make quilts! To date I’ve made about 20. My husband calls me his old biddy. 

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? 
I love to travel! Europe is my favourite place to go! I am hoping to eventually make it to Greece and Turkey but would go back to Italy or Germany in a heartbeat!! 

Jenn

Hey tribe, meet Jenn! As soon as Jenn took her first class at Holland Plaza, she knew it was love ... the rest is history! Not only is her commitment so inspiring to us, we are also always blown away by the good vibes and positive energy that she brings into each class! It's a fact - if you're in class with this firecracker, you'll be smiling the whole time!

Why do you barre so hard?
Barre has completely changed me. It has changed my opinion on exercising. Elissa said it best, ‘if it wasn't hard, no one would come back.’ I love pushing myself to new limits. I love the feel of being stronger and being proud of exercising. I want to be a role model for my boys by showing them the importance of being active. I finally found a form of exercise that works for me, gives me the results I strive for and that makes me proud!

What does being part of the studio mean to you?
We are a team working out together, inspiring each other and celebrating each other’s accomplishments. I’ve been so inspired by others who come regularly, continue to push themselves and have a fantastic strong body to show off. I also can’t say enough about the instructors. Every one of them has their own style; their own strengths. I have learned so much about our own physiology and how to use our muscles for optimal results. The girls have changed my opinion on exercise, they’ve encouraged me to reach new levels of strength and most importantly, to keep smiling. They are such an amazing group of women!

What keeps you inspired and motivated?
I love knowing that I have changed my body. It was no magic pill and it didn’t happen overnight but through hard work, my body has become stronger and leaner. I see how proud my husband and my boys are in my increased activity level and I know that I couldn’t be that new person had I not tried Barre. Finally, as soon as I feel a new level of strength, I am then introduced to something harder and I am determined to conquer that as well!

How did you get introduced to barre?
A colleague from Ontario mentioned to me that she had attended a Barre class in Toronto and had loved it. She described in great detail how Barre differs from other forms of exercise. It sounded like it was perfect for me. I remember walking into the Whitemud Crossing location and meeting Katherine. She was so friendly, so encouraging and I knew I had to give it a try. My first class was with Katarina. If you can survive a Katarina class you can survive anything!!! Megan and Elissa warned me that I would feel some muscle fatigue and soreness the next day but they encouraged me to return despite how my body was going to feel. I came back the next day and the day after that. From then on, I was hooked!

What is the best “side effect” you have noticed from barre?
I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t realize my butt was connected to me by muscle! I love having a stronger and less flabby backside!!

Where could we most likely find you after the barre?
More often than not I can be found picking up my “after workout Americano” at Starbucks. It’s an addiction! I can’t help it!

Tell us something that we don’t know about you!
I am a die-hard Toronto Blue Jays fan! Baseball has been a part of my entire life. I am so proud to watch my two sons embrace the sport like I have. Maybe one of them will end up in the big leagues so that Momma doesn’t have to work… 

Karen

Meet Karen, our most recent inductee into the Hall of Fame + our Member of the Month for August! You've probably seen her around the studio a time or two, as she has been a member for three years and rocked the barre over 400 times! Now the first thing that you have to know about this member is that she is HILARIOUS! Her humour lights us up every time, but once you get her in class, it is nothing but focus and hard work. Plus, she also entirely embodies one of our favourite mottos, "barre first, beer later." ;) 

Why do you barre so hard?
Barre makes me look and feel better. And honestly, I barre so hard so I can drink beer and eat Hawkins cheezies!

What keeps me inspired and motivated?
The instructors! I love the variety that each instructor brings to their classes. Even after 3+ years, it's still a challenging workout.

What is your favourite move at the barre?
I kinda love them all, except sideline! Kills me every time.

What other exercises do you do (in addition to barre) to keep your routine well rounded?
Yoga, at least once a week. It helps me maintain my focus and flexibility, and keeps me mentally stronger.

Where could we most likely find you after the barre?
That depends, on weekends I'd be at Costco or Superstore, and on weeknights I'd be drinking beer.

If you had to choose 3 words to describe yourself, what would they be?
Friendly, open, energetic!

Richelle

Junior high teacher, full-time momma + absolute barre addict, Richelle, has been crushing it at the barre since the very beginning. Richelle kept up with her barre practice throughout her entire pregnancy and jumped back into it shortly after her little guy was born. In her Hall of Fame post, Richelle shares her prenatal exercise experience and talks all things baby barre!

Why do you barre so hard? 
It's an unbelievable work out! The music motivates me, the barre tenders are all so fantastic with their unique teaching styles and class routines! I always leave class exhausted and happy knowing I am leaving stronger and ready to take on the rest of my day!

What keeps you inspired and motivated?
The other amazing women in the room! Seeing women of all ages and fitness levels give it their all is so fantastic! This motivates me to make every second of class count, even if I am exhausted or having a bad day. Plus the awesome music and encouragement of the incredible barre tenders never hurts either :)

What was your experience using barre as prenatal exercise? 
It saved me! I did barre 4 or 5 times a week right up until two days before my due date! I probably would have kept going, except it was Christmas and Barre was closed! Ha Ha. I was exhausted and sick my ENTIRE pregnancy. But believe it or not, getting out of bed at 5:30 before work actually gave me the energy I needed to give my students my all at school. It also helped curb that nausea which was a huge help! Anyone who has given birth knows that that is the most insane physical thing you can put your body through, so I wanted to make sure I trained for it! Ha Ha. Plus, I had worked so hard to get into better shape prior to becoming pregnant, I didn't want all that hard work to go to waste! I was hoping to bounce back as soon as possible! 

Tell us about baby barre! and Post-natal, how has barre been working for you?
I loved bringing my little man to baby barre. It is tough for the first little while to find child care and when you are nursing, you cant leave them for long! It was a great way to start getting back into shape while still being with my little man. Unfortunately, I had an emergency c- section, so my recovery was much longer post natal than I would have hoped. That said, Baby barre was a great way to transition myself back into it while my body healed! My peanut was over 9 lbs at birth, so we didn't last in Baby Barre too long, but fortunately, I have been able to make it back to bands and fit classes at least once a week since then. Thanks to barre, I’m feeling ( and looking) like my pre baby self.. which by no means is perfect.. its always a work in progress! Ha Ha.

How has barre impacted you? 
It has helped me to improve my fitness level, to tone and strengthen different parts of my body as well as to feel confident in ways I haven't before.

What is your favorite move @ the barre? 
The arm series. NO QUESTION! It is so tough, but definitely my favorite part of the class! I always force myself to use the 5 lb weights to maximize that arm work out! As we get older we need to keep those arms as tight as possible!!! I also absolutely love monster walks with the bands, and inner thigh work with the ball. I’m determined to be the first one to pop it!

