Carrying on the Legacy of Lotte Berk, Queen of Barre

Carrying on the Legacy of Lotte Berk, Queen of Barre

I am committed to making sure the classes we offer you at Barre & Soul are simply the best in the world. For the past decade I've learned from some of the foremost innovators who preceded me in teaching barre and yoga in the US. 

In our barre classes, I’ve worked to fuse all the collective wisdom of the American barre industry, with my own passion for empowerment, social equality and a mindful approach to fitness - to create what has become a phenomenal community of Barre & Soul studios.

This year, I decided it was time to dive deeper – and go straight to the source of where barre was born. Lotte Berk was a ballerina who fled Nazi Germany in the 1940s and then developed an unprecedented method of conditioning and strength training in the UK that was as much a social and community building experience as it was a fitness regimen. Its popularity grew throughout her life, and Lotte mentored her daughter Esther Fairfax in the details, style and philosophy at the heart of what we now call “the Lotte Berk technique”.

Learn more about the most elite barre teacher training here.

Esther Fairfax has now been teaching her mother's method for 54 years. She lives a few hours outside of London and is in her early eighties. She is strong, vibrant and dedicated to carrying on her mother’s legacy. She continues to teach those interested in practicing the purest form of barre.

This summer, I had the honor of traveling to England, alongside our own Crissy Trayner, to spend time with Esther and become certified in the “Pure Lotte” technique, creating a direct connection from Barre & Soul to the source of where the barre phenomenon began.

The workout Esther presented was one of the most challenging I’ve experienced anywhere. I could see clear connections to the movements we teach at Barre & Soul. It was the essence of barre – no props, mats or weights. Just the elegance of precise form and movement - and body weight used as resistance to develop a lean, strong, flexible, agile body.

The trip was enlightening, as I understood more clearly than ever the differences between Barre & Soul and Lotte Berk’s original method.

Carrying on the Legacy of Lotte Berk, Queen of Barre

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Some elements that distinguish Barre & Soul were born from my personal passions – for example, a focus on mindfulness and feminist empowerment as much as physical training, postures and elements from the yoga tradition, and some are standard practice in US barre classes, like the use of light weights, and the fusion of calisthenics like push-ups and planks that invite another layer of full-body strengthening.

Barre & Soul will continue to offer our distinctive method that you have come to know and love! But my time with Esther Fairfax opened my mind to the importance of learning about roots, and continuing a legacy, and we look forward to sharing with you some of what we have learned.

We will be training more of our Barre & Soul instructors in the “Pure Lotte” technique, to help preserve the beautiful, powerful method Esther Fairfax’s mother began. I believe Pure Lotte deserves to carry on even in a world that is obsessed with innovation and change. I see it as a personal and professional duty to keep the legacy alive, and I can't wait to share this timeless method with you in our upcoming Pure Lotte workshops!

See you at the barre!
Andrea :)

Want to try a Pure Lotte class? Join our email list to find out when and where the next workshop will be held here!

The Most Unexpected Gift I got from Teacher Training

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Not so many years ago, I was a struggling single mom - I had no credit, no college degree, no job, and no money. I’d by lying if I said I didn’t feel hopeless on a regular basis, comparing my life to what I saw around me.

Each day, after my 7-year old son caught the bus to school outside of our tiny apartment, I would push my 1-year old daughter’s stroller down the sidewalks of a town that seemed picture-perfect, and full of picture-perfect people on their way to important meetings, coffee dates and social engagements that filled their comfortable lives.

I walked to a studio where I was trying something new – with excitement, but so, SO fearfully. I was training to be a barre teacher. I loved barre classes, I knew that. But I wasn’t a "good" teacher trainee. I fumbled over my words and feared the sound of my own voice. I was undoubtedly my own worst critic, at a time when the last thing I needed was self-criticism holding me back.

“Practice getting your words out,” my trainer would say. “Count aloud when you’re alone in the car to get used to it.” But even then, with no one around to hear me, the second I opened my mouth, a voice inside my head would insist: Just shut up, just shut up, just shut up!

It's not unusual to be intimidated by public speaking, I'm sure you've heard before that most people fear it more than death! Maybe it's something you'd like to get more comfortable with too. For me, it was especially hard because my life was at rock bottom.

Learn more about our Barre & Soul® Method Barre Teacher Training here.

To say I felt unworthy doesn’t even begin to explain it. It felt like every cell in my body was made of unworthiness. Who was I to teach these women anything about fitness, or well-being? I was still working on getting back to my pre-baby body, going through a long and wretched divorce, feeling unaccomplished no matter what angle I looked at my life from.

