July 5, 2016
Hey BBS, meet Adele! She has been pulsing and plié-ing with us at Barre Body Studio since October 2015. Her outstanding commitment to hitting the barre DAILY is what landed her a spot in our Hall of Fame! Originally a New Brunswick native, she relocated across the country and took up residence here, in Calgary, in November of 2007. Adele is a former dancer, dance instructor and graduate from the Ryerson University dance program (so basically … she knows a thing or two about dance).
Now we strongly endorse that there is absolutely no dance background required to get down with us at BBS, however, Adele also signifies that barre is GREAT for both, dancers and former dancers alike! She says, “ I was thrilled to find a program that incorporated my belief that dance is a life long carry over skill. My journey with BBS has brought me back to my roots!” Because barre does match many of the technical elements found in a dance class, former dancers, like Adele, find contentment in a workout regime structured as such! So how is barre similar to dance beyond the technical terms and ballet-like form? Adele says that, “dance is about the joy of movement and its universal appeal can inspire anyone to get up and participate.” We think that barre incorporates many of the same values, well put Adele! During the day, you can find Adele working as a ultrasound technologist and after long tough days at work, she makes the extra effort to get to class because the workout refuels and energizes her.
Alright, so now you know why Hall of Famer, Adele, barres SO hard … but why BBS? In her testimony she says that, “the wide range of class options and flexibility at BBS makes scheduling easy and the caliber of instruction at BBS is top drawer!” We think that clients like you and the rest of the BBS community are top drawer! Congratulations Adele on setting goals and crushing them at the barre, all while inspiring our community with your hard work, persistence and dedication!
May 26, 2015
It’s been a year since 26-year-old Courtney Whitney hit the barre for the first time and she’s still feeling the burn and loving every minute of it. This Cochrane, Alberta native signed up for the 25 in 35 Challenge this past January in hopes of kick-starting her practice from a few days a week to a full on daily barre addiction and she did just that! “Not only did the challenge get me into more classes each week, but it got me addicted to the Master Classes!” Courtney explains of her challenge outcome.
So what’s next for this certified barre addict now that she whooped the challenge’s behind? “Now I’m looking to improve my cardio (with severe asthma, it is a life-long challenge) and flatten my tummy,” she explains. “My next step will be adding in 1/week yoga to my current barre / personal training regime combo.” Sounds like a well constructed plan to us, girl! Can’t wait to see the results continue to roll in. Ladies and gentleman, meet Courtney:
What was your original motivation for signing up for the challenge?
My motivation behind the challenge was to push myself beyond just coming to class a couple times a week. I’ve been coming to barre for almost a year and I just had to see if I could really come five times a week for five weeks! The other motivation, of course, was to just say that I did it. I think it was the first time I’ve ever accomplished a New Year’s resolution. My other motivation was all of my friends and family cheering me on while I was completing it. I loved the texts, “So have you been to barre yet today?”
What was the hardest part of this challenge?
The hardest part of this challenge was balancing my work, school and work out schedule every week. I couldn’t follow a consistent day and class time every week so I got to try a variety of class times and instructors. Turns out this was actually for the best because I met so many great gals who all have different styles and it really spiced up my routine and made it easier to get through the whole five weeks.
Tell us about those free weights that everyone loves to hate?
Well, my original weight goal was to consistently use 3lbs weights by the end of the challenge. It took me about the weeks, but now I am a consistent 3lbs girl (and I can do tricep dips on the floor)! When Marlo made us take 5lbs weights at the Master Class about halfway through the challenge, I thought I was going to die, but it was a really great to see that I could push my body for one class that hard. I think I’m probably due for another 5lbs challenge!
What are your favourite results from taking part in a BBS challenge?
My favorite result has been just feeling physically great, mentally alert and being able to do normal activities again. Having severe asthma, it’s not easy doing cardio workouts and it takes a long time for my lungs to get used to regular physical activity. This ski season, I actually outlasted my athletic friends on the hill, though! I also love how great my butt looks! I know, super cheesy, but it really does look great! Next goal: working on my cardio blasts!
Jan 4, 2015
When our most recent Barre Star Hall of Fame inductee, Van Nguyen, first started at BBS her main focus was to get back into a healthier lifestyle. She was trying to stay in shape and hoping to find a workout regime that she would truly enjoy—and maybe even get a little addicted to. Her mission was accomplished and now Van averages at least five classes at the studio each week. Her commitment has resulted not only in an incredible physical transformation, but also in the form of the pride and confidence Van now has in her body. “I’ve noticed my body has transformed in many areas that I’ve intentionally worked hard for,” she says. “My arms are much more toned with such great muscles definition. My glutes, my legs, my back, my overall physical appearances is so toned and well defined—just the way that I’ve wanted.”