What other exercise do you love (in addition to barre) to keep your routine well rounded? 
I speed swim twice a week with a great group of ladies and a killer coach that always makes sure to kick our butts! I do a private HIIT class twice a week and Spin is also in the rotation!! In the winter I love to ski in the mountains, and in the summer, my favourite thing to do is run in the River Valley!

How did you get introduced to barre? 
Megan and Elissa’s sister in law, Shauna told me about it when they were first starting out! From the first class in that studio down town I was HOOKED! Barre was my go to to get in shape before my wedding!! Megan and Elissa are such wonderful, genuine people, as are the rest of the talented team at Barre Body. I love coming to a studio owned/ operated by such incredible individuals. The atmosphere is always positive and welcoming!

What is the best “side effect” you have noticed from barre?
The toning in my legs for sure! Nothing else tones your legs like barre. Even though I hate that LOOONG chair series!!

 

What’s your favorite part of class and why? 
Bands! Everything is just that much tougher! What can I say… go big or go home! Plus the stretching with the bands is so awesome.. a great reward for those muscles after all that hard work!!

What advice do you have for your fellow barre stars? 
Make every minute of that class count. Leave your stress at the door and don't ever feel guilty about taking an hour to do you! We are better wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, entrepreneurs, career women when we take care of our selves too!

Tell us something that we don’t know about you! 
I am a junior high social studies and math teacher, and I am a HUGE nerd when it comes to all things politics, history and current events. I could talk about the above for hours and hours on end!

What is your guilty pleasure/ pleasures? 
Bubble baths, Champagne, gangsta rap, tough work outs, and online shopping!!

What is your favorite quote? 
All time favourite has GOT to be “ It doesn't matter how young or old you are, what matters is your graciousness. If you are gracious, you have won the game” said by the one and only Stevie Nicks. I'm obsessed with her! She is just fearless as an individual. Not only she is talented and intelligent but she just goes after what she wants in life and makes no apologies for it.

jessica

Jessica has been part of our barre community since the very beginning - 2013 - and has completed almost 1000 classes! She gave birth to beautiful, fraternal twin girls - James Juliet and Elise London - 6 months ago at 31 weeks. We chatted with her about her risky pregnancy, eventful labour, exercising pre and postnatal and how barre and SOAR have kept her strong and active for her babies.

 

What was your pregnancy like?

My pregnancy started out pretty normal and was good (aside from the normal nausea) until I was 23 weeks. At 23 weeks I went for a growth ultrasound and was sent immediately to my OB who put me on bed rest. After that I had weekly ultrasounds at the Royal Alex and biweekly OB appointments. I was at a risk for preterm labour and was terrified my girls would come too early. I feel a little robbed of a “normal” pregnancy where I could have had maternity pictures or a “baby moon” but am grateful my girls stayed put as long as they did!

How was your labour?

Eventful! Because I went into labour so early they initially tried to stop my labour and the plan was for me to move to antepartum and hopefully stay pregnant for a few more weeks. All seemed to be going well, and because my family was coming up for the long weekend, a friend came to visit and stay with me while my husband ran to the grocery store. My friend ended up calling him back a short time later as my contractions had started getting intense and close together. It turned out the babies were coming sooner than later and I almost missed my window to get an epidural. After I eventually got the epidural everything seemed to slow down and after about 20 hours of labour we decided on a c-section. Unfortunately my second “top up” epidural didn’t work and I had to be put under for the surgery. It kills me that I wasn’t “awake” when my girls were born but they are here and healthy and that’s all that really matters.

How did you feel doing barre/SOAR while you were pregnant?

Because of initial nausea and fatigue early in my pregnancy and then being on bed rest I didn’t work out too much while pregnant. The classes that I was able to make it to were great. I felt pretty good most of the time and was able to modify things that didn’t feel quite right. I definitely missed barre and the barre community while on bed rest.

How have you felt exercising postnatal?

Pretty great actually. Some things have felt a little funny post c-section but I’m just trying to pay attention to my body and not push too hard. I’ll get that strength back eventually but it’s going to take a little bit! My only issue is making it to as many classes as I’d like!

How did you get introduced to Studio B?

I initially started taking barre classes with Megan when she was offering them out of Dance Code studio. I’m not sure how I found out about them initially but it was love at first class.

Why do you barre so hard? What makes you want to SOAR?

I initially started barre to try a new workout as I was bored with the gym. It has become so much more than a workout over the years though. I’ve met so many amazing people and the barre community keeps me coming back. I’ve also got a new motivation as I want to be active for my girls and be able to lug two car seats around.

How has barre and SOAR impacted you?

Barre and SOAR have impacted my life so much. I never seem to tire of it and I’m always pushed to challenge myself, which I love. Even if I’m feeling lazy I always feel better after a class. Whether or not it’s from the workout or a chat with someone before or after class.

What keeps you motivated and coming back to Studio B?

The workouts are obviously amazing but the people keep me coming back.

Favourite part about SOAR?

I love that it makes me not hate cardio. Plus it’s just really, really fun.

Favourite barre exercise or series?

I love a sideline series and a good glute bridge.

Other than barre and SOAR, what other types of exercising or activities do you do?

I tend to gravitate towards group classes as I find I get the most out of them. I don’t push myself as much and can’t always find motivation to workout on my own. I love spin classes and boxing. I also would love to try a row class.

What do you love about Mommy & Me classes?

I love being able to still attend barre while I'm at home with my girls. A lot of things can feel daunting to attempt alone with two babies but barre feels like home and so many people have offered help if needed.

How do your girls do in class while you're exercising?

So far they’ve been really great. They’ve mostly slept through class which is nice for me! I can’t carry both anymore as they’ve outgrown their twin carrier but they like to just kick around on a mat so that helps. 

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

I’m a pretty big movie buff and pre-twins my husband and I would go to A LOT of movies. My sister and I often talk in movie quotes.

Favourite way to treat yourself?

I love a good walk. I tend to prefer a walk with a destination and that destination is usually a coffee shop or Bloom for cookies : ).

Favourite movie and book of all time?

Oh that’s so hard. I love anything with Tom Cruise (I know, I know…but I love him). I’ve also seen Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve got Mail and When Harry Met Sally more times than I’m comfortable admitting. You could say I also have a thing for Meg Ryan movies. Favourite book would probably be The Goldfinch. It took me an embarrassingly long time to read but it’s one that stuck with me.

Favourite place to eat in Edmonton?

There are so many amazing places to eat in Edmonton but my favourite would have to be The Next Act for beers and burgers. Second would be Uccelino.

Favourite local spot?

I love a long walk in the river valley. That would be my number one. If I had an oat milk latte from Iconoclast or The Columbian on that walk? Even better!

What is your favourite quote?

I don’t really have one so I’ll use the one from my high school yearbook: “Soup is good food.” I still agree with this.

Favourite places to take your babies in Edmonton?

