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Barre Favs: Advice to a Future #BarreAddict

BarreFavs - ba

Trying something new can be intimidating, everyone knows that, but we also know that you have to start somewhere! Take comfort in the fact that everyone was a beginner at some point and all it takes is one FIRST class. So we turned to your barretenders and asked them to think about their very first class and all of the things that they have learnt since. They are offering up their best advice for any first-timers ready to rock the barre at their first class! 

"Keep coming back to barre! Classes won’t get easier, but you will learn how to push yourself even more and get that burn a little bit deeper. Your personal strength will grow and you will feel yourself getting stronger and being able to do things you weren’t able to before. Those “aha moments” when you can finally feel a movement where the instructor says you should feel it are the best!" -Kristin

"My advice to all first time barrestars would be do come in with an open mind, smile and never give up - you are stronger than you know!" - Erika 

"Stick with it! It should never be easy but you'll be amazed at how you can see yourself evolve the longer you do it." - Kyra

"My advice would be to relax and have fun. If you've never taken barre before it is bound to be a bit awkward at first, but after those first few classes you will be more comfortable with the movements and can then focus in on your technique (ie: making those muscles burn!). Also, don't be shy to ask questions! The barre tenders are there to help you get the most out of your workout so be sure to let them know if you were unsure about a certain position or movement." - Jaime 

"My advice for a first time barrebabe or barredude is smile and laugh through that sweet sweet burn. Barre is a newer and healthier work out, a great challenge for physical, mental and emotional well being. Keep coming back, keep smiling through pulse and each hold. You will learn to LOVE it." - Kirsten 

"Get ready to sweat, shake and feel those muscles burn like never before to the beat of some ammmaaazing jams & remember we all had our own first time at the barre! The instructor will tell you everything you need to be doing with your body throughout the class so keep your ears open and don’t be afraid to ask questions after class if you were unfamiliar with any of the movements or terminology. Your first class will challenge you in ways you may have never been challenged before so don’t get discouraged if you don’t catch on the first time. Smile, have fun & don’t forget that the challenge will be worth it!" - Michelle

"Here is the best advice that I can give you for your first class: laugh (literally out loud is usually best) at yourself. I guess another way that I could put this is don't take it so seriously! Some people get super intimidated in any fitness-related environment but that is a stigma that we are work SO hard to end. Just remember that every single one of us was a beginner at some point, we have all felt awkward (some more than others ... me), " - Katarina  


#WomanCrushWednesday - Instructor Spotlight: Lindsey

Describe the BBS Tribe?

It’s so great being around positive, funny, supportive people; and the
BBS Tribe is exactly that!

What keeps you inspired and motivated in your own personal fitness?
Well, up until July 1st my biggest motivation was to look killer in my wedding
dress ;) but I believe life is all about balance, and if you eat a whole pizza to
yourself, you need to balance it out with some good calorie burning! I really
love taking spin classes for that reason. Working on my cardio and endurance
has helped me reach my goal of Darth-Vadering the mic a lot less.

What keeps your motivated as an instructor/ fitness leader?

There are many proud moments that come with being an instructor, but the main one is
seeing positive changes in each participant week after week. A lot of
satisfaction comes from attaining personal goals, but when you’re the one
helping others attain their goals – there’s no better feeling.

What is your favorite series to work into your class?

Any series that can be done with weights. I also love the classic glute bridge (with weights of

Tell us something that has happened since your last blog spotlight!

I got married!!!

Tell us something that we don’t know about you!

French was my first language. Bein oui!

Tell us about one of your quirks.

Pretty sure I have slight OCD… I like when things are neat, even, and square. I find myself adjusting other people’s papers or straightening their belongings. I apologize in advance.


What To Do When Summer Running Season Wraps Up

Dr. Jamieson is a Chiropractor located in Edmonton, Alberta. His emphasis is on sports Chiropractic and is a certified Active Release Technique provider.

What to do when running season wraps up and the vast majority of running events have concluded, it’s common for most runners to pull back on their mileage. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as quite often our bodies can use a bit of a break from the past 4-6 months of repetitive beating they take from running. That being said you also don’t want to lose all of the gains that you achieved throughout the running season by just stopping all activity.

I see countless runners in the spring that have emerging aches, pains and injuries from trying to start running at the levels they ended at the year prior. So the question becomes, what can you do to keep the gains that you’ve worked so hard for?


A big part of the offseason should be cross training. It should actually be a big part of the running season as well, but with a finite amount of free time cross training often gets pushed to the back burner in favour of a good run. Cross training consists of strengthening accessory muscle groups to help support the primary muscles you use for your primary activity (in this case running). Running is a very linear sport, which can lead to some significant muscle imbalances. It’s quite common to see knee, ankle and hip issues arise due to lack of strength or even a simple lack of activation, of the muscles that control our lateral/side-to-side movements. As these muscles become more balanced, it can actually improve running performance as you remove the rate limiting step that’s stopping you from going further, faster. A big emphasis of cross training for runners is working the gluteus medius and minimus muscles that are responsible for the lateral control of the hip and leg. These can be achieved with exercises such as glute bridges, single leg squats, side lunges, etc. The problem is a lot of people, especially runners, can find these exercises to be a little boring and monotonous, and not give the same sweat and stress reduction that a good run does.

