International Women’s Day is a reminder of the power women can have when we inspire and support one another. In celebration of this, we highlighted the voices in our community that do exactly that -make an impact. From makers, dreamers, writers and teachers - each woman has gone beyond their comfort zone in some way. In this uplifting and important interview, we discuss how we can break the bias for women. Maybe a SILOU-ette can’t change the world, but we believe the people wearing them can.
How did you begin this journey of becoming a founder in the fitness industry?
I grew up as a ballet and contemporary dancer, so fitness has always been a big part of my life. Upon college graduation, I moved to NYC to further train and perform, which is where I fell in love with the barre technique. I have been teaching fitness, and the barre technique specifically since 2010. My initial training was in NYC, which led me to relocate and start my fitness journey in Dubai in 2013. Since then, I have taught at various studios across Dubai, learning the ins and outs of the unique boutique fitness scene. I saw a gap in the market, and felt the city was lacking a strong Barre studio. I took the risk and opened my own studio, Barre Effect, in January 2021. Now at just over a year since opening, I am grateful of the community we have created, and the growth of the studio thus far.
You launched Barre Effect – why was it important to create this studio/class for your audience?
I truly believe in the barre method— I have seen and felt the changes in my body and heard/seen numerous success stories from clients. Barre is a method with longevity. Originally created to be physiotherapy for injured dancers, it is a technique appropriate and safe for all levels, ages, and abilities. It is a priority of mine to have only the most knowledgeable and experienced instructors in the city, knowing that if a woman wants a strong, effective fitness class we are the ones to deliver. The energy in the studio is fun and encouraging, and I want our clients to feel a part of a supportive community of like-minded strong women.
Do you have any workout practices or self-care rituals that help you navigate the world in and outside of your comfort zone?
Even as a fitness instructor, I enjoy taking classes. I try to take at least 3 barre classes, in addition to 1 yoga class per week. This is my “me time” where I can focus on my body, form, and have a mental break from the day. As a business owner, and mom of two young boys, it’s hard some weeks to find the energy to socialize. But I really value my close girlfriends, and I make sure to carve out time each week, without kids, to see my friends and just relax.
What’s the most important thing you believe women need from their community right now?
Living in a busy city, with nonstop events and commitments, it is hard to not get caught up in the hustle and not get a bit of “fomo.” I’m still working on this myself, but I think it is important to prioritize self care and “me time” away from family and work. As women we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do and be good at everything, but sometimes it’s just not possible and that’s okay. For women to feel more comfortable in their own skin, find a bit of time for themselves each day, and feel supported for doing so, I think is important and needed.