Over the weekend I travelled to Minneapolis for a little R&R with friends. If you haven’t been to Minneapolis you should make the trip—in the summer. The lakes, food, style and art, who knew that I would fall in love with the land of 10,000 lakes—maybe this East coast gal, is a Midwesterner at heart.
Aside from trying all sorts of new things like catching an outdoor production of La Boheme performed by the Minnesota Opera, taking in the Improv, and dining at James Beard worthy restaurant Heidi’s, I decided to test my months of (brutal) circuit training and take on Barre.
Barre is a ballet inspired class designed to help practitioners gain a strong and sculpted dancer’s body (as far as your genetics will allow). Which for the record I’ve been afraid to try—all those mirrors!
By now you know that I am big of fitness. I’ve challenged myself to run a marathon, do 40 days of yoga, start the 25 days of Christmas, and Let’s Move Monday on threeLOL. So, you would think that I would have been all over barre classes by now, but alas I have been too scared to try it. I was worried that I wasn’t strong enough and on top of that who wants to be in a class with ballet bodies…when clearly I am not? Thankfully, my first barre experience was at Barre Bliss whose philosophy melds with my own. I got a chance to chat with Barre Bliss owner Mia Jenneman about barre, body image and beginning your most important practice—loving yourself.
Fab/Fit Interview with Barre Bliss Owner Mia Jenneman
threeLOL: Mia I loved your studio. How does Barre Bliss differ from other barre studios?
Mia: Barre Bliss is built on a yoga platform where we combine the disciplines of dance, isometric movement, Pilates and ballet.
threeLOL: What can people who come to Barre Bliss expect?
Mia: They can expect the mindfulness of yoga and the sculpting and kick butt element of dance.
threeLOL: What is your background and why did you think barre was they way to go?
Mia: My background is in dance, ballet, classical and modern. I’ve been dancing for over 20 years. However, it was quite a judgmental aesthetic and lifestyle. I dealt with a lot of body image issues and was constantly told throughout my career to lose weight. Thankfully, when I was in college I was introduced to yoga by another dancer. I discovered the healing properties of yoga that started my journey from judgment to self-acceptance. For a while I worked for Core Power Yoga and helped create the practice, Yoga Sculpt.
threeLOL: That’s amazing. I love Yoga Sculpt. You’re right so many women struggle with body image issues—including me.
Mia: Yes, they do. So, I wanted to bring the healing piece of yoga to the barre classes that I had begun to take. There really wasn’t a place that was incorporating both yoga and barre. As I was exploring barre I thought I would just work at someone else’s studio. Thankfully, my husband encouraged me to open my own. He was like “you have years of dance experience, yoga etc. why wouldn’t you open your own space”.
threeLOL: Thank goodness for your husband and his vote of confidence! How do you think barre helps with self-confidence?
Mia: When you build good posture and teach someone how to stand tall—it resonates. It helps build strength in your psyche. Isometric movements, mind/body connection helps you feel good from the inside out.
threeLOL: How can people get over their intimidation of barre?
Mia: Read the studio’s mission statement, read bios of the teachers, take a class, call the owner or manager to get an idea and sense of the studio you are interested in trying. Most importantly, find the method that is right for you!
threeLOL: Man, I wish I lived in Minneapolis so I could take Barre Bliss classes everyday.
Mia: Thanks for saying that. We are in the midst of creating online and live streamed classes that will be offered before January 2014. So, make sure to check back soon!
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