A great way to still get the benefits of cross training in a more active and fun environment is Barre classes. The small isolated motions that these classes combine with some sweat producing anaerobic cardio can help strengthen the lateral hip muscles while aiding in maintaining some of the cardio gains you’ve achieved during the summer months. A portion of the class is done standing on one leg, which is one of the best ways to train running as you are always supported by only one leg on a run. This helps build endurance and proper joint biomechanics that have a huge benefit on running. I have talked with a number of runners who have simply worked Barre classes into their weekly run schedule and have had improvements in run time with less injury issues. Another benefit of these classes is they work the whole body, including the arms and shoulders, areas that really don’t get any work with running. That being said it is still important to keep up some of the aerobic cardio that you worked on all running season. This typically involves hitting the treadmill, indoor running track, or bundling up and facing the cold outdoor run. Mixing the cross training with some intermittent runs can go a long way towards keeping your fitness up so that come spring it takes no time at all to get back to the levels you’re at right now, and allows you to keep increasing your running performance to new heights.

lanny  Dr Lanny Jamieson D.C
  All Sport Health


BBS Cancellation Policy


  • For guest convenience Barre Body Studio allows guest to make class reservations. Class reservations can be made online 14 days prior to the scheduled class and up to 15 minutes before the start of class. We strongly recommend online or mobile class reservations.
  • All reservations will be held up to 10 minutes before the start time of the class. If you are not in attendance at this time, all open spaces will be given to guests on the wait list or on stand-by.
  • Barre Body Studio has the right to process all no-show reservations as a class attended. No refund will be granted for no-show reservations. Failure to attend a class in which you have registered will result in a no show charge of $15. 


  • If the class that you are registering for is at capacity, you will be placed on the wait list. Barre Body Studio will send you an automated email to notify you if a spot has opened up and you have received a place in this class. The email will be sent in advance - at least 30 minutes before class. It is your responsibility to check your email if you are currently on a wait list. Failure to attend a class in which you have been moved from the wait list to the class will result in a no show charge of $15. 
  • If you do not have regular access to email you may call the studio to check your status on the wait list at 780-757-2773.
  • Each class allows a wait list of 10 participants maximum.
  • The option to cancel your spot on the wait list can be found on MindBody under the Classes Tab >> My Schedule >> Wait list button to the far left of your screen.


  • Barre Body Studio understands that sometimes life gets in the way of fitness classes. We are happy to make accommodations for guests who require cancellation assistance. If you cannot attend a class that you are scheduled for, simply remove yourself from the class through the online software.
  • PLEASE NOTE that Barre Body Studio requires a minimum of 2 hours notice for a cancellation of any nature. 
  • If you fail to remove yourself within the allotted time frame, your account will be deducted as if you attended class. This means that one class will be deducted from your class package or a late cancel fee of $8 will be charged to your account. 
We want to thank you so much in advance for your cooperation with our cancellation and reservation policies! 


Barre Body Studio - Edmonton 


#GirlBoss: Jill Coursen


Meet Jill: a BBS barrestar, local entrepreneur and incredible photographer. We are always blown away by her gorgeous wedding shots, and in constant awe of her flawless creativity. Read on to see what this #GirlBoss has to say about being a photographer in Edmonton and what it is like to work with other local businesses in the YEG wedding industry!

We started by asking Jill to tell us a little bit about herself and how she kicked off her journey in the photography industry. She even throws a little BBS love into her answer, we are blushing!   

I'm a wedding photographer based in Edmonton but I do travel all over Canada
for weddings. I've been a full time photographer for 6 years and I have
photographed almost 200 weddings. I took Journalism in college but my
business and photography has been mostly self-taught. I've always had an
interest and passion for photography and I never thought I could do it full
time. In 2008 I bought a Canon rebel xti camera + kit lens and taught myself
how to use it. I started by taking photos of friends and family and posting them
on Facebook. Social media was really important in helping build my business.
By 2010 I was able to quit my day job and focus full time on photography. I feel
so lucky to be able to document such an important day in someone's life. I've
never had a job where I'm so fulfilled creatively and I'm constantly learning
and trying to get better. Also being able to work from home is an extra benefit!
It's quite a challenge to maintain a work/life balance, especially in the summer
and fall months. Barre actually helps me a lot as it gets me out of the house
and off the computer. You have to be quite healthy to work the 12 hour
wedding days and I feel like Barre has helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle.




Next we asked her to chat a little bit about her photography. We have included a couple
shots of Jill's work, aren't they beautiful? 

