BARRE TALK

JULIE JACKO

Hire Slow, Fire Fast

I’m often asked about the process I use to certify Barre Motion instructors. The question is a powerful one, because it gets to the heart of what makes Barre Motion so impactful. The truth is that it takes a very special person to successfully train and become certified to be a Barre Motion instructor. Some people train with us to be certified to teach in the flagship Barre Motion studio in Miami Beach. Others are trained to become Barre Motion certified and teach the method in other, select studios or locations. When I first speak to a candidate, I look for evidence of a history of movement. In many cases, this manifests as movement in the form of dance. I have found that a background in ballet is a differentiating factor. However, movement comes in many forms, and I believe that professionals who are martial artists, equestrians, cheerleaders, or Pilates-certified, for example, can also be successful Barre Motion instructors. The key thing is that the candidate knows how to move his or her body, that is, he or she has the body awareness needed to progress efficiently and effectively through Barre Motion instructor training. Equally important is evidence … Read More

It’s Chair Pose Challenge Time!

Yesterday we kicked off Barre Motion’s Chair Pose Challenge. It runs all week, beginning Saturday, March 12 through Friday, March 18. On Saturday, March 19, we will announce the winner, who will receive a 10-class package of Barre Motion classes. There will be other goodies shared throughout the week. For example, this morning we had free bottles of Suja juices available for participants as they were leaving the studio. So, why did I decide to focus the challenge on Chair Pose? Chair Pose is a fundamental position at the barre that we use in all of our barre classes: Signature, Advanced, and Cardio Express. One’s ability to hold Chair Pose for minutes at a time is a clear differentiator between novices and experts at the barre. It is an excellent measure of one’s progress toward mastery. To set up Chair Pose, walk your feet under the barre and place them hip width and parallel. Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder width, and lean back, away from the barre until your elbows are perfectly straight. As you lean back, also bend your knees and bend at the waist, as though you are having a seat in a chair. You … Read More

5 Tips to Keep You Barre-Ready This Season

The season between Thanksgiving and New Years is a time of plenty. We are bombarded with plentiful partying, cuisine, and libations. Many of us struggle with how to balance the celebratory spirit of the season with our intention to get and remain lean, strong, and healthy. For many of us this challenge is compounded by modifications to our typical daily routine. Throw in some travel, several days away from the office or home, and we tend to regress toward the mean, which, in this country, equates to a sedentary, over-fed, over-served version of you. We all struggle with this to some extent, so I thought I would share 5 sure-fire tips, that when followed, will keep you on-track with your barre fitness goals so the holidays don’t wreak havoc on your health. #1: Schedule It. It’s not enough to be well intentioned about making it to the barre for class. Schedule it in your calendar. I’m talking about scheduling specific classes at specific times over the course of the holiday. Simply plan to be there. #2: Go Stylin’. A barre workout is a highly visual experience. You should like what you see. So, choose your … Read More

Innovation In Motion: Cardio Motion Express

We’ve been innovating again! We added a brand new class to our portfolio of classes, and named it Cardio Motion Express. This class is our solution for all those who have less than an hour to spend at the barre – this class is just 45 minutes. Consider it an “express” version of our Signature Motion and Advanced Motion barre classes. Another unique feature is that there is an intentional emphasis on achieving and maintaining your maximum working heart rate throughout the class, as opposed to the more interval-style approach that is championed in our Signature Motion and Advanced Motion formats. Expect instantaneous transitions coupled with dynamic stretching. It’s a heart-pumping, thigh-shaking, seat-lifting extravaganza! The beautiful thing about this new format is that you will still achieve the intensity of work at the barre (read: deeply activated muscles, epic holds, shake ‘till you’re baked), while also maintaining an elevated heart rate and increased respiration. We launched the class and immediately offered try-it-for-free classes this past Thursday evening at 7:15pm and Friday morning at 10:45am. The report from the trenches is that our clients love the new format. We heard things like: • “Love the energy of the class!” • … Read More

Barre-cierge At Your Service

Miami Living Magazine just featured one of our latest and greatest offerings: Barre-cierge. Now that the word is out, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you what makes Barre-cierge so unique and special, and why you will want to try it. It’s unique because no one else in the barre fitness industry is making what we call “barre calls.” Barre-cierge offers at-home, hour-long, body changing barre and yoga workouts. Whether your home is a hotel room or a palace, we are equipped to meet you there, bringing our award winning Signature Motion, Advanced Motion, and Yoga Motion classes to you. How did this come about? Several clients inquired as to whether we would be able to bring Barre Motion to them, in their homes and hotel rooms. Several of them have private, at-home studio space, others happen to be in town staying at one of the boutique hotels on South Beach. They all asked if we could meet them where they are (we said “Yes!!”). We either help equip Barre-cierge clients with portable or wall-affixed barres, or we make clever use of the surroundings (think railings, chairs, stairs, etc). We bring our … Read More

Longer, Harder, Better.

