All about barre-style workouts, what inspires me and tips on healthy eating for life

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Instructor Spotlight – Erica G!

Today, we bring you Erica! She is a long time client turned instructor who has a love for fitness and teaching. By day, Erica is an accountant and by night, of course, a barre n9ne® instructor! Enjoy reading more about her!

1 – What are your favorite songs to work out to?

Don’t Stop the Party by Pitbull (how can you not dance to that one?? And speaking of dancing, how can you not thigh dance to that one?)

Mercy by Duffy (that song was made for outer thigh work!)

Rum and Raybans by Sean Kingston featuring Cher Lloyd (I just love that song and think Cher Lloyd is adorable)

2 – What’s your favorite food/guilty pleasure?

I love food so this isn’t easy but I would have to say Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered almonds. I eat a few EVERY day. Definitely more than a few on some days. This is a shameless plug for the barre n9ne® nutrition plan because whatever your guilty pleasure is, you can have it if you plan for it!erica

3 – Favorite move to teach? Favorite move to do? (This could be very different answers!)

I love teaching chair…is that evil of me? Mostly because I know how hard it is to support your body weight in that position, which makes it amazingly effective at strengthening legs. I feel complete admiration for the way the women in class tough it out despite their legs shaking like crazy. It takes such determination to keep going when you think you can’t or to get right back into it after taking a break.

My favorite move to do is shoulders with the balls. I love the different combinations that the other instructors come up with! It’s never boring and getting through a long series feels so satisfying! I’m also falling in love with doing push ups now. I NEVER thought I’d say that!

4 – What’s one thing about you that clients may be surprised to know?

erica2My mother’s side of the family is Swedish and I grew up with a lot of those customs. When I was little, I was Saint Lucia for a Swedish Christmas fair and a very sweet elderly artist painted a ridiculously large watercolor painting of me in the costume that hangs over my grandmother’s couch to this day…I couldn’t make this stuff up!

5 – What do you love the most about teaching at barre n9ne®?

Finally getting to know the women that I have been taking classes with for so long! It’s been really nice to talk to some of the clients who started before me and the newer clients. Knowing how far they have come in terms of fitness or what their personal goals are makes it so nice to lead a class for them. I am so grateful for the chance to be a part of this amazing and inspiring group!


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Instructor Spotlight – Stefanie!

Many of you may know Stefanie because she is one of the best Zumba® instructors in Boston! She of course is just as amazing at teaching her barre and non barre fitness classes. Her smile and energy light up the room while she is teaching and you can’t help but have a good time, even when you are shaking, burning and pouring sweat! The best compliment you can give her is to ask if she is Latin 😉 {inside joke!} But for real, if you haven’t gotten to one of Stef’s classes you are definitely missing out!  
1 – What are your favorite songs to workout to? 

-This is a very tough response, because as anyone could tell you, I take my music very seriously! I’d say my absolute top three would be “World Hold On” by Bob Sinclair, “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga, and anything – literally, anything – by Pitbull. 😀

2 – What’s your favorite food/guilty pleasure?

Favorite food, hands down, is watermelon.

Favorite guilty pleasure — an everything bagel from Bagel World with lite scallion cream cheese. Or ice cream, any flavor. Ha, I have many guilty pleasures!
3 – Favorite move to teach? Favorite move to do? 

This is also tough!! I have a lot of moves that I love. I think my favorite move to teach would be an entire leg series (inner and outer thighs) on the mat, because it’s so great to see legs shaking all around the room – it shows me that the clients are really feeling it! My favorite move to do personally would be a plank series (I know, who loves planks?) – as hard as they may be, nothing works those abs (and whole body, really) quite like a plank does.

4 – What’s one thing about you that clients may be surprised to know? 

I am trilingual! My family is from Italy originally and my first language was Italian. When I was in middle school, I started taking Spanish classes, and stuck with it through college. I am now fluent in Spanish as well, and love getting mistaken for a local when I travel to Spanish-speaking countries. (It also helps when I belt out all of the songs while teaching Zumba® classes!) 😀

zumba b9

5 – What do you love the most about teaching at barre n9ne®? 

