1) Tell us about your journey with barre and towards attending teacher training with Barre 2 Barre.
I’m that person who goes around trying out new stuff. I was exploring what I could try out in dance, being the terrible arm-leg coordinator that I am. I thought adult ballet might be a little less embarrassing for me than say, street jazz. A google search and several clicks later, pictures of super sculpted women in wide second and seated chair poses turned up. The pictures made me a little intimidated, but also all the more curious to experience for myself what a barre class was like. I thought “how hard can it be?” Short answer – Quite. Quite. Hard. But I was hooked and kept coming back for more. The more classes I took, the stronger I became. My friends started commenting things like “Angie, those arms! What have you been doing?” and I also noticed myself getting more toned.
After a year of attending classes at Barre 2 Barre, I decided to take my practice to the next level (and engineer a holiday into it as well) by signing up for the teacher training in Bali. It was an amazing week of learning the intricate details of setting up one in good alignment, giving useful cues, and discussing anatomy so that we understand movement and muscle activation. I am also happy to report that my arm-leg coordination has improved tremendously.
2) What does wellness and being healthy mean to you?
It’s about treating your body right for all the hard work it does, but not becoming miserable in trying to be healthy. Balance is essential. If you are someone who fundamentally likes wholesome meals all the time, that’s great for you! But if you’re not, then embrace both the healthy aspects as well as the less-healthy, more indulgent treats. About 70% the time, I seek out delicious and healthy meals, like kale salad with salmon, to nourish my body. As for the remaining 30%, I allow myself to fully enjoy char kway teow, pizza and cocktail nights. Zero guilt, otherwise your mind isn’t happy and that’s not wellness. Then, apart from exercise, there is also relaxation. Allow yourself some me-time at least once a week. I like to spend mine reading a good book on balmy Sunday afternoons, looking up occasionally to stare at the greenery in the distance and thank God for a healthy body and the blessings in my life.
3) How did you get into BarreAmped and what are your future plans for barre?
I had started out doing barre at another studio, and later found Barre 2 Barre when I searched for other studios and methods to try out. I chose to get trained in BarreAmped method because I like that it emphasizes on good form and is very much aligned to my regular pilates practice. The great thing about barre is that it never stops being a challenge – there is always room for improvement, something you can work on. I will be sharpening my teaching skills and gradually expanding my repertoire of exercises to keep classes fresh!
4) What is your favourite way (aside from barre) to keep fit and find some downtime?
Running is my go-to for decompressing and keeping my sanity. I love being outside, taking in fresh air, exploring new routes, and reliving old ones. When I’m running, I think about everything yet nothing in particular. While thoughts flow in and out of my mind, I focus on my breathing (sound familiar, barrerinas?) and will my muscles to continue working hard as I put one foot in front of the other. When I’m running outdoors and taking in the world around me, I’m reminded of how small I am, and in turn, how minuscule my issues are. It helps me maintain a broader perspective on things.
5) List your 3 favourite travel destinations, and list 3 more that you want to travel to and why.
My 3 best travel memories are:
(i) hiking to the crater of Ijen volcano in Indonesia quite unprepared for the sulphur fumes;
(ii) hiking through snow in Finnish national park Vaattunkiköngäs; and
(iii) sipping my way through a wine flight with my gal pals at MONA in Tasmania.
I would love to go to Iceland to see the northern lights (since I wasn’t lucky in Finland), the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador to see the native creatures, and do some Greek island-hopping where I will be sun-soaked and eating amazing octopus.