Mommy and Me classes at Studio B 😉

My girls are still quite young so I haven’t tried any kid places but I’ve enjoyed taking them to the Stars and Strollers movies with my husband and kid friendly breweries (SYC and Sea Change).

rae-lee

Rae-Lee has completed over 250 barre and SOAR classes in less than a year. She is such a pleasure to have in class and we love her determination to working hard. Find out more about Rae-Lee and why she loves to pulse AND bounce below!

How did you get introduced to Studio B?

My good friend Nykala, a SOAR instructor at Studio B, had been trying to convince me for over a year to join her at the studio. When she started teaching I finally decided to give it a whirl. I couldn’t get enough of the dance-inspired SOAR routines and then additionally the toning and strength generated from barre. I was able to incorporate the HIIT I had been used to with Pilates and ballet moves that I had always found to provide incredible results. It was a fun way to work out and to change up my routine.

Why do you barre so hard? What makes you want to SOAR?

I have always loved fitness and the adrenaline generated from a hard workout. I love how barre has made me feel and the way it has enabled me to connect with my body and mind. I also love the differences in the instructor’s classes and the creativity they bring to each movement. I want to SOAR because I crave the feeling after a good workout when you have left everything out on the tramp.

How has barre and SOAR impacted you?

Although barre and SOAR are both incredible workouts the biggest impact has been the people that push you to work harder at Studio B. I always worked out at home completing programs such as Insanity, Turbo Fire and PiYo but there is something to be said about being in a room with other people working towards the same goal and pushing you to work harder.

What keeps you motivated and coming back to Studio B?

The consistently changing classes and moves are what keep me coming back to Studio B. I am constantly growing and pushing my body and mind to new limits. I am never bored and that keeps me coming back for more.

Favourite part about SOAR?

My favorite part about SOAR are the sprints and constantly pushing your body to give more.

Favourite barre exercise or series?

Sideline and Chair.

Other than barre and SOAR, what other types of exercising or activities do you do?

My husband and I love to hike so you will find us in the mountains reaching a new summit on the weekends. This is definitely my most loved exercise but I also dance (most recently on a salsa team which provided very unique challenges), attend Vinyasa Yoga classes and spin classes.

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

Most people know that I am an audit manager as a Chartered Professional Accountant at RSM Canada but not everyone knows that I focus on NPO’s and compliance requirements. Additionally, I flew to New Orleans to be in a commercial for RSM earlier this year.

 

Favourite way to treat yourself?

Joel Gott Zinfandel – if you are a red wine drinker you must treat yourself to this.

 

Favourite movie and book of all time?

Movie – How to Lose a Guy in 10 days (still laughing out loud every time.)

Book – The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

 

Favourite place to eat in Edmonton?

Bodega - Their bruschetta is the best in the city and in addition they have a great red wine selection.

 

Favourite local spot?

Hawrelak Park – for sentimental reasons I just have to pick this spot. 11 years ago this is where my now husband asked me to be his girlfriend. We flew a kite straight into a tree and spent most of the time getting it down but definitely my favorite local spot.

 

What is your favourite quote?

“If you judge people you have no time to love them,” - Mother Teresa

GENEVIEVE

Meet Genevieve! This barre star has completed over 200 classes in less than 10 months. Her dedication to her health and well-being inspires all of us at the studio and we love having her in our classes. 

 

How did you get introduced to Studio B?

My sister introduced me to the studio. I was looking for a fitness program that would fit my timetable and skill level, and still be challenging.

 

Why do you barre so hard?

I have learned first hand that physical health and mental health are closely connected, and in order to care for the whole self, I need to be dedicated. I set a goal and I walk toward it, one step at a time.

 

How has barre impacted you?

Barre has given me a sense of self. It allows me to grow and to challenge my body at my own personal level. I am stronger in many ways.

 

What keeps you motivated and coming back to Studio B?

Coming to barre each day is a way of life for me now, something I’m committed to. I do have days that make me want to hide away under a blanket on the couch. When I’m struggling and I feel tired or discouraged by those negative voices that play on our psyches, especially as women, I just encourage myself to follow through, knowing after a barre class I always feel better stronger and happier.

Favourite barre exercise or series?

There are so many exercises that I like. The ones that hurt the most seem to be the ones I like the most. Ab work always challenges me, as my abs are a weaker area for me having birthed seven children. Arm and butt exercises I think are two of my favourites. As Claire humorously puts it, “our peaches always need a little extra toning.”

Other than barre, what other types of exercising or activities do you do?

I am an avid golfer from spring through to fall. My husband and I walk the courses we play, which is about five miles for a round of 18. I play a minimum of one round a week. During summer break I play three to four times a week. I also belong to a women’s healthy active living evening (whale) class. We meet once a week to participate in an unknown activity. We have played everything from pickle ball, curling, sledge hockey, laser tag, and cross country skiing to Gaelic football, orienteering, Norwegian sledding, and wall climbing. It’s always an adventure.

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

I have twelve grandchildren and I volunteer ever year with Shakespeare in the Park.

I’ve traveled internationally, to Honduras, Seychelles, Australia, England, and China.

I used to raise goats.

Favourite way to treat yourself?

I spoil myself by getting my nails done. I love to cuddle with my dog, Boo. He saved my life a couple years ago by bringing meaning back into my life when I was struggling.

 

Favourite movie and book of all time?

Movie - Because of Winn Dixie

Book - Fox by Margaret Wild - a picture book; it’s timeless.

 

Favourite place to eat in Edmonton?

At home in my own kitchen. After raising a large family on a single income I have learned to stretch a dollar, not to waste nor want, and to cook wholesome food that satisfies my cravings for nutritious meals .

Favourite local spot?

The Winspear. Yes, The Francis Winspear Centre of Edmonton is my favourite place over anywhere I have been. I am so proud of our city for having this magnificent space for people to enjoy. And I am looking forward to the changes happening at the Winspear over the next few years, changes that will allow families from more marginalized communities to enjoy the venue.

What is your favourite quote?

"Run; If you can't run, walk; if you can't walk, crawl; if you can't crawl, drag yourself."

(African tribal saying.)

beverly

Beverly has been a client of ours for 6 years and has completed almost 700 classes at our studios! A fan of both barre and SOAR, she always walks through our doors with a contagious smile on her face, positive energy and a readiness to work hard. It's no surprise we love having Beverly in class. 

How did you get introduced to Studio B?

One of the partners at the company I work for mentioned she was trying out this new barre class. I was intrigued and decided to take a class and I’ve loved it ever since!

Why do you barre so hard? And what makes you want to SOAR?

It has become a part of my routine to a point that if I’m not able make a class my day just doesn’t feel complete. Barre just made feel stronger the more I went. At one point I was thinking it would be great if I could go to one studio for strengthening (ie. barre) and a more intense cardio workout and then came SOAR! For me both classes really compliment each other and provide a well-rounded workout.

 

How has doing barre and SOAR impacted you?

