Meet our September Barre Star, Zoe F:
Zoe has taken over 115 classes at Barre Forte since starting with us in February 2016. She enjoys attending Barre, BodyFlow, and Barre-bata regularly, and even organized an amazing donation-based class for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Zoe always pushes herself to work hard in class, and we’re so impressed with her dedication, which is why we have selected her to be our Barre Star this month! Read on to learn more about Zoe below:
1) Where are you from, and how long have you been in Gainesville?
I'm originally from Naples, FL. I've been in Gainesville for the past 3 years and I'm currently finishing up my Bachelor's at UF in Health Science, while also working at Shands hospital. The dream is to attend PA school next year after I graduate this May.
2) What's your favorite Barre-themed shirt?
My favorite shirt is my "coffee, barre, brunch, mimosas, nap, repeat." shirt. It speaks to me on a deep level and is truly my dream day! So many of my favorite things.
3) Tell us something fun about yourself/what you do when you're not at Barre?
When I'm not at Barre, I love to mentor high school girls at Eastside High School through Young Life. Young Life is an outreach ministry and investing in the lives of young girls makes my heart so happy! In my free time, I also love to brunch, go to the beach, run, read, and travel.
4) Was your first Barre class what you expected? Why or why not?
I actually had no idea what to expect for my first Barre class. I visited the studio for a Lululemon trunk show and decided to try a free week. I went into it hoping it might be a group fitness style I might enjoy and I found much more than that. In my first barre class, I was both pushed and encouraged in ways I had never been before in a group fitness class. It was physically and mentally challenging, but the instructor (Bianca) was so motivating and encouraging throughout. I was hooked.
5) Why did you decide to continue with Barre Forte after your free week by investing in an unlimited membership?
I decided to continue with Barre Forte after my free week with an unlimited membership because I knew it would be an investment in my health and happiness that I couldn't afford not to make. I found myself really looking forward to each class. Also, the community of barre babes and staff at Barre Forte have an energy that is contagious and a welcoming nature that I've yet to find anywhere else.
6) What makes this workout different from other exercises you have experienced?
I have always loved group fitness and have tried many classes but barre is different than any of the other exercise formats I've tried because it produces amazing results with such small movements. I love that barre makes you feel both feminine AND strong! The environment is also unmatched. Each class you are surrounded by encouraging, strong women and an instructor who stretches you to your max, while also cheering you on throughout the class.
7) What is your favorite Barre move so far? Why?
My favorite Barre move is a tie between the waterskier and grand pliés. They are both physically and mentally challenging, but it's such a good feeling when you embrace the shake and tell yourself "You can do it" through either of these tough moves. I also love long shoulder sets and the victorious feeling when you make it all the way through them.
8) What results have you noticed after doing Barre consistently?
I have noticed a world of difference after doing Barre consistently. I look and feel much stronger and toned, and my balance, flexibility and posture have improved big time since starting Barre. Barre has also made me feel more graceful and confident.
9) Have you experienced any benefits from Barre that have affected you not just physically, but mentally, too?
Barre has grown me in the way I approach challenges and the way I see fitness. "Meet your Best" is not just a slogan, it becomes a mantra once you start taking barre classes consistently. I love that Barre Forte encourages women to get stronger everyday, whatever that may look like for each one. Comparison and insecurity can be such an issue in achieving goals in health and fitness and I am so happy to be a part of a studio that slashes those down with body positivity and challenging, but encouraging classes. It has made a huge impact on my perspective of fitness and my view of myself.
10) What keeps you motivated to continue coming to Barre so consistently?
I often call Barre Forte my "zen garden" to the people around me and it could not be more true. I am motivated to go to barre classes so consistently because they are my sacred time that I set aside to invest in myself. I think it's so important to set aside our busy schedules and make time to do something that is good for you and your body. I honestly look forward to each class I go to and consider it my "me time."
11) Is there anything you would like to share with potential new clients about your experience at Barre Forte? Any helpful tips for those who are considering trying Barre, but are nervous?
You are worth it. You are truly worth the investment! Barre Forte is for everyone, all fitness levels, ages, body types, etc. You don't need dancing experience or to be a star athlete to thrive here. It might be hard at first, but you are built for hard things. Don't let your worries or doubts talk you out of it. Whatever nervousness or anxiety you may feel will melt away when you step into the studio because of the amazing Barre Forte community. I look forward to seeing you at the barre soon!