What did I have to teach these wealthy, successful, happy women, who seemed to have J.Crew catalog families and perfect marriages? How could they take me seriously when I was a failure at marriage, could barely support my children, relied on assistance to buy groceries, and on the Salvation Army for my kids' Christmas gifts in that terrible first year of my divorce. I wanted so badly to create major change in my life and be an example of better things – inspiring even – for my kids and for myself.

Determined to overcome my circumstances, I took baby steps forward. I used the word “confidence” in my computer passwords, hoping to invoke blessings and begin to establish a sort of mantra to move towards embodying this quality. I craved confidence like a dry field craves a drenching rain.

Find your voice and become a barre teacher! Find how here.

I had to type the word each time I checked my (tiny) bank balance, an incantation of power even in the face of my nearly empty account. Little by little, hour by hour, month by month, I did find my voice. I collected scraps of confidence in the moments when I could at last do a set of push-ups on straight legs - when I could teach a class to a few friends without losing my nerve - when I won a small victory in family court and started receiving the support I needed.

“Where do you get your confidence?” people often ask me now. "You seem so sure of yourself."

When I reflect on this, I call to mind the countless hard-won increments, gathered over many years.

There were no shortcuts. No celestial signs. No surprise inheritance or lottery ticket came to my rescue. And I certainly didn’t wake up one day and start a thriving business with multiple locations.

I simply persevered. Kept on. Pushup by pushup, password by password. I did one mildly terrifying thing at a time. I forced myself to keep practicing my teaching. I watched my classes improve, little by little. And one day, when I opened my mouth to speak, it was no longer scary. Soon, it was even fun.

The look of fear and shame in my eyes was replaced by shyness at first, then finally by passion and enthusiasm. Believe it or not I ACTUALLY LOOK FORWARD to public speaking opportunities these days. Teaching barre and yoga classes gave me the opportunity to embody the quality I had so longed for. By facing my fears and showing up again and again, in time, I found my confidence.

Wondering if you can do it? YOU CAN. Your barre teacher training journey starts here.

Introducing the Barre & Soul Collection, Feel badass and beautiful wherever the day takes you

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Hi! Andrea here! I’m so excited to finally unveil something I've been working on all year - Barre & Soul®'s own clothing collection! The first drop has arrived in our studios and I can't wait for you to check it out. This apparel collection is made in small batches in Los Angeles with ethically sourced/recycled materials, and it's designed by us, for you!

I have personally overseen every detail of the line’s creation from collaboration with our designer (a former top designer for brands like Nastygal, Revolve clothing, and more!), to choosing the materials, to selecting a production house here in the USA, and travelling to LA several times to visit the factory and participate in fittings and design meetings.

The launch of our new collection is something I am proud of not only because of the impeccable details and high quality of the product, but for the values it represents.

Our apparel line is not just for working out in a stylish, ethically sourced way – it will make YOU feel badass and beautiful wherever the day takes you.

The line is inspired by you our community, classic rock, the Feminist movement of the 60 and 70s, with a nod to the grace of ballerinas like Lotte Berk, the original creator of barre. It is a collection with grace and grit. 

I know that Barre & Soul®'s students are busy people. You've got jobs to do, kids to raise, degrees to earn, and workouts to fit in! I wanted this line to look just as good coming to and from class as it feels during your workout.

Here are a few of the pieces you can look forward to.

  • Full-length leggings
    Black, perfect compression, high-waisted, full-length, delightfully flattering and supportive

  • Capri leggings
    Leopard print, recycled materials, brushed soft handfeel

  • Satin "Rebel Rebel" Bomber Jacket
    leopard print lining, gold on black

  • Feminist AF Cropped muscle tank
    100% cotton, breathable fabric absorbs moisture, vintage wash

  • Barre & Soul® Cropped muscle tank
    100% cotton, breathable fabric absorbs moisture, vintage wash

  • High-Low Black Resting Barre Face muscle tank
    100% cotton, breathable fabric absorbs moisture, vintage wash

  • High- Low white ‘Barre Butts’ muscle tank
    100% cotton, breathable fabric absorbs moisture, vintage wash

  • Strappy sports bra
    leopard print, recycled material, lined, brushed soft handfeel

  • And more!

I hope you love it!

:) Andrea

Forget Bikini Season, Do it for You!

I was as low as could be in my life when I first made a commitment to my mind/body fitness practice. This brought physical strength and stamina, along with a revolution in my confidence and beliefs about the goals I could achieve.