It continually makes me feel stronger. I find it has really helped build the technique and basis for other types of workouts in terms of stamina and form. I’m more aware of and intentional with my movements.

 

What keeps you motivated and coming back to Studio B?

It’s just as much for the ‘mental workout’ as it is for the physical benefits. I think of the studio and I think about all the different major milestones (good and bad) in my life from the past six-ish years. And regardless of what has been going on barre has always remained a constant. I tell people it’s my version of therapy! You have to be really aware of your body with this type of workout so my mind shuts off from the outside world and I just focus on the movements and listen to my body. I also grew up dancing so I found the workouts to be reminiscent of technique and strengthening exercises. And last but not least the people! Having been going to the studio for so long I’ve witnessed this really great community of females (and males) being formed. If you get to talk to others at the studio you get a really great cross section (different ages, backgrounds, careers etc.) of Edmonton’s top-notch female community!

Favourite part about SOAR?

The cardio workout. You can never get too comfortable with this type of workout. And if you do, you know it’s time to get lower or move faster!

Favourite barre exercise or series?

Any exercise using any of the bands. It is guaranteed to burn but you feel the strength building!

Other than barre and SOAR, what other types of exercising or activities do you do?

Barre and SOAR are my constant workouts but I also like to sprinkle in HIIT, row, boxing and spin classes. Bike rides and hikes are also a favourite in the summer. And any excuse to dance I’m all in!

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

I love to travel. I had the opportunity to go on an exchange when I was in university and one of the best parts was getting to know people from different parts of the world. Some of the best conversations I’ve had have been with people I’ve met at a hostel, on a train or in one of my classes. It can be a lot of “work” but I try to make travelling a priority!

Favourite way to treat yourself?

Food! Especially exploring the city’s local food scene.

Favourite place to eat in Edmonton?

The Marc – Local, consistent and a great atmosphere.

 

Favourite local boutique?

Habitat and Shop Chop for one of a kind gifts.

Favourite movie and book of all time?

I always find these types of questions difficult so I’m going to go with the first things that pop into my head. Movie would be Roman Holiday (love a good black and white film or Tuner Classic movie). As for books I’m really into business books, autobiographies and memoirs. I’m always fascinated by other peoples’ experiences.

What is your favourite quote?

“You never know who needs you, good energy is contagious.”

This especially sums up my experience with the studio. It doesn’t matter what kind of day I’ve had. When I’m in class I can’t help but feel good and re-energized (minus the sore glutes.) Some days it goes beyond the workout and you’re there for the energy from the instructor and others in the class!

CAROL

Carol has completed over 530 barre classes since joining Studio B in 2015! Whether she shows up bright and early at 6 a.m. for a B Barre 45 class or participates in an evening B CORE Flow session, Carol gives her ALL, every time. Learn more about this powerhouse below!

 

How did you get introduced to barre?

When the Whitemud studio first opened up, I kept saying to myself, “I have got to give this place a try." I finally purchased a 2 week unlimited pass. That was close to 3 ½ years ago – best decision ever!

 

Why do you barre so hard?

I love how after each class I feel a sense of accomplishment, stronger and am inspired to book my next workout. I feel that the classes provide me with a full body workout and are helping me reach and maintain my ‘sag prevention’ goal. I now have a ‘mini muffin’ top. Thank you ladies! I feel more toned and see the results of attending classes regularly.

 

How has barre impacted you?

By the end of the week, I feel like my body is in balance and I am empowered to keep going. Attending barre classes supports my plan to live a healthy lifestyle. Who would have thought I would be attending 6 AM or evening classes on a regular basis? I think I have shocked a few of my family and friends!

 

What keeps you motivated and coming back to Studio B?

I thought I was in good shape when I started attending classes, but soon realized that there was much room for improvement. Seeing and feeling the positive changes in my body continues to motivate me to keep coming back. It is impossible to say ‘I can’t fit in a workout’ when there are a variety of classes and times available. I admire all of the instructors. They are all amazing at how they motivate everyone to keep going and personalize their sessions. It's impressive how they can all move, talk and keep count… thank goodness because I sure can’t! I appreciate the studio’s positive vibe and warm accepting atmosphere.

Favourite barre exercise or series?

Any exercise or series that helps tone my arms, legs, core, obliques…..isn’t that all of the exercises?! I actually enjoy any series that uses weights.

 

Other than barre, what other types of exercising or activities do you do?

I have completed a couple of Spartan races and 5 half marathons in the last few years and have forced myself to do stairs. I enjoy skiing and have started curling for fun.

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

I teach Grade 1 and enjoy working with these little people every day. I have 2 children who are young adults. They chuckle that I only lift 3 and 4 lb weights in class…I have challenged them to join me!

 

Favourite way(s) to treat yourself?

Shopping - Winners and Marshalls are my go to shopping spots. I am always lucky there!

Socializing. Family, friends, good food and wine :)

 

Favourite movie and book of all time?

I have to say reading books are not as popular as magazines and cookbooks full of recipes and pictures. I enjoy cooking! My new favourite movie: A Star is Born.

 

What is your favourite quote?

Wake up….

Be Kind

Be Brave

Be Amazing

Be You

Be Thankful

Repeat….

REBECCA

Rebecca has been with us since 2015 and has completed almost 900 classes at Studio B! 900!!! We love how she enters our studio - with a huge smile on her face that is always contagious. Rebecca is warm and friendly with everyone in the Studio B community, works extremely hard in class (she definitely embraces the shakes!) and brings so much positive energy to our studio. And this is why she's our #WomanCrushWednesday!

How did you get introduced to barre?

I came to barre when I was recovering from a broken ankle, and haven’t looked back! Barre allowed me to build back muscular strength safely and at my own pace, that worked for my body. I really believe that the strength I have gained and maintained in barre allows me to live a fuller life.

What keeps you motivated and coming back to barre?

I am motivated by the amazing Studio B Fitness community! Each wonderful instructor brings her own personality and twist each and every time! Each class is always different, challenging, and fun! I discover different levels of challenge every class. My fellow barre stars also motivate me to work harder....and I have gained many cherished friends as an unexpected bonus.

 

Favourite barre exercise or series?

The sideline series. Well....it’s a love/hate relationship really!

Other than barre, what other types of exercising or activities do you do?

I really enjoy most sports - hiking, running, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, yoga, Spin, HITT classes...I also love reading and cooking/eating.

Favourite way to treat yourself?

Spending Sunday evenings with my family. My three (amazing) sons and their (incredible) girlfriends are in charge of cocktails...so things always start well! Everyone helps out with dinner and we play games and catch up on the week and look forward to the next one together. Bliss.

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

I love to travel! I grew up living in Canada (Eastern and Western Arctic), England, and New Zealand, and later lived in England and California, and now hop on a plane whenever I get the chance.

 

Favourite movie and book of all time?