Most importantly, though, is the fact Van’s BBS classes offer her a much needed stress relief and keep her feeling relaxed and happy. We couldn’t be prouder of all of Van’s accomplishments and we can’t thank her enough for the kind words she sent us about her BBS experiences. Check out her story in her own words below. Congratulations Van, keep up the great work! xxo.
First of all, I’d like to say thank you to all the instructors at Barre Body Studio for whipping me into such an amazing transformation, not only physically, but mentally as well. To be honest, I’ve always loved working out. I’ve tried boot camp classes, hot yoga, going to the gym, but those routines only lasted so long. If you’d asked me which particular workout regime is my favourite, I honestly have to say BBS, and I really can’t stress this enough. Attending your classes for almost five months has not only helped me reached my goal to have a lean and toned body. Beyond that I also love the satisfying, confident feeling and also to have such a great connection with all the instructors that I’m not afraid to ask questions. I love the fact that if my movements are incorrect, they will correct me immediately and are willing to spend that extra amount of time to educate me about how to perform the movement correctly. If you’re wondering how I have the energy to attend the classes everyday, the answer is as simple as I love the workout. Especially the fact that it’s designed specifically to tone every part of my body that needed to be toned. I love the fact that when I slip on a pair of skinny jeans now, my bum looks so good that I can walk out the door and feel like a million dollar model. Or when I’m at the beach, I would put on my two-piece bikinis and look good in them—I mean really good in them!
Our everyday life can get stressful and hectic with work and families, but if you are motivated and have your goals set, you can achieve them in no time, just by starting to watch what you eat, being committed. It doesn’t matter how busy your life is, allow yourself 1 hr and 15 minutes to get to BBS, not only for a great workout, but to mend you mentally and relieve yourselves from all the stress that life throws. I went through a lot of family dramas, but by attending Barre, most of my personal problems are not a big deal nowadays. When you are happy and confident with yourself, that positive energy will slowly diminish any problems you encounter overtime.
Jul 7, 2014
For barre star, Nicky Bespalko (soon to be Seright!), finding BBS not only meant major changes in her bod and physical strength, but also convinced her that sometimes less training really can be more. Congratulations Nicky! Can’t wait to see what you accomplish next.
What was life like for you before you stumbled upon Barre Body Studio?
Over the last number of years I have been committed to eating healthier and working out. My workouts usually consisted of following various types of videos at home. I have always liked working out at home being that I get home and get it done and there is no extra time traveling to and from the gym. What I have now realized with Barre is that if you love something enough the travel time is nothing and have to admit that I do push myself more when in a class with an instructor.
How did you first come across barre and when was that?
I had been seeing things about barre in general online back in December and was gonna try a class with a trainer I had worked with in the past, but then I came across the amazing deal of two weeks unlimited at BBS and had to try it.
What was it that made you an addict?
I have to admit I was addicted after the first day! And that was Jill’s Blast Class! I love everything about barre. The fact that it is an overall body workout and that it targets toning and strengthening of the smaller underlying muscles. It is fun, challenging and upbeat! I always leave class feeling energized and with a much clearer mind than when I came in.
What is your current workout regime like?
Up until I found barre I always tried to get in three to five workouts a week. Last year I trained for seven months and ran my first race, a half marathon in June. It terrified me when I signed up for it, I thought, “how will I ever do this?” Well I did, and after seven long months of training and many many miles ran, I realized that that type of exercise was not for me or for my body.
I have seen more of a change in my body and strength since starting Barre in January than I ever have before with any other kind of workout. I love to hit the Barre at least four times a week and try for five whenever I can.
How have you and your lifestyle changed since barre became a part of your life?
I think the biggest change (minus the 4 and a 1/2 inches off of my hips) is the fact that I have found a form of exercise that both my body and mind love. It still amazes me how fast the hour goes and how good that burn feels. I’ve also met some wonderful ladies as well!
What goals have you accomplished since starting with BBS?
I’ve seen in increase in strength and endurance and and can see positive changes in my body which is always great incentive to keep going.
What future goals are you now looking to tackle?
To keep it one day at a time and for as long as my schedule allows to get in as many classes as I can per week. To keep working towards toning and tightening.
Any final thoughts to share with all the other BBS enthusiasts out there?