I was a single parent, struggling to work through financial strain, domestic violence and emotional abuse. At vulnerable moments, the last thing anyone needs is a message that we’re not enough.

Everyone has vulnerabilities that can be addressed in healthy, empowering ways through fitness. When I turned to barre and yoga in search of a little peace of mind, what I got was a meaningful breakthrough – it changed my life, gave me the power to “own it all” and, eventually, the vision to launch Barre & Soul. I want everyone who walks through the doors of our studios to have the same opportunity for personal growth and empowerment.

Women need to know we have the capability to shed emotional and physical burdens - rather than focusing on a few stupid pounds.

When fitness programs emphasize ‘bikini season’ and ‘shaping up for summer,’ this implies women’s bodies aren’t really their own. Assuming women somehow owe it to society to look a certain way positions us as objects for consumption.

Do it for your 100-old self

Do you envision living an active and adventurous life after retirement? Start building physical, mental and emotional strength and stamina into your routine now!

Do it for you, not to fit someone else’s definition of what’s “hot.”

Women are already under tremendous pressure to fit the mold - from career, to social and domestic life, to unrealistic beauty standards. This is all impossibly high-maintenance if we choose to subscribe to it, and it leaves us with less freedom and leisure time to devote to real self-improvement and development compared with men. So don’t buy in!

Don’t get me wrong — I appreciate my toned muscles and seeing my body physically transform had a huge effect on my belief about what I could accomplish. But that’s just the surface. We need to get real about how much we have to gain from making a commitment to our health and fitness, and stop reducing it to a silly notion like bikini-season.

FORBES: The Boss Behind A Feminist Fitness Empire on How To 'Own It All'

Get Inspired. Learn where Andrea, owner/founder of Barre & Soul came from, how it all began and what inspired and encouraged her to create her Feminist Fitness Empire. GET INSPIRED.

Learn where Andrea, owner/founder of Barre & Soul came from, how it all began and what inspired and encouraged her to create her Feminist Fitness Empire.

Calling all Runners: Why Yoga Is Just What You Need!

This week, as I reflect on the inspiration the Boston Marathon brings to our community – I’m writing to send a high-five to every runner out there – for your stamina, grit, determination and strength. These are qualities we deeply value and work hard to cultivate at Barre & Soul. Huge congratulations those who ran the Boston Marathon. It takes super-human levels of stamina and endurance to take on a race of this level, and we know you’re feeling it big-time post-race.

We want to reach out to you personally, from another dimension of the fitness universe, and invite you over to learn more. Bring your bib number and your driver’s license to any of our studios for a complementary class in April.

We’ve just been recognized in Boston Magazine as one of the best places to explore a yoga practice in greater Boston, and we want to extend an invitation for you to join us here.

Yoga is often misunderstood as an exclusively meditative, passive approach to self-care and fitness. Yes, there is a mindfulness element, and yes there is the benefit of self-acceptance, meeting your body each day wherever it is on your mat. But there is so much more to learn and benefit from - for runners in particular.

Many runners cite greater flexibility as the primary reason for beginning a yoga practice. This makes sense, because yoga stretches the muscles that are tight, which in turn increases the range of motion in related joints.

Studies have also shown that yoga combats stress, accelerates weight loss, reduces pain, helps people stay consistent with their fitness routine, and even improves running times. The strength and flexibility runners develop on the mat--particularly in the core, quads, hamstrings, and hip flexors--can help them run more efficiently and avoid injury.

What’s more - holding challenging yoga poses builds tenacity and mind-body connection that translates in your runs. And it teaches you to deepen the connection with your breath –a skill that you can leverage to enhance your running as well.

A real breakthrough in embracing Yoga for many runners happens when they learn that fast-twitch muscle fibers can contract ten times faster than slow-twitch fibers. This is the kind of muscle that runners really want to develop to train for speed.

The difference in which muscle fibers you build comes not from your training speed, but your training intensity. If you do an isometric exercise that involves holding a half-full cup of water out at arm's length for four hours a day, you’ll develop lots of slow-twitch muscle because the intensity over time is low.

If, instead, you tried to do a shoulder raise on that same arm at maximal intensity for a fraction of the time, like seven to twelve seconds, you fatigue fast-twitch muscle fibers (all muscle fibers, in fact) much faster. Intensity is key to your speed training, not the speed of the movement itself. This is where a great Yoga practice can transform your running game, and your fitness overall – thanks to the isometric element.

