Me: “Alexa, find a job for me where I never have to wear shoes again!”
Alexa: “The Bar Method is all I could find in your area.”
After teaching elementary school for 10 years, I was fortunate enough to say goodbye to public education and stay home. I started my Sampling Skinny blog as a creative outlet and a way to make myself workout. The day I walked into Bar Method Frisco and met Reshoo (owner of BM Frisco), my world took a surprising turn and I fell in love. After taking free community classes for a couple of months, I worked up the courage to ask about becoming an instructor. I told Reshoo that I knew I didn’t have a dancer’s body, but I do have a teaching background if that helps any. She was all for it and explained the 6-month process.
It all begins with an audition that is filmed and sent to headquarters. I had to memorize and set up one weight lifts. It seems simple, but it is not at all! Not only do you have to remember the script, but you also have to have the right voice, presence, form and very importantly catch the beat. Counting on beat while setting up an exercise, demonstrating it, watching others for form and sounding like a strong, energetic gal who knows what she’s doing is a lot at once. It took a strong dose of forced confidence to get through the audition and I pulled it off.
The next step of training is memorizing set-ups for each exercise in class as well as studying a thick training manual. I spent a lot of time in my room practicing in the mirror and even recorded myself and watched it which was horrifying but worth it. Reshoo spent countless hours preparing me for training in San Francisco. I also continued taking her classes and absorbing as much as I could.
I was fortunate enough to train at The Bar Method headquarters in the Marina District of San Francisco. I don’t get away from Texas without my family in tow much, so I was pretty excited to do this on my own. I stayed at The Chelsea Inn with 2 girls from Detroit who were also training. I arrived at the hotel first and the other girls had a flight delay so they didn’t arrive until 1 AM. I met them for the first time from the comfort of my hotel bed in my pajamas. Awkward! It wasn’t the most awkward moment though (keep reading). They were so sweet and we just said we will meet formally in the morning.
I was a huge ball of nerves as I walked into my first day of training. There were 8 women in my group ranging in age from 21 to 40+, all beautiful women with outgoing personalities. We were trained by local Bar Method Badass Jenn. She has been with The Bar Method since the beginning with the original crew. She worked with the founder, Burr Leonard, and instructs 15 or more classes per week! We all had the amazing opportunity to observe Jenn instruct a class and later take her class. Most of our 4 days were spent going through each section of our manual, then taking turns teaching and adjusting each other’s form. We also took as many classes as we could from the San Fran instructors.
The 4-day training was pretty intense and there were definitely some tears. It may seem silly that I was stressed and crying about learning to be a barre instructor, but it was so different than anything I’ve ever done and I wanted to get it right. I think that is one thing Bar Method instructors have in common; we truly care about doing our best so that clients get The Best.
Each night was a girls night out, and we had so much fun together. I really connected with Lisa from California and we ended up going to dinner alone one night and walking miles to tour the city. That night, I was so exhausted. When I am stressed and tired, I have night terrors where I literally scream and physically fight in my sleep. Ask my poor husband who has been kicked and slapped in the middle of the night totally unprovoked! So, after a couple of days of training and walking everywhere, I had one of those special dreams at 4 AM. I sat straight up and screamed at the top of my lungs. My roomies popped up thinking there was an intruder. It was probably one of the most embarrassing moments of my life, but I am so grateful that my sweet roommates laughed it off and went back to sleep. Why am I so weird? UGH!
When I returned to Frisco, Texas, I jumped right in and began teaching pieces of class. There are 3 separate videos that have to be recorded and sent to my trainer, Jenn, for approval and notes. If you want to be an instructor, you have to be able to take feedback and use it to make yourself better. It is hard to do, and on my more sensitive days, I would feel defeated. Overall I kept telling myself that I’ve made it this far so keep going. Also, I kept in mind that feedback was only intended to make me the best instructor I could be so I wouldn’t take it personally.
When I sent my final video in, I didn’t know if it would be enough to get me certified or if I would have to try again. I walked into to Bar Method one morning to take class and Reshoo had a bottle of champagne, balloons, and flowers waiting for me. It felt like Christmas morning as a child and graduation day all wrapped up into one. I was ecstatic! The next class I taught was the best one yet. 6 months later, I’m still teaching and learning every day. I have improved so much since my training days and I truly enjoy instructing each class. If you’re ever in Frisco, don’t be shy. Come see me at The Bar!