When I describe my photography - it's natural light and photojournalistic. I try
to keep natural posing for my clients so they feel comfortable. I want to tell
their story and what is special about them as a couple. I love so much about my
job. I love getting to know so many different people. From my couples I work
with to my friends in the wedding industry. It's nice to connect with other
small business owners that have the same passion as you. I love getting to
spend such an important day with my clients. I love all the emotions that go
along with weddings

Finally, Jill touches on community and the many different elements that make up the  of the vast wedding industry in Edmonton. She also explains the impact that our pretty city has on her photography. 

The wedding industry is full of amazing small business owners who work very
hard for their clients. It's been great to meet and work with other
photographers, videographers, florists, wedding planners, make up + hair
stylists. Since I started doing so many photo shoots in Edmonton, it made me
appreciate what a beautiful city we live in. We have so many beautiful parks,
country fields and urban areas. Edmonton has a huge influence on my
photography. I've learned to appreciate some beautiful winter days as well.
Entrepreneurship has given me so many opportunities and relationships that I
wouldn't of had without my business. You do work so much more than a 9-5
job (and I give up most of my weekends) but I'm grateful of my clients that
trust me with their important milestones.


Contact Information: 
Instagram: jillcoursenphoto
Website: http://www.jillcoursenphotography.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jillcoursenphotography 


BBS Tips & Tricks


It doesn't matter if you are new to the barre or if you are a BBS veteran, we all have one thing in common ... we love that barre burn! So this one is dedicated to YOU. Over the years of pulsing and plie-ing we have picked up a few tips and tricks to get you the most out of our Barre Body classes and today we are sharing them with you. If you are relatively new to to barre, then take these tricks and run with them. By implementing these into each and every class, we guarantee that you will notice a huge difference in your barre practice and the result will be great! If you have been hitting the barre on the regular, you've probably picked up some wisdom on your own, but these tips are also for you. It often becomes easy to slide into bad habits without even realizing it, so be sure to read each tip closely and then apply it as needed into your barre workout. Read more of our BBS tips and tricks to get the very most out of each and every barre class that you take!

1) Breathe. You hear your instructor say this time and time again, some even cue the inhales and exhales with each movement. And while you may think that breathing comes naturally, while you are exercising, that is not always the case. When the movement gets tough and the burn gets real, you actually become more likely to hold your breath. It is incredibly important to keep the muscles oxygenated, so controlled breathing is key.  

Pro tip: breathe on exertion to push through the toughest part of each movement and feed oxygen to those muscles. For example, in abdominal work, exhale on the crunch and inhale on the release.

2) Connect. You probably also hear the phrase 'mind-body connection' quite often, but what does it mean? Studies have shown the validity of promoting strength gain by combining mind and muscle power. Use your focus to connect with each muscle group that you are attempting to isolate.

Pro tip: sometimes if the mind-body connection is hard to find, physically touching the muscle that you would like to engage helps encourage the connection.

3) Squeeze. It is one thing to go through the movement in a barre class, however, it is far more effective to squeeze and release the muscle group that you are attempting to engage during a barre exercise. Adding an extra glute squeeze at the top of every pulse or mindfully squeezing the rhomboids together during each back fly is going to take your barre class that extra mile.

Pro tip: listen closely to your instructors cues, they will tell you which particular muscle to engage in each different exercise.

4) Be present. It is easy to let your mind wander during a fitness class. Thinking about upcoming events or your to do list can be distracting from the booty burn, but this is detrimental to your workout. Staying focused on cues from the instructor, how your body is feeling in the moment and your alignment/form will allow you to get the very most out of each class.

Pro tip: The mirror is a great tool to help you stay focused on your own body, don't be scared to check yourself out every once in awhile!

5) Stretch. We see it so often, you absolutely kill a barre series but then lose focus when it comes time to stretch it out afterwards. We cannot stress enough the importance of a good stretch when it comes to developing those long, lean muscles. Don't skip the stretch!

Pro tip: Use your breath and mind-body connection in each stretch that you do, as well as the exercises. If you are stretching out your hamstrings in a Barre Body stretch, think about sending your breath into the backs of your thighs.

6) Form. FORM FORM FORM. Say it again ... FORM. To get everything out of your hour long barre class, you have to be constantly checking in with your alignment. Be sure to do a mental scan of your body in each different position that you hit: shoulders down, core tight, glutes engages, don't lock the joint, etc.

Pro tip: each position in barre (ie. 1st plie, 2nd plie, waterski, chair) has its own, unique postural elements. If you are unsure of the proper form in an exercise, ask your instructor. We would love to sort through it together!

7) Core. You can almost think of each barre class as a 60 minute core class because that is how long the engagement should be lasting. Regardless if you are in standing fold over or laying glute bridge, your core is always tight.

Pro tip: Your core consists of your abdominals, obliques and back muscles - keep these three areas engaged throughout the entire class.

These are just a few of our favourite BBS tips and tricks to help you get everything out of your favourite barre classes. We know that there are many, many more tips out there, so if you have a special one that you would like to share with the BBS tribe, let us know in the comments section of this blog or on our Facebook: Barre Body Studio Edmonton.


Barre Body Studio - Edmonton