It may seem counterintuitive, but isometric exercises involving very challenging but static holds involving body weight (a foundational element of both Yoga and Barre) can be better than plyometric (like exploding into a movement, like big jumps or clapping push ups) for speed.

Isometric exercises for speed also use a minimum of impact force, and keep the body safe from injury. Great news for runners, and everyone else!

History Has Its Eyes on Us

Oceans of Pink

Pink hats, handmade signs, the sun straining through an overcast sky, and the collective buzz, excitement and hope of women united. These are some of the images and feelings from my experience at the Women’s March on Washington that I will never forget. This historic event changed my life and, for many citizens of the world, redefined the relationship between our beliefs and the actions we are willing to take to support them.

As we made our way through D.C.’s brownstone-lined neighborhoods, I felt an underlying nervousness considering some of the worst case scenarios that could potentially occur. We passed the steps of the capitol building en route to the march rendezvous point and people poured in on all sides. My friends and I stood and soaked in the sight of the gathering crowds, and anxiety began to melt into gratitude. Grandmothers in wheelchairs, moms and children and a surprising number of men marched along with us - with no sense of patriarchy or self-sacrifice, but as true equals and allies.

Fear evaporated when I looked around and let my heart be filled with love for the diverse ocean of fellow Americans coming together, to support each other with compassion, to bear witness and to unapologetically raise their voices for freedom, equality, and respect for all. There are no words for the power of the experience - shoulder-to-shoulder in a crowd larger than I had ever seen or even imagined, standing united for their values and love of humanity. 

History has its eyes on you

"History has its eyes on you" read one sign, carried by a man passing by. I stopped him for a photo and he beamed with joy and pride in this message. This is why we marched. 

"Misogyny is not normal" read another sign. How interesting the relief it was to have this basic value expressed so clearly, publicly and affirmatively. We trekked our way through the thick crowd to a spot where we were able to stand on a low wall and view the jumbotron showing the stage from which the presenters were speaking. The messages weren’t new, but they were powerful in their simplicity. Cheers of support erupted through the enormous crowd – “Women’s rights are human rights.” “Black lives matter.” “We will never give up.” It is amazing, the power in hearing your deepest truths declared aloud, no matter how many times you’ve thought them before.

My eyes filled with tears over and over again as I looked in all directions at the size of the crowd we were part of. I welled up with emotion (and still do) – not because I was inconsolable that my candidate wasn’t victorious in a presidential race, but because, by being part of this event, I know I am contributing to a permanent legacy. I am part of history. My human family was gathered around me in solidarity for the equality issues I’ve been blogging and speaking about for so many years, often wondering how many others out there cared as deeply as me.

We didn’t find out until returning from the march for the evening that similar events were happening all around the world. Over 5 Million people marched world wide – over 1 Million in Washington DC! There are no words to express how it felt to see and know we're not alone. It was clear on this day that feminism isn't an extreme agenda driven by fanatics. The feminist values I’ve been fighting for all these years are about equality, social justice and progressing into a brighter future for all humanity.

We will not “get over it”

For those that might not understand where we’re coming from – for me, the march wasn’t a complaint or part of an angry political agenda. It wasn’t about an inability to cope with change, a lack of adaptability or acceptance of reality. It was a fulfillment of my duty as an American and a human who believes certain inalienable rights and core values that I hold dear to my heart do matter.

Just as suffragists fighting for women’s right to vote didn’t get over it, and civil rights leaders struggling relentlessly for desegregation didn’t get over it – we will not “get over” the issues that were central to that event.

I see it as our duty as members of the human race to work for equality. If you haven't been assaulted, or discriminated against for the color of your skin, your religion, your sexuality or your gender – then you’re fortunate, and I am glad you haven’t suffered in this way. I believe that whether or not you’ve been personally affected by these injustices, it’s all of our responsibility to make sure nobody else has to go through them.

If you were part of the Women’s March - even if only in spirit - don't let anyone minimize it. This is the dawning of a new era of alert minds, compassionate perspectives and global action.

On Inauguration Day

Prior to the march, driving from Boston to Washington D.C. with a car full of friends (including Barre & Soul's Chief Amazement Officer, Crissy and our Yoga Teacher Training Director, Carrie), we felt a somber occasion was unfolding. At the same time, we talked about how grateful we remained - for America and all the freedoms and opportunities we have here. Carrie had just returned from a volunteer medical trip to a country decimated by disaster and lacking infrastructure and the supports we enjoy and too often take for granted in the US.