Well, there are many things that I love about barre n9ne®, so whatever I say may sound a bit cheesy and cliche, but I can’t help it – it’s all very true. I love the sense of community that has grown in this studio among both clients and instructors. When I came onboard here at barre n9ne®, the studio was a much different place – there were only a few of us instructors, and not nearly as many classes, as it was pre-expansion. The first 60-day challenge with Jess and Jolene was just about to begin. So for me, it has been just wonderful to witness the studio blossom from a mere fitness studio into a place that many women turn to for support, camaraderie, and a sense of belonging (while still getting their booties whipped into shape at the same time!). I have been teaching fitness for more than six years, and not every studio has the same sense of welcoming like barre n9ne® does. I have become close to both instructors and clients in the time that I have been there. Many of them watched me go through my pregnancy, cheered me on and sent me gifts when my baby was born, and supported me in my quest to bounce back to my pre-baby shape. barre n9ne has some truly wonderful women – strong, healthy, and positive. When you are surrounded with people like that, you can’t really go wrong.

Here is a pic of Stef with her beautiful little boy James aka JJ who just turned 1 years old in November 2012.

mommy and jj

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Instructor Spotlight — Kirstin!

 We have started a new series of blog posts called Instructor Spotlights! Since many of you spend countless hours at barre n9ne®, we thought you should know a little more about the ladies who stand up in the front of the room counting out pulses, holds, and the like 🙂 This week we bring you Kirstin! She has been coming to barre n9ne® since *almost* the day we opened our doors in 2010. She is not only an incredible instructor but she is also an amazing mom, school teacher, and friend. Enjoy!

1: What are your favorite songs to work out to? 

That’s a toughie because it depends on the workout. For cardio workouts, I love Stomp to my Beat by JS-16, Lose Myself by Eminem, and Mama Said Knock You Out by LL Cool J.

For non cardio workouts, I like Flo Rida’s Wild Ones, Usher’s Scream, and something from Pink (currently-  Slut Like You, though the title is unfortunate!).

Regardless of the type of workout I’m doing, I always throw in one Rolling Stones song, too, which I grew up listening to with my dad. Adding a song from them is a little nod to him. He died almost four years ago, so when I hear a Stones song, it’s like he’s with me on my workouts. I think he’d get a kick out of me teaching barre classes.

2 – What’s your favorite food/guilty pleasure?

I have many, but ice cream is a staple that I have every night. Seriously. Every. Night. It stems back to childhood when my family would gather on the couch with our dishes of ice cream to watch TGIF television (shows like Full House!). It has even become a family rule (that I instated!) that during our two-week summer vacations at Lake Winnipesaukee, we have a daily trip out for ice cream at a local spot, often getting flavors unique to that shop. Over the years, my flavors have varied, but my current go-to is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I am more partial to vanilla-based flavors.

3 – Favorite move to teach? Favorite move to do?

Well, to teach, it might be standing abs because I think it’s very effective, and having proper form is very easy, so I don’t worry about people hurting themselves. I also love the shoulder series because I’ve already seen people improve – they go longer before taking a break, which is awesome!

My favorite move to do is a toss-up between glutes at the barre and the side leg series. Both moves were so hard for me when I started classes over two and a half years ago, and I have a personal sense of satisfaction that they have gotten easier. And, I think they make your legs and butt look awesome! This particular zone is my problem area, so moves that target it are my faves.

4 – What’s one thing about you that clients may be surprised to know? 

I knit. A lot. I was prompted to learn after watching some of the mothers at my daughter’s school. After sitting through my intensive qualifying exams for my doctoral program, I wanted something relatively brainless but creative and productive, and knitting fit the bill. I have made hats, jackets, sweaters, scarves, skirts, wraps, bags – you name it. I haven’t made a pair of leg warmers yet, so that might be next on my list!

5 – What do you love the most about teaching at barre n9ne?

I love the positive female energy running through this place. Teaching at an all-boys high school by day, I really enjoy the balance that the environment barre n9ne® gives me. A workout at barre n9ne® improves my mood, my confidence, and my body, and I feel blessed to play a role in bringing these improvements to other women.