One of my favourite books is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Since first reading it when I was twenty, I have enjoyed it at different stages of my life and each time find different things in it that speak to me profoundly. One of my favourite movies is Chariots of Fire. It's got everything and never fails to move me. Pure inspiration!

 

What is your favourite quote?

I don’t know who wrote it, but I’ve always loved the Six Ethics of Life...”Before you pray - Believe, Before you speak - Listen, Before you spend - Earn, Before you write- Think, Before you quit -Try, and, Before you die - Live!" 

Jan

Meet Jan - a school principal, friendly face, and barre Superstar with well over 500 classes under her belt! Jan began her barre journey because she was looking to make herself more physically fit, but ended up developing more confidence and finding a second home at our studio. Barre has also helped Jan recover after surgery, and has made her fall in love with a good clam shell series! To learn more about this awesome woman, keep reading!

Why do you barre so hard?

I barre so hard because it feels so good.  I love the variety, I love how good I feel afterwards, and I love the results. I’ve never once gone to a class and thought afterwards “I wish I hadn’t gone today!”

How has barre impacted you?

It has increased my confidence. It’s given me shape that I didn’t have before.  I come to barre and it feels like a second home. I started coming to barre right after my first marriage ended and it gave me a wonderful outlet for all I was feeling.

How did you get introduced to barre?

My massage therapist commented on my “flat Irish a**” (he was joking, because that’s exactly what he has) and I realized I needed to get some shape! His wife comes to barre so he told me I would love it and he was right!

What keeps you motivated and coming back to barre?

The people!  When I had surgery a couple years ago I was worried that I would get out of the habit of coming by.  I talked with Elissa and Megan and asked them to touch base with me a couple weeks after my surgery to keep me accountable and it worked! I love that when I come to class I see familiar faces and that we are truly a community.

Other than barre, what other activities do you do?

I’m a principal of a big school so I walk a lot.  I treadmill 4 times a week for an hour.

Tell us something we don’t know about you?

5 years ago I lost 55 pounds; barre has helped me to keep it off!

What is your favourite way to treat yourself?

I love spa days: facials, pedicure, body wrap, massage!

Popcorn! 

What is your favourite quote?

I have 2:

“Be the change you want to see in the world” - Ghandi

“Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle” -Plato

What is your favourite book/movie/TV show of all time?

My favourite movie is Out of Africa.  It’s beautiful and I like the story of a strong woman making her way in a difficult world!  The Robert Redford hair washing scene is pretty great too! 

What is your favourite barre move?

Definitely the clam shell because I can really feel it work!

Tiina

Meet Tiina -  a relatively new  barre babe whose goal was to complete 63 classes before her 63rd birthday, and guess what? She did it! Tiina’s drive is not only shown in accomplishing her goal, but also in her story. Tiina has had some pretty major obstacles in her fitness journey, and wants to share with others that fitness, and barre more specifically, has helped her recovery immensely. Keep reading to learn more about this month’s Hall of Fame inductee!

Why do you barre so hard?

 I started because I wanted to be in better shape and feel stronger. I keep on because the variety of exercises we do during the class: strength training, stretching, weights works out all the muscles in my body. I really enjoy how Barre is a near-perfect mix of yoga, pilates, ballet training, strength training, balance, and endurance.

 

How has barre impacted you? 

I have some minor nerve damage to my left leg from a previous back surgery and three-and-a-half years ago I had surgery to have my right knee replaced; Barre has become the next stage of my healing and recovery. Also the instructors are truly amazing as they accommodate my limitations by taking the time to correct my position and show me alternative ways to achieve the same workout.

 

How did you get introduced to barre? 

My colleague at work, Christalene Lay, is my inspiration and really encouraged me to try it out. 

 

What keeps you motivated and coming back to barre?

I set myself small goals to reach, so it is attainable, then set more. I love how I feel stronger each time I come and I really notice month-by-month how much strength I've gained and how much more coordinated I am. Just this feeling of personal physical accomplishment keeps me wanting more. Because of barre I can do many activities longer than I could before without tiring or getting sore, so I can freely romp and play with my Grandlings longer, go on longer hikes, and shovel lots more snow.

 

Other than barre, what other activities do you do?

 I go birding a lot with my husband so that is great hiking in all seasons, and in the summer I love to garden. This coming summer, because I feel stronger and my balance is better, I'm going to go back to biking that I used to do a lot, before my knee replacement surgery. 

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you?

I have four wonderful grown children and four amazing grandchildren, my Grandlings who light up my life and my heart.

 

What is your favourite way to treat yourself? 

Curling up with a glass of wine or beer, a good book, a fuzzy blanket, and a cuddly cat. 

 

What is your favourite quote? 

      My simple religion is love, respect for others, honesty.   -His Holiness the Dalai Lama

     We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace. - Michael Franti 

Christalene

Meet Christalene - a barre superstar who has completed over 540 classes since becoming a member in 2015. You will often see her in a Barre Press class on her lunch break since her employer is located just steps away from the studio. Christalene is a POWERHOUSE and constantly pushes herself every single class. Her drive and dedication is inspiring and we love having her in the studio! Check out her feature below!

Why do you barre so hard?

I have discovered this inner burn to keep pushing myself to new limits. Barre also allows me to escape some of my everyday pressures and focus on me, and making a better me. 

How has barre impacted you? 

Barre has impacted me the most in how I view my physical body. I have transformed my personal thoughts about myself mentally and physically. Plus I have met the most awesome and supportive group of people I am happy to call my tribe!

How did you get introduced to barre?

I was taking a pole dancing course and was really struggling on the core aspects. They taught a barre class at that studio but the class timing was off and that is when I started to look for a studio that worked for me. I couldn’t be more pleased that I can walk over during my lunch hours to escape. 

What keeps you motivated at the barre?

Having small goals. Sometimes it is just to get through that class, other times it is to push myself till the burn and shakes are too much. And then it is bigger things like hitting 700 classes. 

What does being a part of our studio mean to you?

I really couldn't imagine my life without barre. This group of ladies has pushed me, helped me, hugged me when I was upset and taught me so much. But the most important thing is that we motivate each other to come.

 

Other than barre, do you do any other activities?

Anything outside. I love to walk my dogs, I have a beautiful yard that I love to spend time in and sit and have a glass of wine and enjoy the peace and quite. 

What are your guilty pleasures?

Sweets. I love to eat sugar and it loves my hips. Love/hate relationship really. 

Tell us 3 things we don’t know about you:

1. I use to competitively shoot a handgun. And was in the top 10 female in Alberta. 

2.  I love to quad. The dirtier the better.

3. I have worked at my current employer since I have been 15. 

What is your favorite book?

I love to read business management books. My favorite is probably 'Strengthfinder.'