I would love to just say how incredible the studio and all the instructors are! I love how every instructor brings such a unique spin to every class. Adrianna’s Burt Reynolds (ouch!) and her awesome humour, Lindsay’s excellent detailed instruction on position throughout the whole class, Susan’s fun energy!, Jill’s drive and constant push through class, Toni’s serene nature while still making it burn!, Jackie’s positive reflections on the day, and I have attended one of Marlo’s classes but I felt that one for days afterwards! Thanks Ladies!
April 30, 2016
We are beyond excited to introduce to you our newest BBS Hall of Fame inductee, Vicky Nguyen. She has been pulsing and plié-ing with us since June of 2014. WOW, right!? With over 330 classes under her belt we are incredibly inspired by this dedicated barre beauty. Because she shares such determination and will with our BBS community every time she hits the barre, we’ve asked her to put into words what keeps her motivated and drives her successes in her barre fitness journey.
Finding a fitness regime that sticks is a huge challenge to so many women, but the barre always seems to keep you coming back for more. After two years of barre-ing SO hard, Vicky certainly embodies this. So we started by asking what empowers her personal fitness motivation and what makes barre a long-lasting workout for her?
She says that, “I think what empowers my motivation to go to the studio as often as I do is the decision to do something for myself when it comes to wellness. I work at a financial institution where convenience is a huge factor, thus my work hours are not your traditional 9-5 so I work around my work schedule to dedicate an hour for me because I spend more time at work than I do at home really. What makes barre long-lasting is what I think every women has also noticed as well, the impact it makes on your body physically and mentally. I have tried other things such as running, a bit of weight lifting, Zumba, etc. but when I do barre I feel good after, so it makes me want to come back more. Not to mention, it seems like every time I go, you seem to be sore in different ways … there isn't really a plateau doing barre. I am not entirely sure what inspires me to keep up with my personal fitness, to be honest, I think that is a work in progress for me. :)”
The physical benefits from your barre workout are inevitable, however, we also like to take things a little deeper than that. With a concentration on health, wellness and personal strength, next we asked Vicky how she has felt her body and mind transform in the past two years?
She said that, “physically, to be honest, I don't see much of a difference. I am my own toughest critic and as another barre star said, ‘it goes like dripping molasses’ … except mine is probably frozen molasses. Jokes aside, although I don't see a difference, I know that other people have noticed a difference in me. My friends, who also go to barre, have noticed changes. A few people in the barre community have as well, including instructors! Someone will come up to me and notice a change in me that I will probably never see but hearing about it gives me a confidence boost and a lot more reasons to come to barre. If anything, the barre community is probably part of the reason why I continue to go. Everyone is really supportive of one another and no one makes anyone else feel intimidated. This would probably be where the mental benefits of barre come to play. I also try to work for a nice peach bum :). Health wise, my cardio has improved and slowly, I am getting stronger with the 5lbs :). Aside from trying to dedicate an hour to myself to do barre, my lifestyle hasn't changed much. But I definitely have noticed that on the days I don't go to barre, I get tired and exhausted a lot quicker when I am at work, so I try anything I can to go.”
We truly salute a #barreboss like Vicky for all of her hard work, so we closed things off by asking her if she has any advice for other barre stars working their way towards their own personal fitness goals.
Vicky says, “If I had advice, first off would be to stretch stretch stretch! (Part of the reason why barre + core + stretch is my favourite class). Also, be kind to yourself. Some days you'll feel strong and other days not so much. Trust what your body tells you, don't kick yourself if things don't "seem" to go the way you planned.”
May 3, 2015
With more than 450 classes under her belt (she hit that milestone last month), it’s fairly safe to say that Stephanie Smith is a legitimate barre addict. Especially true when it comes to BBS’s commitment-testing challenges. Partaking in every challenge since the studio opened more than two years ago, this super-fit 40-year-old has demonstrated her commitment to the barre burn many times over. Here’s what this BBS Hall of Famer has to say about her challenging experiences to date:
“Motivation can be so different for everyone. I have always been an active person, but I am not the type of individual who can self-motivate when it comes to exercise. I’ve had gym memberships in the past, but have always struggled with what to do once I get there. I would stand around, look at the machines, try a couple out. Not really push myself because I didn’t understand how each machine was supposed to work or train my body; and wished there was someone there to just tell me what to do. Trainer led, group exercise has always been the most successful for me. The combination of weight training, ballet, yoga, great tunes and high energy leadership makes Barre a win-win-win-win-win for me!
Therefore, the barre tenders, the other participants and my desire to maintain a healthy relationship with exercise was my motivation to participate in this past winter’s 20 in 30 Challenge (and all the ones before it!). The hardest part of course was squeezing in all the classes, but as with anything, if you don’t love it and if it’s not convenient, you won’t do it. The class schedule at Barre Body Studio is diverse enough throughout the day and weekend to suit my needs; it’s almost easier to go to class then not to (and I love it!).
