For many of us Smarties, 2020 has been a year of unexpected lifestyle changes. Rather than be defeated that my fitness routine was disrupted, I decided to try something new: Pure Barre at the Ballantyne studio.
Admittedly, I was skeptical. Then, I experienced a free-to-me Foundations class with Tracey. She made all of us feel welcome and confident we could do this with real results, fast. I am only 15 classes in (a little over a month of 2-3 studio visits per week) and have seen dramatic results (starting around class 3):
– Tone – I have hamstring muscles! What?!? Seriously, there are happy little curves now in the back of my legs, and my clothes fit much more comfortably.
– Endurance and Strength – Tasks like carrying laundry, going up stairs, and being on my feet all day are noticeably easier. Even core work is easier. And I loathe ab work!
– Positivity – I am an extroverted introvert, so being in the studio with like minded, goal-driven individuals makes me feel more connected to the outside world and cheerier.
For this Fitness Friday, I sat down with Tracey to gain an instructor’s perspective about PB. She offered helpful insights for those curious and looking to form wellness resolutions for 2021, as well as those experienced at the Barre. She also reveals what it’s like to stay fit under a NC mask mandate.
Tell us a bit about your own Pure Barre experience.
My journey began in 2014. I was hired as an Assistant Manager and teacher for the East Setauket, NY studio. Less than a year later, I was offered the position of GM and ran operations for the next four years. I became trained and certified in various levels of the technique including Empower, Reform, Foundations, and Pregnancy specialization. Over those years I’ve signed many studio barres: 531 classes at the East Setauket studio, 196 classes between the Huntington Village and Woodbury sister studios, and now almost part of the “100 Club” at Pure Barre Ballantyne. I moved from Long Island to Waxhaw in September and started teaching at Ballantyne just a few weeks later. In between all those classes I gave birth to two beautiful daughters, now 5 and 3 years old.
What do you see as the primary benefits of PB? How does the method work?
This is a safe and intelligent way to exercise–including those who might need modifications, those coming back from pregnancy or surgery, those who have struggled with committing or accountability, or those who haven’t exercised in 30+ years. I’ve witnessed clients become more flexible and confident in their own skin, overcome injuries, and translate their strength to other parts of their fitness lives such as skiing and running. It’s actually what kept both of my pregnancies healthier. I was able to continue teaching and taking through the end, literally: I was at the studio when my water broke with my first and left the studio with my second only to be induced that day. I came back to teaching and taking six weeks later with both as well. PB continues to be my stress reliever, mind and mental focuser, and endorphin filler each and every day. Not to mention it has made me look and feel stronger than I have ever been!
You teach foundations classes to reform, empower, and everything in between. Any bits of advice for clients at varying levels?
Allow yourself to be a beginner! Pure Barre is hard; there’s no question about that. It is a challenging class both mentally and physically, and I often remind new clients that they will feel like a rockstar during parts of the class but also a little unconditioned in other parts; that’s normal. Our Foundations class is perfect for new clients because you’re surrounded by others in the same boat. Veteran clients tend to be creatures of habit and can be intimidated to try other class types. It’s so important to find variety in workouts, so my biggest suggestion to the intermediate and advanced is to try new things. Allow us instructors to help create sustainable and personalized workout plans. I would urge them to think back to their first class and allow themselves to be beginners again (I still remember mine!).
How has the mask mandate impacted the experience for both instructor and client?
It’s definitely an adjustment. Like many other small businesses, PB studios have needed to follow safety guidelines and adjust the way we conduct classes. I was a little worried how I could workout or teach while wearing one, but I have found it to be much easier than I thought. In a weird way, it has forced me to focus more on my breathing technique. Find the right mask for yourself (shoutout to Athleta’s Activate Mask), and you’ll be fine.
NYC to CLT! What has been noteworthy to you as you’ve made this move?
My husband has always wanted to move to North Carolina–and while I became more open to the idea in the last year–it wasn’t until the pandemic shutdowns that we decided to make the change. Home will always be a place to visit and a plane ride or road trip away, but the quality of our lives is simply better here. Not to mention the southern hospitality! Seriously, everyone seems a little happier and friendlier here. Knowing there was a PB close by was an advantage as well. Being able to continue my passion for it has made the transition easier.
What are your 2021 wellness goals?
Ironically, as I approached 40, I told myself 2020 would be the year to see life more clearly. I think we can all agree on that one, but this year has also forced me to live life differently. My NY PB studios shut down from March-August, my husband started working from home, and my kids and I were home a lot more. We’ve adapted. Now, I’m striving to see time as precious and be present in my daily life, for myself and my family. I also now aim to embrace every curveball. PB continues to teach me, “You Are Stronger Than You Think.” I make it my mission as an instructor to inspire our class participants to do the same.
While I know it’s a difficult time for so many, our mental health is more important than ever. If you’re looking for a change, or an outlet to grow, we’ve saved you a “seat” at the barre. PB is the most non-judgemental and warmest community I have ever been a part of. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain just by giving it a try. Every “tuck” has its own story, and every new member empowers and motivates us as instructors to be better versions of ourselves. Come join me for a free trial Foundations class or take your workout to the next level with an empower or reform class.
Consider giving the gift of improved health to yourself this season!
Click here to learn more about PB Ballantyne’s Foundations trial class or to purchase class credits. Call the Ballantyne studio with any questions, and find out more about all their fun holiday events and specials on Insta, FB, or Twitter!
Festive December Fun!
Instructors’ Favorite Things December Classes with Goodie Giveaways
Special Candlelight Evening Class 12/23
Home for the Holidays Special:
Have a college student, friend, or relative visiting for the season? Give them the gift of PB!
$49 for 2 weeks unlimited
$149 for 1 month unlimited
See you at our favorite barre – with three studios conveniently serving all of Smarty Charlotte!