She reflected on the reality there - lack of roads, safety, clean water, and essential medical care for many citizens. Following the Women’s March, I’m more aware than ever of how great America IS today. And how crucial it is that we stay vigilant about the elements of greatness that matter most to us – equality, safety, freedom, diversity, and opportunity for all.

Within American culture, and in spite of a highly evolved system of government and justice, many women still can't achieve their highest potential. We have come a long, long way, but we can’t allow ourselves to forget what propelled our progress.

Don’t stop striving. Appreciate the things others before us have fought hard for. Keep raising your voice for equality and for the freedoms that for so many have not yet been realized.

Thank you to everyone who has joined this movement. We may not see the the end of this fight in our lifetimes. Keep fighting anyway.  

Barre & Soul Founder, Andrea Isabelle Lucas, on the Real Talk Radio Podcast with Nicole Antoinette

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Nicole sits down with interesting, inspirational, and refreshingly imperfect people to have unfiltered conversations about what’s really going on in our lives. You know, all that juicy behind-the-scenes stuff, like fears, secret dreams, guilty pleasures, and more.

Alexandra Elizabeth Reviews Barre & Soul's Harvard Square Studio

Alexandra Elizabeth of Making Motherhood Visible reviews our Harvard Square Studio.

"In the midst of the constant bustle of Harvard Square lies an oasis for those that need an outlet where they can relax, rejuvenate and train hard. I was excited to have Barre & Soul join Harvard Square, as there aren’t many barre studios on this side of town and traveling to Boston for a fitness class just doesn’t work with my schedule."

Little Miss Runshine Shares her Barre & Soul Experience

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Boston fitness blogger Jessica shares her Barre & Soul® experience on her blog Little Miss Runshine. Jessica has taken many classes with us since, and we are thrilled to be part of her fitness schedule!

What’s for Breakfast? Health Pros Share Their Morning Meals

We don’t need to tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Boston asked three fitness professionals, including Barre & Soul® founder Andrea Isabelle Lucas, to share their favorite healthy breakfasts.

Alex of Literally Everything gives our Harvard Square Yoga and Barre studio a try

"A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of heading to Barre & Soul's latest studio in Harvard Square to check out the digs and see what their barre class is like. I'm no stranger to barre classes, so I was curious to see how it differed from the other studios in the city.

Barre & Soul has the distinct honor of being Harvard Square's first barre studio and offers 48 barre and yoga classes throughout the week."

If You're Struggling Today, I'm With You

If You're Struggling Today, I'm With You

This post is brought to you by a pair of Hogwarts pajama pants that I've been wearing since noon. Today, even leaving the house feels challenging. Although I’m sure we are not unanimous in our political views, I think it is safe to say that the majority of us are in shock after last night's results. 

I share in your disbelief. My heart was heavy as I woke my kids up for school this morning. Our conversations were hard. I want them to feel safe, and to believe that everything is going to be OK, even when I myself need to be convinced that this is true. 

The Bostonista Loves Barre & Soul Harvard Square!

"I don’t think it’s exactly a secret that I’m not an athletic person so the fact that I’ve found a workout that I actually enjoy is kind of a miracle. What is this miracle fitness fad that has me so entranced? Barre! But not just any barre class, I’ve been going to Barre & Soul’s newest location in Harvard Square."

Boston Magazine tries Barre & Soul's Virtual Studio

"When the weather’s bad, you’re short on time, or you simply don’t have the motivation, getting to the gym can be an obstacle too big to overcome. Never fear. You can still get a good workout in your own home with these virtual training resources."

What Will History Say About You?

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Shaun King, the revolutionary activist, reporter and powerful voice for truth in the Black Lives Matter movement, spoke at Harvard University last month about what we can do to end racial injustice in our communities. I was lucky enough to hear him speak, and I want to share his top 3 messages. Then I want to talk about where you come in.

1) Be present

"SOMETIMES THE MOST POWERFUL THING YOU CAN DO IS JUST BE PRESENT."  - SHAUN KING

You never know how much your willingness to bear witness and be with someone else's suffering could mean to them. You won’t always know how to help, but just acknowledging the problem instead of turning away can make a difference.

2) Be bothered

Have you ever wondered how the hell you can be truly happy, when there is so much suffering in the world? Me too. I'm starting to think maybe "being happy" is not what matters. We are all bothered by certain things uniquely. I may have a fire in my belly for women's rights. Maybe for you it's children, or animals, or the environment.