As we sailed into the newness of 2015 at Barre Motion, it became apparent that things were about to get even more interesting. I was witnessing my instructors intuitively amping up the level of challenge of the Signature Motion classes for our members who had been regularly taking them. I had observed clients who were holding poses longer, working through movements more fluidly, and pushing themselves more intensely toward mastery. I knew that our studio was ready to take things to the next level. I sat down with the other Master Instructor at Barre Motion, Amy Foster Berntsen, and together, we constructed a format for an advanced class that would reflect the genius of the Signature Motion class, while introducing a whole new level of challenge. We spent considerable time in the design-test-evaluate cycle until we had something that we knew was unique, innovative, and worthy of our discerning clientele. We named the new format Advanced Motion. Advanced Motion classes challenge clients to reach beyond their current skills to achieve new levels of strength, stamina, and flexibility. Advanced Motion has been designed for experienced clients, who are prepared to handle a faster paced class, incorporating advanced movements at the barre … Read More

We Have Winners!

Congratulations to everyone who had the guts to take on the 12-12-12 Holiday Fitness Challenge! It has been so much fun watching everyone accumulate class visits to the studio since November 12th. The Challenge has been a HUGE success! We had 24 clients participate. Of those 24 participants, 11 people met the challenge with 12 or more classes between November 12th and December 12th: Onessa, Marlene, Richard, Lindsay, Gennette, Gail, Leila, Allison, Cristina, Myriam, and Arielle. To each of you who met or exceeded the goal – A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS! Please also take a moment to celebrate yourself. Twelve or more classes in a 30-day period translate to dramatic results you can see and feel: • You have improved overall flexibility; • Your torso is narrower and flatter; • You have discovered enhanced core strength; • Your arms are stronger with no added bulkiness; • Your legs more closely resemble the legs of your early youth – elongated, sculpted and lean; • Your seat is higher and more lifted; • You find yourself repeatedly looking in the mirror and saying: “hello, dancer’s dent!” where your seat meets your upper thigh. • You … Read More

Tonelli on Transformation

Art Basel wraps up today. It’s one of those multi-day extravaganzas that everyone buzzes about. To have been an active participant this year, hosting a noteworthy event in the Barre Motion studio during Art Basel, was a privilege beyond measure. It was an incredible opportunity to showcase Gustavo Tonelli’s photography, “The Art Behind Hostess”, a celebration of the female body with black and white portraits from the upcoming show, “Hostess Miami.” The exhibit profiles the transforming power of the lens on hostesses, waitresses and bartenders from Miami’s most notable restaurants including Macchialina, Red, The Steakhouse, The Local House, The District, Ball & Chain, Prohibition, Seasalt & Pepper, Cavalli and more. Marrying the transforming power of Barre Motion with the transforming power of Tonelli’s lens, makes for a sensational combination. The sleek, airy vibe of the studio perfectly complements the dramatic and ethereal, black and white photographs, making for a sophisticated palette of texture and light. Add to that the charm and talent of the artist himself, and you understand why the exhibit is magical. At Barre Motion we are entirely focused on transformation – of the body, mind, and spirit. Mr. Tonelli’s photographs awaken this sensation in everyone who … Read More

Hand Weights Need Not Apply

You may have noticed that there are no hand weights of any kind in the Barre Motion studio. This is just one of the many unique features of the Barre Motion method that makes it the most inspiring, technically challenging barre workout available anywhere. Most barre studios you will encounter locally and nationally employ hand weights for upper body work. Unfortunately, there is a broad misconception that one must move hand weights around in order to build muscle. However, the use of hand weights, even the use of light (2–5 lb) hand weights is contradictory to the underlying premise of Barre Motion: to create lean, sculpted, elongated musculature. I have witnessed the use of hand weights in countless barre studios across the country. The use of hand weights encourages compromised posture while upper body exercises are performed. How? The hand weights encourage the tendency of letting the limbs “drop” on the lowering phase of a lift, especially once fatigue sets in. Furthermore, hand weights encourage the practice of flinging the arms and/or swinging the body, as opposed to executing slow, controlled, precise movements while the body is stable and stationary, all of which are essential for creating long, sculpted muscles. Read More

A Beach, A Barre, and Inspired Movements

I was in Costa Rica recently delivering the keynote address at an international conference. The agenda of the conference was intellectually stimulating; there were many great minds in attendance. I enjoyed connecting and re-connecting with colleagues I had not seen in some time. I addressed the delegates during the first couple of hours of the conference, speaking about how to improve the consumer experience during the delivery of healthcare. As is often the case with business, I was traveling alone. One of my personal goals for the week was to take the time to work fitness into my schedule twice a day. I had decided that when I wasn’t attending conference events, I would enjoy the magnificent landscape by foot (I had mapped out a running course that was about 3 miles long and included beautiful stretches of beach as well as canopied trails) or I would use some fallen driftwood on the beach as a makeshift barre, moving through exertions and stretches that had become the backbone of the Barre Motion method. I alternated early mornings and early evenings with either a run or time at my driftwood “barre.” One evening while I had my leg up on the … Read More