Rossana

Meet Rossana - a barre all-star, well on her way to her 500th class! Rossana has been pulsing, plie-ing, and sweating with us since 2016. She always has such a wonderful presence in the studio from welcoming new-comers, to encouraging her fellow barre-stars before and after class. Every class, Rossana works harder than the last class, and always pushes herself to her next level. We are in such awe of her dedication to her practice, and are always excited to have her beautiful presence in studio!

 

Why do you barre so hard?
I love barre for so many good reasons: It is my happy place. It is a part of my day where I get to have fun and discover what my body is capable of doing. All of the instructors are wonderful, talented people, who do a great job and I really appreciate all the hard work that goes into the classes. 
 
How has barre impacted you?
Barre has impacted me in so many ways; my body has improved so much in strength, posture, and stamina. I feel so good after the class even if it looks like I’m going to die. I love the music, and the sense of humour from all of you beautiful people.

How did you get introduced to barre?
I was introduced to barre by my best friend and from day one I felt in love. I can honestly say I’m addicted to Barre!

Enjoy the little things - what little things make you smile?
Seeing bunnies in the fall-winter, looking at the amazing colours in the sky, the full moon… I guess they’re not so little, and smell of freshly made coffee too!

What is your guilty pleasure/pleasures?
Eating a donut, macaroons, and popcorn.

What is your favorite quote?
“Be present. It is the only moment that matters“

Simone

If you have not already - meet Simone! She is a dedicated member of our tribe, who shares her passion with the entire community. Simone fell in love with barre instantly and completed 550 classes in just over 1.5 years! Not only will she testify to growing her own strength over the past year and a half, but she is also constantly sharing that strength with the people around her. Her words of encouragement among our studio and positive attitude in class is exactly what landed her a spot in out Hall of Fame. (Oh yeah, and she makes the best peanut butter cookies ) Check out her feature below! 
 

Why do you barre so hard?  
I ‘barre so hard’ because it’s fun and continues to be a challenging workout even after 19 months, with each class often harder than the last! Barre combines my preferred ways to exercise with its integration of Ballet, Yoga, Pilates, and free weights. I really appreciate the class structure that encourages a mind-body connection and the use of all muscular-skeletal (and mental) groups. For me, class time just flies by with the quick succession and smooth flow of the diverse exercises that demand my total concentration. All the instructors are truly dedicated professionals who work hard to create a comfortable and inclusive exercise community, continually motivate the students, and integrate good teaching and coaching strategies. I am impressed by all the instructors’ creativity and smooth choreographic transitions while keeping to 126bpm, as well as their ability in providing helpful cueing while sweating along with the class.   

What does being part of our studio mean to you? 
I love being surrounded by strong, intelligent and compassionate women (and a few men!) who continually support each other on physical and emotional levels. Small and big accomplishments in the studio are celebrated by both “barretenders” and “barrestars”, and this is really evident in the barre challenges.  It really is a pleasure to be able to attend any class and not have a preference; actually, my favourite instructor is the one who is currently teaching the class I’m attending, and my favourite barre buddies are the ones sweating and working hard beside me!  I cherish the many friendships I have made within the BBS community and hope to continue seeing everyone at the barre for a long time.

How has barre impacted you?  
Wow – so many ways! I would say the first major impact was the realization that although I thought I was fit, barre classes continually pushed me way beyond my usual exercise comfort zone with cardio bursts and attention to proper form. I no longer have a love-hate relationship (which honestly started as a hate-hate thing) with the cardio sections of class; I actually look forward to them and try to regularly attend the Barre, Sweat and Tone classes. The second major impact was to stop ‘cheating’ by using my natural flexibility to not work as hard in the barre moves. I now focus on better form and strength and have eliminated the danger of over-extension and repetitive strain on muscles and joints. I’ve learned to improve my flexibility with dynamic stretching rather than passively staying in poses. Another impact has been a return to the integration of musicality and rhythm to accentuate a fitness regimen, along with a new musical repertoire of appropriate songs to match the specific exercises. And I’m also hungry all the time (in a very positive way) from intensive daily workouts!

What other exercise do you love (in addition to barre) to keep your routine well rounded?  
I was trained in competitive gymnastics, acrobatics, dance and yoga as a teenager and have continued doing daily exercises (morning and night) to maintain flexibility and core strength. I also currently attend adult classical and contemporary ballet classes and have recently added Syntonics: a practice which strives for the elimination of unconscious and dysfunctional muscular and movement habits and the harmonious balancing in the skeletal musculature. Syntonics’ purpose is the recovery of the dynamic ability of the organism to continually respond, adapt and re-create itself in a healthy and functional way.

Tell us something that we don’t know about you!  
I am a Franco-Albertan Anthropologist and I have concentrated my research and interest in the specialized areas of symbolic interaction, performance, communication, pop culture, ritual activities, aesthetics, and ethnomusicology. I taught for almost 30 years at the University of Alberta (mainly the francophone campus) striving to improve teaching and learning experiences, with an interest in student engagement and student empowerment through active learning.  
Other activities include involvement in the francophone community and volunteer stage technical work and stage managing (and musician/performer wrangler) for the Edmonton Folk Music Festival since its origin in 1980, the Uptown Folk Club, Winterfest and Interstellar Rodeo. Along with my family, I am an active supporter, promoter, and patron of local visual arts, music, theatre and contemporary dance.
I am a long-time resident of Edmonton; I have been married for 35 years to local artist Blair Brennan and we have three strong intelligent talented and beautiful daughters – Sophie, Siona and Céline.

What is your favorite post workout snack? 
My post workout snack/meal usually includes eggs or dairy or nuts, and vegetables or fruit. As mentioned in the ‘impact’ question, I am always hungry and post workout eating is really important. Because of health reasons (celiac and allergies), I need to follow a strict gluten-free grain-free lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. I find it essential to incorporate protein into every snack and meal, and I try to make vegetables tempting and delicious.
Luckily, I enjoy baking and cooking and have a big garden that provides lots of fresh vegetables. I have adapted favourite recipes and have created a lot of grain-free goodies that I love to share with anyone who also likes cocoa and coconut, dried fruit, nuts and peanuts, yogurt, and especially dark chocolate!

Laura

Meet Laura - she just recently knocked out her 500th class with us, which means she is officially a Barre super star. Take a read through her spotlight to find out how she fell in love with barre, why she continues to barre so hard, and what being a huge part of the studio means to her. Thank you for your dedication, hustle, and #barrelove Laura!

Why do you barre so hard?
Barre is the first type of exercise class that I have been able to maintain motivation for—my first class was three years ago! I love the all-around workout and the variety offered: it means each class is interesting and challenging. 

What does being part of our studio mean to you?
Being part of the studio means that every class I am supported by the group of incredibly strong women (and men) sweating alongside me. It means being motivated by the energy, enthusiasm and humour of the instructors.  I’m really grateful for this community. 

What is your favorite move @ the barre? 
I’m a big fan of glute bridge and all its variants (why doesn’t hamstring bridge on the barre get any easier!?).

