We're Doing Something BIG... Online Barre Teacher Training Coming Soon!

ONLINE BARRE TEACHER TRAINING

The barre community has been craving a highly credible, safe, and comprehensive online barre teacher training. A training that shapes YOU into the most knowledgeable, confident and well rounded barre teacher from the convenience of your own home. We've heard you and we are here to provide you with the training you need.

Check out my Facebook Live video below to learn more about what inspired us to offer our signature training online and read on for more info!

Before my Barre & Soul days...

I was a struggling single mom with no credit, no college degree, no job, and no money. In spite of the tough times I faced, there was one area of my life that filled me with excitement.

In the little town where I lived, there was a barre studio, a place where I had seen myself grow and strengthen, not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally. In addition to getting so much out of the classes and the wonderful community there, I had taken on the challenge of training to become a barre teacher.

As I've shared on this blog before, I wasn’t a "good" teacher trainee. I fumbled over my words and feared the sound of my own voice. I was my own worst critic, at a time when the last thing I needed was self-criticism holding me back.

Determined to overcome my circumstances, I took baby steps forward. Little by little, hour by hour, month by month, I found my voice. I became a confident barre teacher and started on a journey that would change my life for the better.

That barre training was just the beginning. I went on to build my career out of this method that I loved, eventually becoming a Manager and Teacher Trainer for the prestigious Exhale Spa before starting my own company, Barre & Soul in 2013.

If you had told me at the beginning of this journey that I would one day be the proud owner of 5 studios, with the most wonderful communities of teachers and students packing the house, or that I'd be traveling back and forth to England to study privately with the daughter of Lotte Berk, inventor of barre, I would never have imagined it!

I am too filled with gratitude to keep it all to myself. After having the finest mentors in the world, I want to share what I've learned over the years and pay it forward as much as I can!

I want YOU to have the same level of joy and fulfillment in your career that I have come to know. 

If you've ever thought about taking the leap into teaching barre, I want to help YOU find your confidence and your voice as a certified barre teacher! 

With that, I am excited to announce that we are working on something really exciting behind the scenes! 

A way for you to pursue your passion from wherever you are, anywhere in the world...

I've got a sneak peek for you: A few inside secrets to share, drawing from my 10+ year barre teaching career.

What is the difference between a good class that draws a few students and a GREAT class that is consistently packed? 

Download your free cheat sheet and learn about the magic I have come to rely on to keep students coming back again and again, so you can lead barre classes your students can't stop raving about.

Thank you for your interest! I hope to meet you and share my passion with YOU!

-Andrea Isabelle Lucas

Back in the UK! A Deeper Dive into the Lotte Berk Technique

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As I recover from jet-lag, and digest one of the busiest weeks of 2018 (so far!) its hard to know where to begin. I’ve just returned from a week in England, training with none other than Esther Fairfax. This was my second immersion in training and practicing the original Lotte Berk Technique with Esther (Lotte’s only daughter, and carrier of her mother’s legacy and method).

Fitness for Your Entire Life

Esther is no ordinary barre expert. First of all, she is 83 years old. Many of her peers are thankful just to be able to walk without the assistance of a walker or even a cane. But Esther refuses to relate to this – she takes action to ensure her health and wellness, every day. She continues to practice and teach a rigorous exercise regimen that has bestowed endless benefits. I hope to be able to pursue them all, as successfully as Esther has in the coming decades of my own life. Esther talks about her upbringing in a most unconventional and creative family, and her inspirations – for example, a consistent exposure throughout her life to artists, dancers, actors and performers of all genres. She shares all this conversationally, while she moves gracefully from exercises prone on the floor, then lying on her back with feet under the barre while working the abdominals, and then standing tall at the barre, or moving with strength and confidence in the center of the room.

Art & Expression

As she demonstrates the myriad exercises with razor sharp precision, she emphasizes how critical it is to execute them with the best possible form. At the same time she can’t express strongly enough that this exercise method is not just a class. She firmly sees the method as a true work of art, through which participants find not only impressive physical transformation, but expressive self-actualization.

Community & Connection

Another notable quality that runs strong in her studio, is community and connection. The friendship and camaraderie she has seen and personally experienced is a crucial part of living a long, healthy life. Experts have long known that people that have close relationships and the support of a healthy community live longer and more vibrant lives into their elder years. Esther is absolutely a testament to this fact. I spent hours interviewing Esther, and members of her home studio community and this is an area that can’t be underestimated for everyone touched by her classes.

As I jump into my routine back at home in our Barre & Soul community – I am so proud to see so many points of alignment between what I’ve learned and internalized in my time studying and training in England with Esther, and what I’ve been working so hard to cultivate in my own studios.

Every day I work closely with our fantastic team of managers in each Barre & Soul studio to ensure we’re all on the same page with regards to the exceptional experience that is delivered to each and every person that enters our studios.

There is so much more to share in upcoming blogs, about the method itself and the details of the training and its benefits. But underlying that – I couldn’t be more inspired by the reminder of the deeper benefits that we offer our members. These benefits don’t seem to be a primary focus at most traditional gyms – fitness that can be sustained for life, art and expression, community and connection. But they’re at the core of our beloved Barre & Soul studios, offering a form of fitness, community, self-expression and joy that lasts a long and healthy lifetime.

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

Sign up to receive updates and deals on our upcoming January barre teacher training here.

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.

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.