Two months ago I took on an impossible dream. At the start of the summer, notoriously the worst time for fitness studios, I opened CenterBarre, a small studio in Agoura Hills offering barre classes. My vision was to provide a hybrid workout influenced by the best of yoga, pilates, martial arts, and cardiovascular exercise. I am not a former dancer, cheerleader, or gymnast. Though I feel twenty, I find myself scrolling to the bottom of the page to find my date of birth.
I have, however, been an athlete my whole life, but years of workouts and sports left me with several overuse injuries. After cortisone shots and knee surgery, my physical therapist suggested rehabbing at a barre class. He explained that working in small controlled movements would strengthen the muscles and tendons surrounding my joints, giving them much needed support. I joined my neighborhood studio and went to class everyday for a month, mostly just to prove him wrong. To my surprise after just three weeks, I could bend my knee in half with no pain at all! As a side effect, my body became leaner and more flexible and I started rethinking why I put so much unnecessary strain on my body in the first place! I immediately began educating myself on the benefits of barre workouts. I got trained, certified and started teaching classes so I could share what I had learned. Through the years, I’ve honed my skills as an advocate for a safe smart fitness program based on wellness.
My kids are grown and my husband is supportive, so when the opportunity to open a studio of my own fell into my lap, I took a deep breath and leapt. Again, I am not a ballerina. I may not be able to help you find your inner dancer, but I can help you find your inner athlete and your inner strength. My one-hour low impact class works every major muscle, followed immediately by a stretch. I pay close attention to form and constantly adjust clients throughout class so muscles are strengthened evenly and exercises are more effective and safe. In just over two months in business, my clients are noticing their newly carved out arms and increased flexibility and strength. But the greatest transformations are happening internally, and that’s what I find most rewarding. People who never met their abs find them here. People who are overweight feel safe here. People who are out of alignment and balance discover their center here.
I’m grateful each day for everyone courageous enough to walk through our doors and begin the journey to transform their bodies, empower their minds and center themselves!
Janet is the founder of CenterBarre, lead instructor, and the designer of the CenterBarre workout.