 "YOUR PURPOSE AND YOUR PLAN IN LIFE IS REALLY EMBEDDED IN WHAT BOTHERS YOU. BE BOTHERED." - SHAUN KING

3) Be organized

"BE PRESENT FOR PEOPLE'S PAIN. BE BOTHERED BY INJUSTICE. BUT BE ORGANIZED" - SHAUN KING

There are systems of oppression in place that keep certain injustices happening, and it's going to take targeted efforts to change those systems. I’m struggling with this one the most, because I don’t have all the answers about how to solve the world’s problems.

I did come away convinced of something. We are living through a revolutionary period in history. From the misogyny and bigotry stirred up by this election, to the Black Lives Matter movement, the increase in mass shootings, and all of the tragedies our country has gone through in the last few years. History is being written now. Sometimes it may be hard to notice. You’re busy trying to pay the rent, or wondering if your kid has a fever, or what you’re going to have for dinner. While life goes on, the ground is shifting beneath our feet. Your grandchildren will read about 2016 in their history books. What will your part in the story be?

For now, here are a few things I’ve decide to do:

VOTE

Where I live, early voting is an option. I voted for Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States. I think the alternative is far too dangerous for our country and for the world. (That doesn’t mean I value your humanity any less if you disagree.)

PRACTICE FOLLOWSHIP

You don’t always have to lead to make a difference. Check out this quick TED clip explaining why. There are people doing great work, and following them can be just as powerful as starting a movement yourself.

USE WHATEVER RESOURCES YOU’VE GOT

For the past 5 years, I’ve been pouring my heart into blogging, passionately, if a bit sporadically, and wondering how I could reach more people. I’ve changed taglines, site layouts and titles several times along the way, and another change is coming.

See, I realized I happen to own a business, with not only several physical locations, but also a website that gets a lot more traffic than my blog. Because I care about my message reaching as many of you as possible, and because it’s important to me that you know the values behind the business, I’m going to be moving this blog under the Barre & Soul umbrella.

You might be wondering, what if people don’t agree with me or are offended by my message? First let me say that agreeing with me is by no means a requirement to be a valued member of the community at Barre & Soul, and I don’t plan to hound you with political talk as you lie in savasana, trying to get a little peace. I love and respect you and your opinion, even if it differs from mine.

That said, I will continue to blog and use social media as my soap box, because I care about the future of our society, and because I feel I must. Sometimes I’ll change some minds, sometimes I’ll be met with agreement, and sometimes I’ll be met with opposition.

In fact, sometimes speaking up means being attacked - both figuratively and literally. One of the greatest teachers I've ever had used to point to Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy and John Lennon, to name a few, who changed the world and were taken from us by violence.

"You know the difference between you and them?” he would say. “They were all worth shooting."

Yep, he had a dark sense of humor. I mean, DAMN, he encouraged us regularly to be someone worth shooting. That’s pretty extreme, but when I question playing it safe or speaking my mind, I always think of his words.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.

What bothers you deeply? How do you get organized around the things that matter to you? And what do you think about the idea of being “someone worth shooting?” Will you be in the history books, and if so what will they say? Please join the conversation on Facebook!

Brookline Gets a New Barre Studio; Boston Magazine

Walk a few blocks down Newbury Street, and you’re almost guaranteed to see a barre studio. Leave the Back Bay, though, and you’ll have to work a little harder to find places to tuck and pulse.

Local mini-chain Barre & Soul®, however, is out to bring more barres to more places. Next up? Adding a studio in Brookline. Brookline is already home to a small handful of barre studios, but owner and founder Andrea Isabelle Lucas says it’s an area that can benefit from Barre & Soul’s goal of spreading community-focused, mind-body fitness throughout the city and beyond.

Is Your Barre Class a Fake? Why it Matters + How to Tell

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I want everyone to understand what an authentic Barre class is all about, and how to recognize it, in a landscape cluttered by an unreal number of imitators. There is currently no governing body assessing which studios are actually up to par at the barre (although I'm involved in unifying leaders in the industry, in the hopes of creating one).

We're bringing something totally new to the industry, based on a fantastic community, focus on mind-body connection and a transformative workout.

Getting Fit in MA Reviews our Harvard Square studio

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"Suddenly, all the things that seemed intimidating to me pre-class were easily used in the class. The strap that you wrap over the barre for some moves, blocks, ball, and weights all were used properly after explanations.

I am sore today, but I think that’s good! Who new small movements “pulses” could be such a great workout for your muscles. I definitely feel I got a great workout and am glad I tried something new to change up my workout routine."