August Barre Stars: Kristin & Emily
Barre Besties and top-notch teachers Kristin & Emily started attending Barre classes together in June of last year! Since then, they have each attended over 150 classes! These amazing ladies are kicking butt in our Summer Buddy Challenge (which ends Aug. 5th) and have been enjoying #twinsing at the Barre all month. We love having them in our Barre Forte Family!
1) Where are you from, and how long have you been in Gainesville?
Kristin - I grew up on the beach in Jupiter, FL. I moved to Gainesville in 2000 to attend the University of Florida and never left. I have been teaching for 10 years and own Bay Islands Coffee Co. with my husband.
Emily - I am originally from Orlando, Florida. I came to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida in 2006 and after graduating I received a teaching job in the area. Now I am going back to school to pursue a Ph.D. in Special Education, so I will be here for another 4 years.
2) What's your favorite Barre-themed shirt?
Kristin - Where do I begin?! I am a sucker for cute tanks! As a huge Gator fan, "Gators Know Their Way Around The Barre" is definitely one of my favorites and is in frequent rotation on game days.
Emily - My favorite Barre shirt is definitely the Barre Forte tank that says, “Meet Your Best.” I love that Barre is a constant reminder of how important it is to invest in yourself and tailor the classes to bring out the best in you!
3) Tell us something fun about yourself!!
Kristin - I grew up in the dance studio and LOVE to dance. From the time I was three, I was enrolled in every type of dance class possible. I continued dancing through high school, and joined my school's dance team. While in high school I danced in three bowl games - the Fiesta Bowl, The Sugar Bowl, and The Super Bowl in Miami.
Emily - I am in my second year of my Ph.D. program in Special Education where I am focusing on beginning teacher induction and mentoring in the areas of behavior management and classroom management. If I am not at Barre, I am camping out in my office at UF.
4) Was your first Barre class what you expected?
Kristin - When Emily brought up the idea to try barre, I was excited to try something different. I was not really sure what to expect, but went in with an open mind. Even though I had no clue what I was doing, Brinn was so positive and encouraging. I was definitely sorer than expected the day after.
Emily - My first class was not what I expected at all, in a good way. I remember seeing an advertisement for a free week and reaching out to Kristin to take advantage of the deal. We took our first class at 8:30am on a Monday and looking at each other halfway through the calf set with a look of sheer panic across our faces. By the end of class, I could already guess how sore we were going to be the next day, but we were already hooked. I thought that the class would be really intimidating, because I have no dance experience, but from the moment I stepped into the studio I have felt encouraged and supported to “meet my best”!
5) Why did you decide to invest in a membership at Barre Forte?
Kristin - Many have said it—after my first class, I was hooked! I knew I wanted to keep coming. It has been quite a bit of time since I have found an exercise routine that I enjoy day after day, class after class.
Emily - I spent years trying to find a workout that empowered me mentally and physically. After spending 7 days in a row at Barre Forte, I knew that Barre was what I needed to accomplish both of those goals. I decided right then to purchase the 3-month unlimited membership so that I could get the full benefits during the summer before getting back into school full time. Well into the first month, I decided that when that plan was up I would need to purchase the 12-month unlimited membership. The environment was unique and the workouts were the deciding factor, and I am so glad that I made the commitment to myself and my wellbeing.
6) What makes this workout different from other exercises you have experienced?
Kristin - The variety of moves each class offers. Within the expected quadrants, the instructors do a fabulous job of changing up the moves, but still providing a great workout. This keeps each class fresh and engaging. After a year at the Barre, I can honestly say I don't think I have had the same class twice!
Emily - There are many elements of the Barre workout that are vastly different from a traditional workout. First, this type of workout challenges both your body and your mind. There are many moves that require you to not only build physical strength but mental strength as well. Secondly, no two workouts are ever the same. Whether you are taking classes with different instructors or even the same instructors at different time slots you will never experience the same workout twice. Additionally, you have the ability to challenge yourself within the workout and take the “challenges” to improve your workout.