What other exercise do you love (in addition to barre) to keep your routine well rounded? 
I love being outdoors—I enjoy hiking, biking and paddling (was introduced to the world of multiday canoe trips last year and can’t wait to do more this summer) and in the winter I cross-country ski and snowshoe. Recently I have taken up spin classes: I love the atmosphere but am still amazed how much sweat my body can produce in a single hour.    

Tell us something that we don’t know about you! 
I always thought barre was going to be the closest I ever get to being a ballerina, but two years ago I began Ukrainian dancing. I thought I was signing up for beginner dance lessons, but in reality I signed up for a competitive group which just happened to take beginners—of which I was the ONLY one. The learning curve was steep, but it’s been such a blast and we’re touring to Ottawa this summer! 

What is your favorite quote? 
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett. 

 (Julia Child’s “People who love to eat are always the best people” is a close second.)

Debra

We all know who the real barre boss is around here - if you haven't already, meet Debra. You've heard of dance moms and soccer moms, but what about barre moms!? Deb is a very special member of our tribe, not only has she been around since the start, and rocked the barre over 550 times, Deb is Megan and Elissa's mom. As one of the biggest support systems that uphold the studio and always an absolute light in class, Debra is this months Hall of Fame inductee! Get to know a little bit about her and her role within the tribe by reading below. 

Why do you barre so hard?
I barre so hard because I find it extremely satisfying for my all around well-being. The stretching and toning have firmed up some distinctly saggy bits and pieces, and by doing the weights in class, I have actually found some long lost muscles!

What does being part of our studio mean to you?
I love being part of the studios because of the caring, interesting, supportive group of people, all trying to better themselves physically and mentally.

What keeps you inspired and motivated? 
My motivation to keep going is the mirror in my bathroom!  I hope to never see those unwanted and uninvited fleshy parts again!

How did you get introduced to barre? 
I got introduced to Barre through my eldest daughter, Megan, when she decided this would be a wonderful program to start in Edmonton.  Shortly after, she got her younger sister, Elissa, involved, and what Mother could stay away when both her amazing, albeit a  bit bossy, daughters are operating two such extraordinarily beautiful studios, complete with fantastic workouts.  I am extremely proud of these girls and the efforts they have put into the studios because they are truly  trying to make a positive difference in people’s lives and their overall health and welfare.

Enjoy the little things – what little things make you smile?
I would have to say the little things that make me smile are times spent with my family, watching them laugh together while they share their thoughts and opinions.

Where could we most likely find you after the barre? 
On one of my days away from Barre, I still ride horses but after many years of jumping and competitions, I enjoy the equitation and I no longer take my life in my hands to jump over those huge one foot jumps!

Kerryn

Kerryn has been with us since the very beginning - even before the our Whitemud Crossing location. She has rocked out over 460 classes and is well on her way to Super Star status. She has recently been loving SOAR classes to compliment her barre practice and to keep her fitness routine well rounded. Kerryn's sweet presence, positivity, and charming accent ;) is exactly what landed her a spot on our Hall of Fame.

Why do you barre so hard? 
I love the whole-body strengthening approach of barre. As a runner, I credit barre with injury prevention. Barre is ideal for targeting small muscles and is also a great upper-body and core workout. I’ve been loving the SOAR classes, too: cardio, obviously (you’ll usually find me a few beats behind the instructor), but a terrific core workout and good for ankle stability.

What does being part of the studio mean to you? 
The atmosphere at barre is energizing and positive. Over the years, in those pre-class minutes, I've met some fantastic, inspiring people - those real connections make barre even better! I also love that it is run by sisters. I’ve loved watching how Megan and Elissa have grown the business and built such a welcoming culture.


What other exercise do you love (in addition to barre) to keep your routine well rounded? 
I run year-round, three to four times a week. I can recommend running as a way to make peace with the long Edmonton winters. I'm Australian: if I can do it, you can do it!

How did you get introduced to barre? 
I first heard about the studio on Twitter. I was recovering from a running-induced stress fracture and thought barre sounded like the perfect low-impact, strength-building workout. My first class was with Megan in the early, temporary studio in Oliver. I bought a pair of bright pink toesox, set up my preschooler on the other side of the glass with with snacks and an iPad (textbook parenting strategy!), and the rest is history.

What is your favorite quote? 
“Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at 
a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes." Henry David Thoreau

What is your favorite book, movie and/or tv show of all time? 
The West Wing. My husband and I watch the entire series—all seven seasons! - every couple of years. It was good therapy during the
2016 US election. 

Jessica

With over 500 classes under her belt, meet your newest Hall of Fame inductee. Jess has been burning it out with us since the very beginning, her love for barre emanates in every class that she attends! We love having this one in class not only because her spirits are always high and she is always rocking a smile, but she is also so damn strong. (That is what almost 4 years of barre will do for you!) Thank you for sharing your energy with us Jess, we heart you big time!

Why do you barre so hard?
I love barre because even after 3+ years it hasn’t gotten
any easier. The instructors are always challenging me
and I’m still challenging myself. I love the atmosphere,
variety of instructors and I don’t have to force myself to 
go, I actually want to. This is kind of a revelation. 

What does being part of the studio mean to you?
I’ve met some great people through barre and it makes 
coming to barre that much better. You can sweat it out 
together and chat after about how bad your butt just got 
kicked. It’s a supportive and fun environment.  

What is your favorite move @ the barre?  
My favorite is probably pretzel but I also love glute 
bridge (with weights) and sideline.
 
How did you get introduced to barre?  
I’d read an article about barre online and wondered if we 
had a studio in Edmonton (we didn’t at the time). I had
danced when I was younger and thought it would be 
something I could really enjoy. I searched in Edmonton 
for a while with no luck and then finally found Megan’s 
class downtown. I loved it from the first class but didn’t
think I would go too often when the Whitemud Studio
opened as it was “too far away”. Turns out I was truly a
barre addict and was there all the time. I was so excited
when Holland Plaza opened as it is a lot closer to home.
 
Where could we most likely find you after the barre?  
It depends, on the weekend you’d definitely find me 
drinking coffee after a barre class, walking my dog 
or catching a movie. On weekdays I usually catch up 
on Jeopardy in the evening after barre … I’m actually 
85 years old.
 
Tell us something that we don’t know about you!  
I am obsessed with SNL. I watched it with my dad 
when I was a kid and never miss an episode. You can 
most likely find me watching SNL on Sunday mornings 
after a barre class with a coffee. It’s my favorite thing. 

Susan

This is Susan, she is our November Member of the Month and also our most recent BBS Super Star! You got it, this girl just recently hit her 500 class milestone and we are so proud of her. You can tell that she is an avid barrestar by her great energy, perfect form and the smile that she keeps even in the longest chair series. 

