Today’s blog post features an interview with two of our loyal and passionate barrerinas, Magdalene Xie and Lynette Chan. Magdalene and Lynette attended Barre 2 Barre’s recent Thailand Teacher Training Retreat and reflect on the deep physical and mental work they underwent there and their transformational experience.
Our next teacher training is coming soon, from June 8th to 11th in Taiwan (with a supplement in Mandarin Chinese)! Early bird prices are available until May 8th. Read on for inspiration, and see if you too would like to earn a BarreAmped certification this June!
Tell us about your journey with barre and towards attending teacher training with Barre 2 Barre.
Magdalene: I haven’t been the sporty or fit type for most of my life – just slightly lucky to be slim and tall enough for people to assume I don’t need to workout to stay in shape. When you get older, however, being fit is about so much more than looking a certain way. My grandmother and mum do not have the best postures, and I’ve seen how it inconveniences their daily lives. Now, I’m just working towards being healthy and strong so that I am able to enjoy everything that I want to.
I’ve become more aware of having the right form and applying what I have learned in barre to my everyday life (for example, not putting extra pressure on my spine by overarching my lower back to cause pain and discomfort over time).
Lynette: I started ballet lessons at the age of six and continued dancing into my early twenties, which led to lower back pain even after I stopped, probably due to bad form and insufficient emphasis on core-strengthening. When I discovered barre as a workout a few years ago, I was thrilled to return to something somewhat familiar, yet still new and challenging! One class led to another and my interest in the BarreAmped technique grew because of its emphasis on form, alignment, and precision. When the teacher training was announced, I signed up for it wanting to enhance my own knowledge of the method.
What new and useful discoveries did you make about yourself and/or your barre practice at the Koh Samui teacher training?
Magdalene: Everyone’s range of movement is different due to each individual’s body/bone structure, and I’ve learned to push myself to my own limitations. I’ve always known the core holds up our trunk and that having a strong core is important, but I learned that it is also what stabilizes the spine, glutes, pelvic floor, and so much more. We need a balance of both front and back body strength in order for our spine to maintain it’s optimal position. These are facts I wouldn’t have known had I not attended the teacher training!
Lynette: One of the main things I’ve learned is that being a barre instructor is not easy (don’t take your instructors for granted haha)! From giving the right cues to spotting and correcting bad form, teachers’ skills rely not only on experience, but also on a tremendous wealth of knowledge, which the BarreAmped method has strong foundations in. I became more aware of my own form and understood the barre exercises I have been practicing on a much deeper level, in relation to human anatomy.
What were the highlights of your experience at the Teacher Training?
Magdalene: Anatomy workshops with Steve (our demo skeleton)!
An island snorkeling trip at Koh Tan Island!
The NON-HEALTHY fun dinner at Four Seasons Resorts after we completed our Level 1 exam!
The AM S.I.L.E.N.T T.I.M.E
The bunch of uniquely fabulous ladies who got confused between knee-ups and seated chair!
(in no particular order)
I could go on!
Lynette: There were so many highlights! What I loved most, though, was the sense of community and comradery that developed quickly yet firmly during the trip. Some of us still make it a point to meet for dinner, drinks, and brunch from time to time, and go for classes at Barre 2 Barre together when we can.
What are your future goals with barre and Barre 2 Barre? What does your barre practice mean to you?
Magdalene: I want to continue to deepen my knowledge of barre for my own education and maybe even share with others what I’ve learned one day. I’ve discovered my barre practice to be my only personal time where I experience my mind listening to my body and I’m fully aware and present. I’ve never felt that with any other practice so far.
Lynette: My next goal would be to do my apprenticeship and proceed to the next level of teacher training, so that I can deepen my understanding of BarreAmped and the quality of my instruction. When I started barre, I never thought I would take my practice as seriously as I do now, but my barre journey has come to represent my own personal growth. I look forward to my barre classes as time that I carve out for myself, to strengthen myself both physically and mentally.