7) What is your favorite Barre move so far? Why?
Kristin - While not the easiest, my favorite would have to be the seated pretzel. As time has gone on, I have been able to sit up more while in the move, which lets me know I am getting stronger. It is also one of those moves that "burns so good." You know you are working as soon as you start!
Emily - My favorite quadrant of Barre is the calf and quad section. I love challenging myself to make small adjustments in my posture and to take on the modifications that strengthen my personal workout. I have seen the most growth in my development through this quadrant, and it is always nice to be able to FEEL the difference in class. Additionally, I feel that this is the quadrant that I can take the most “challenges” in, and that makes me feel pretty good about myself!
8) What results have you noticed so far?
Kristin - Overall, I have noticed increased strength (especially in my upper body) and overall flexibility. I have also noticed that I have more confidence in tackling physical activities.
Emily - I have noticed numerous physical results in the year that I have been coming to Barre Forte. I have always been athletic, but managed to build stocky muscles instead of lean muscles and this workout has allowed me to lengthen out my quads and biceps. I have also gained strength in my arms and in my core, which I never spent much time working out because I was not sure of the proper techniques. Barre really takes the time to demonstrate the correct form and the instructors focus on what is best for you.
9) Have you experienced any benefits from Barre that have affected you not just physically, but mentally, too?
Kristin - Absolutely!! My mind is constantly running - to do lists, lesson plans, etc—and Barre forces me to get out of my own head, and be present for that hour. No matter how chaotic a day has been, I know Barre will save the day, and I will leave in a positive mood.
Emily - As far mental results, I have always dealt with anxiety and by taking the time to focus on myself, as well as my breathing, I have learned to manage it a little better, and I always feel so much better leaving the Barre. BodyFlow has also been a tremendous addition to my workout routine. As someone who has trouble quieting their mind, BodyFlow teaches the breathing techniques that I need to clear my mind and focus on each movement. It is also a killer workout!
10) What keeps you motivated to continue coming to Barre so consistently?
Kristin - Having a "barre bestie" meeting you for class is one of the best motivators. On top of that, I truly love going to Barre. It has become a home away from home. There are always smiling faces when you walk in the door, positive and encouraging women, and the fun music doesn't hurt either.
Emily - The environment of Barre Forte really makes the difference. The women in the studio, from the Barre-tenders to the instructors, really value the clients and try their best to ensure that the workout is personalized and appropriate for each individual. The positivity that radiates from everyone in the studio makes this workout unlike any other. Everyone is supportive and welcoming. I am incredibly thankful to all of my instructors and all of the Barre-tenders that I come into contact with, they have allowed me to come out of my shell a little bit and reap the physical and mental benefits that I needed to be the best version of myself!
11) Is there anything you would like to share with potential new clients about your experience at Barre Forte?
Kristin - Give it a try! With a free week, there is nothing to lose. Brinn and all of the instructors are so encouraging and supportive, both in the class and out! There is nothing to be nervous about - all of the instructors offer modifications for all levels and the studio is a judgment free zone. Everyone is in the studio for a great workout and to have fun doing it.
Emily - Take the leap, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find inside the studio. I know that I was extremely nervous about making a yearlong commitment to a “gym,” because I have never been able to hang that long in a facility. But here I am, 150+ classes later and I still LOVE coming to Barre Forte. You will find the support you need to improve yourself while still having a great time laughing and shaking at the Barre!
12) What has been your favorite Barre event with us?
Kristin - Barre to Brunch! Who doesn't love brunch with mimosas?!
Emily - I loved attending the 80’s Night event. Being in the studio is so exciting already and bringing the clients together for a different type of workout was really fun. Having the excuse to dress up is always great as well! Seeing my Barre friends all decked out in their 80’s gear provided an added ab workout!