Why do you barre so hard?
I've done lots of different types of exercise classes over the years and have found barre to be an extremely effective and efficient full body workout. In an hour I feel like I work all the major muscle groups, get a great core workout, a bit of cardio and fantastic stretch so that keeps me coming back for more!!

What does being part of the studio meant to you?
Welcoming atmosphere, working out in a positive, supportive environment, encouragement from the instructors who keep you motivated and genuinely care about your progress. Fun, varied classes. I love participating in the challenges to stay motivated and set new goals.

What is your favourite move at barre?
I love the blast classes to get a good cardio workout, as well as working so many different muscle groups. I really like so many aspects of the classes - I always enjoy the arm series, floor work for core and back, sideline and lately I've been "enjoying" the challenge of the "bend and snap".

What is the best side effect you have noticed from barre?
I've struggled with mild scoliosis and lower back issues since I was a teen, but have found since doing barre regularly my back has been the best its ever been. I've also found regular barre classes help me enjoy outdoor activities, like skiing and hiking, more as I am no longer sore the next day and can walk normally after participating!!

Where could me most likely find you after the barre?
Driving my 12 and 13 year old and their carpool buddies to all their activities and lately cuddling my 5 month old french bulldog puppy, Stella.

Tell us something that we don't know about you!
I work part-time as a Child Psychologist and love the work-family balance I've been so fortunate to have since having my own kids.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I grew up on the west coast so feel most at home anywhere with coastal air and beautiful scenery.

Heather

Meet Heather! Not only has she rocked the barre over 400 times, we are so inspired by the physical and mental change that we have recognized over the past two years. Heather is incredibly committed to bettering herself, challenging herself and never giving up on herself. These positive vibes emanate during every class that she takes! Read on to hear more about her barre body experience and why she landed herself a spot on our hall of fame!

Why do you barre so hard?
Barre makes me feel like I can do anything- push harder, hold longer, dig deeper.
Each class is a personal challenge that has led me to be
stronger physically and mentally. I’ve achieved things at barre I never thought I could.

What does being part of the studio mean to you?
Being a part of the studio has provided me with support and friendship that has pushed me to new levels. The instructors encourage us to push ourselves, for ourselves; it's never about competing with the person beside you.
Also, instructors are always quick to comment when you get that perfect form!

What is your favorite move @ the barre?
Anything glute-related: glute bridge, butt buster, squats …

How did you get introduced to barre?
My amazing sister kept talking about barre. I never thought I would be able to do it, but she took me to a 
class at BBS Calgary and I was instantly hooked.
As soon as I got home I went to Whitemud Crossing
and signed up – I’ve never looked back.

Where could we most likely find you after the barre?
Getting a manicure with my daughter, Starbucks in hand. Or, heading to work after those 6am classes!

Tell us something that we don’t know about you!
In the last two and a half years, I’ve lost over 100 pounds. I realized that i needed to be a better, more active, role 
role model for my daughter so I began with walking and
ended up at the barre. I’m proud to show my daughter 
that movement and strength can lead to confidence and
happiness.

Enjoy the little things – what little things make you smile?
My daughter’s laugh, wine with friends, long talks with my mom, and a crisp fall day.

Ramona & Melanie

Meet Melanie and Ramona! With over 500 classes combined, these sisters are definitely familiar faces around the studio. Not only do they challenge themselves in each and every class to push the limits, they also use each other to say motivated. Check out what these Hall of Fame inductees have to say about their own personal barre journey and the perks of taking on fitness with a friend!

Why do you barre so hard? 
Ramona: I barre hard because I just love it! It is a different type of workout than anything
that I have done in the past years. It's better for me and the change is really good! I also love the studio and all the great ladies!

Melanie: It’s simple, barre is addictive. From that crazy shake n’ burn, to the incredibly motivating instructors, to the energy of the class format, to the friendships made, to sweating it out with my sister and barremates, to seeing my body transform from weak to strong…..the love for barre just gets deeper and deeper.

How do you keep each other motivated and inspired?
Ramona: We really like to go to class together. Its fun!  We always plan the week out so that we can have a few classes together, for sure! In class, I feel like we also work harder because one is watching the other!!!

Melanie: There’s nothing like a little sisterly nagging to keep you going to barre class!

How has barre impacted you?
Ramona: I feel so much better since I have started doing barre. It has been over a year now, I have lost weight and inches!! My posture is better too. My husband likes it!

Melanie: It has completely changed my life. For years I had a job that required a heavy travel schedule and long work hours. I was chronically tired, I ate poorly, and I had no energy or motivation to even humor a fitness schedule. Then the travel ended, that half-packed suitcase was put away and for the first time I had “time”. Time to spend with my family, time to focus on healthy eating, and time to get into shape. Ramona had always said that it would be fun to do boot camps together but I was always on the road. Then there was that fateful day in November 2014. Ramona and I were out-and-about together, drove by the studio, and decided to check it out. We walked in and met the lovely Elissa, signed up for the two week unlimited trial and the rest is history

How is working out with a partner different than working out alone?
Ramona: I don't mind working out alone but it is more fun with a partner. You work harder and are much more motivated. Even if Melanie is not in class with me, a few of my new barre friends always are!!

Melanie: I have realized that I thrive on working out “with” people, sharing in the experience together, sweating it out together. What could be more fun than working out with your Big Sis and BFF? Not only did I gain a great workout partner with my sister, but I gained an amazing workout family at Barre Body Studio. During class we all motivate and encourage each other, and that makes for a great workout! I am so grateful to all at Barre Body Studio!

Where can we most likely find you after class?
Ramona: Well, if Melanie and I are in class together its trouble. We often end up shopping at Southgate, Winners or the Italian Centre after!

Melanie: Out walking my dog, Wolfgang, in the river valley, spending time with my family, or cooking with my hubby and pondering on how that bottle of wine went down so quickly!

What is your favourite move at the barre?
Ramona: My favorite move is first position plie. It makes me feel like I am (kind of) a dancer!

Melanie: Plank variations and mountain climbers!

If you had to choose 3 words to describe your sister, what would they be and why?
Ramona:

Confident- being 5"11 helps


Fun - She always likes to get out there and do things, new adventures, laugh!


Compassionate - It is the nurse in her, taking care of her family when needed is    very important to her. We can always count on her too. I love my little sister!

Melanie:
(Best) Friend – Ramona is my big sister and best friend. In our adult years we have become very close. She is my bestie, my confidante, my dear, sweet sister that I would do anything for.


Beautiful – Inside and out!


(Always) Present – Ramona is a big part of my life. She is always there for me and has always been there for me over the years. For 17 years I lived in the United States, I missed home terribly, and even though I lived so far away I always felt close and connected to my big sister.

Meet the all stars. The super stars. The rock stars.

Those amazing people in our classes who have a grin ear-to-ear

and know what the Studio B burn is all about.

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Whitemud Crossing

4211 106 Street Unit 184

Edmonton, Alberta

(780)757-2773

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