When you look at her, you can take an educated guess that this barrerina works out! This wonder woman works a full time job, teaches BarreAmped, trains Pilates and runs regularly. This week, we interview our newest addition to the team Jal!

What does wellness and being healthy mean to you?

Wellness to me is about having a mind and body awareness, but this definition took practice for me to arrive to. When I was younger, “wellness” was just about being skinny and I used to beat myself up about what I’d eaten. One day I realised how crazy that was, however, especially for someone who’s never had weight problem. I always want to be leaner and stronger, but I’d also like to enjoy life. It’s common sense that I need to strike a balance to achieve my goals. No matter how hectic my day is, I set aside an hour to workout daily, which is just 4% of your day if you think about it. Yes, I indulge on dinner dates, but I generally enjoy having mindful meals that work for my body. Being healthy is all about lifestyle and the choices you make. If you live a healthy lifestyle by making smart choices each day, over a period of time this lifestyle will become second nature to you.

Share with us a funny story related to barre.

While I was apprenticing, I had to teach practice classes to my friends at Barre 2 Barre. Once, a friend came to the studio all smiley and content after Sunday brunch. Five minutes before our class was supposed to start, she asked if the usual Sunday group would be joining us soon. As soon as I said no, her expression changed completely. She looked at our other friend, Shaun, anxiously and said, “We are so screwed. She’ll be watching us like a hawk!” I burst into laughter. In the end, despite this just being a class of two, my friends were focused throughout the session and held their forms and alignment really well. Plus, little did my first friend know that those missing students were planning a small surprise for her!

How did you get into BarreAmped and what are your future plans for barre?

I have always been curious about barre fitness and was elated to find several barre studios in Singapore in 2016. Having practiced Pilates for many years, the importance of correct alignment and mind-body awareness has been engrained in me, so I was pleasantly surprised that these are equally important concepts in BarreAmped. As a client, I felt Barre 2 Barre hosts a safe environment for clients to practice barre, a small class atmosphere, and instructors who have keen eyes for details in posture. Personally, I have reaped benefits of the Lotte Berk method and aim to spread the barre love to the community myself. It is rewarding as an instructor to see clients enjoy their first class and progress over time. Hearing clients say that they are feeling stronger and more confident, seeing their bodies changing, and that they had a ball sweating with me makes me happy. Who knows, one day I might embark on the journey as an instructor trainer #barregoals.

What is your favorite way (aside from barre) to keep fit and find some downtime?

As shared earlier, I commit at least an hour to fitness each day. Besides barre, I enjoy a good mix of high intensity interval training, power lifting, and occasional spinning. Otherwise, I practice Pilates on alternate days. Down time is spent with my loved ones and two cats.

List your 3 dinner party dream guests, what would you talk about and what dish would you prepare for them?

My dream dinner guests would be:

(i) Michelle Obama – She is the epitome of class, poise, and intelligence. Her message of gender equality and sentiment that women should grow up believing they can do anything is a strong one, plus she is always getting her groove on like a pro! Michelle seems like someone who would enjoy good ole’ pizza quattro formaggi and crisscut fries.

(ii) Gal Gadot – She has a fascinating life, and I want to hear all about it. Her grandfather survived the Holocaust, and Gal served two years in the Israel Defense Forces as a combat instructor. She was recognized as someone who embodies female empowerment physically, mentally and socially – a true Wonder Woman! For Gal, I would prepare black truffle mac & cheese.

(iii) Gordon Ramsey – Bebek Penyet (a.k.a Smashed fried duck) would be the dish of choice, because it’s one of my favourite Javanese dishes when served with my family’s secret sambal. I’d just want to know his true opinion about my dish.

List your 3 favorite travel destinations, and list 3 more that you want to travel to and why.

My 3 favourite travel destinations were South Africa, Brazil, and Greece!

3 other destinations I would love to visit:

(i) Iceland – To go glacier hiking and ice caving! Then try my luck catching the Northern Lights and have a dip at the Blue Lagoon.

(ii) Cappadocia – I would love the opportunity to see the moon-like landscape and cave houses, and learn more about their underground cities and the Old Persian Katpatuka. And of course, to soar over Cappadocia in a hot air balloon during sunrise.

(iii) Switzerland – I want to ski in Zermatt and St Moritz!