And if there is a sticker, or a wall chart involved look out! There is nothing more motivating than group commitment and some healthy competition—even if your biggest opponent is yourself (or the sofa, an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and a bag of peanut M&M’s, as the case may be). I’ve enjoyed the challenges very much, and the results were more than just my “obviously” tighter tushy. It was a great way to refocus and renew the commitment I made to myself and my fitness.I can’t wait for the next one!”
Jul 26, 2014
Before 23-year-old barre addict, Rhonda Law, was introduced to BBS by her work colleague, most of her evenings involved marathons. Netflix marathons, that is, accompanied by Doritos. After just one class, she was hooked (we have that effect on people) and now her workout regime consists of seven pulsing, burning, butt-sculpting classes a week. Plus, now she really does train for marathons. Like, the running kind! Congratulations on your incredible transformation Rhonda, we can’t wait to see what you accomplish next.
How did you first come across barre?
I was introduced to barre by my friend and co-worker, Brittni Marshall, who was pulsing and plié-ing in the middle of our office shouting, “I did one barre class—now I think I’m a ballerina!” I accompanied her to a Barre Body Fit class in March and, just like she was, I was instantly hooked.
How have you and/or your lifestyle changed since barre became a part of your life?
I love how upbeat barre is. From the music to the fabulous instructors. The barre tenders are so enthusiastic and motivating. I think it is amazing that their job is to encourage individuals to become healthier, happier and stronger. It’s so uplifting to be in a studio full of positivity. I won’t lie, I also love how quickly the physical results come.
I work as a mental health outreach nurse. I love my job because it is riveting and rewarding, but it can be very demanding at times. Barre is an hour out of my day where I can sweat and pulse out any stress and focus on simply taking care of myself. It allows me to leave my problems at the barre, and walk away feeling rejuvenated. Barre has taught me the importance of caring for myself. If I don’t take care of myself, how do I effectively take care of my clients, friends, and family?
I also believe in practising what I preach. If I am encouraging my clients to eat healthier and exercise more regularly, it is important that I lead by example. And as added bonus, I have lost 25 lbs since I incorporated barre into my daily routine.
What goals have you accomplished since starting with BBS?
I ran my fastest marathon this year at the Calgary Scotiabank Marathon, shaving almost a full hour off my 2013 time. I recommend every runner to cross-train with barre. Since starting barre, my legs feel stronger, hills feel smaller and the miles seem shorter.
What future goals are you now looking to tackle?
I would like to qualify to run the Boston Marathon. Dream big!
Feb 12, 2014
With the BBS 30-Day Challenge drawing to a close, we’re gearing up for some serious celebrations. With this in mind we’d like to introduce you to Mandy Alston, just one of the amazing success stories that has come out of Barre Body Studio recently.
So tell us, how did you get hooked on the barre?
I started at Barre Body Studio in November when a girlfriend of mine dragged me to Toni’s class one day. I’m so thankful that she did, because I have been hooked every since! Minus taking a brief hiatus over the holidays due to pneumonia, I have been going two or three times a week even prior to the challenge kick-off in January.
What have you noticed has changed since making BBS part of your regular routine?
Even without changing my diet or anything else in my life, barre has transformed my body. Everyone started commenting on my weightloss and I started to feel it in my clothes mid-January. So far I have lost 28 pounds and feel amazing. I’ve always had curves—and I still do—but they are looking extra good now.
Tell us about your 30-Day Challenge experience.
Through the pain, the aches, the early mornings and a nasty winter cold, I am proud to say that I have made it to BBS every single day of the challenge! The first two weeks, as with anything, were most definitely the hardest. My body was achy and tired and was probably confused as to why I was putting it through this, but then there was a turning point when I just started to feel fantastic. It was my goal to feel like a strong, new women at the end of the challenge and I have accomplished that. I feel so strong, I see the results and I am confident.
What is it that you love about BBS?
Since the moment I stepped through the door the staff and other members of Barre Body Studio has made me a part of their family, welcoming me everyday with a smile, remembering the little things I tell them and offering me the opportunity to share my story with the rest of the barre community. I’ve tried all sorts of workouts over the years, but nothing has even come close to how much I enjoy barre. I LOVE this workout and that is a rare and special thing.
So what comes next?
Well after the challenge wraps up it’s still my intention to get to BBS four or five times a week and I’m actually going to do the Level One Teacher Training in the spring which will hopefully take things to the next level for me. I can’t wait!