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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Pure Barre Teacher Q & A

Over the past year I've gotten so many dms and emails about being a Pure Barre teacher, and thought that it would be a good idea for a blog post! Currently I've been teaching Pure Barre for 6 years, and have taught in Utah, Arizona, and now Texas. Throughout my journey of teaching I have met so many amazing women, and have formed friendships that I will have forever!

When I first started teaching little did I know that this would become a career that brings so much joy to my life. I can say with complete honesty that I truly LOVE what I do. 

Lets jump into the Q & A!

  1. How do you become a Pure Barre instructor?
    • My experience with how I became an instructor may be a little different from newly trained instructors. Six years ago I was in college, and working as a researcher for the University of Utah. There came a time when my department lost their grant, and some researchers needed to be let go due to lack of funds. I was one of the people that was let go, and I immediately jumped onto Craig's List to find a job that would revolve around my school schedule. While applying to a batch of jobs I saw an ad for a barre teacher. During this time barre was very new to the Utah scene, and I heard it was the latest fitness craze in the celebrity scene. I've always loved working out so figured why not apply to the job even though I've never taken a barre class in my life. A couple days later I got a response for a job interview. I met with Stephanie Blodgett, the owner of Pure Barre Draper, at an Einsteins bagels where I can't even remember what we talked about. After the interview I didn't hear back from Stephanie until I sent a follow up email a few weeks later. Stephanie then offered me the job, and said that I would go to a mandatory training during May for 5 days in Denver Colorado. 
  2. You say your experience with becoming a teacher may be from what it is today. How is that?
    • Pure Barre Draper was the first studio in Utah so there wasn't a pool of experienced clients that have experience in the technique that my owner could choose from. She looked for people who had a dance background since Pure Barre is rhythm based, and class is done to the beat of the music. Also when I got trained I didn't have to pay for training, and had to sign a contract saying that I would work for a year (I think it was a year). Lets talk about why things are different now. Fast forward 6 years later, and the Pure Barre franchise has exploded all over the country. There is now a studio in every major city, and tons of people are experienced with the technique. Since more people are familiar with the workout some owners will now hold "teacher auditions." During the auditions each applicant is given some type of set up for class to memorize, and say it on the mic to music. Owners do this to see if there is raw talent there, their form, and if they have the musicality. If they are picked to be sent to training I've noticed that some studios I've worked at have the new teacher pay for some/ or all of the training + traveling expenses. This can easily add up to over 1k for the trainee to pay. I've also seen that at some studios the money will be paid back to the trainee after working X amount of time. I seriously feel so fortunate that I never had to pay for any of my 4 trainings because there's no way I would have been able to swing paying that kind of money while being a newly wed when I first started teaching. 
  3. What's training like?
    • When you get sent to training you'll either go for 3-5 days in Denver or Spartanburg. I went for 5 days in Colorado because I was apart of a new studio, and that was apart of protocol 6 years ago. When a new instructor is sent from an existing studio then they only have to go 3 days. I always laugh when I say this, but my first day of training was the first time I've ever done a Pure Barre class. It wasn't just me either, the majority of the trainees there from different states had never taken a class before just because Pure Barre was still in it's growing phase. During training you are given a manual that has everything you need to know about running class, and is your bible for the next few months. Training lasts almost 8 hours everyday where you go over set ups, musicality, corrections, and etc. During training you are given a lunch break for an hour, but also make sure you bring snacks to keep your energy up throughout the day. I absolutely loved trainings because I got to know my fellow Draper team, and we had a blast outside of training (pictures below ;) ). My trip to Denver is definitely something I'll never forget . When you get back from training you need to pass a test out to be certified. This consists of you being filmed teaching a mock class with a few people. That is then sent to corporate where they pass or fail you to be certified. If you don't pass the test out you can always resubmit another video. 
  4. How long did it take you to get comfortable teaching?
    • Oh gosh.... I think it was a few months. The more I taught the more I didn't have to rely as much on my manual. Just like anything it takes practice practice practice! I'm at the point in my teaching career where I know the class like the back of my hand. 
  5. How would you describe your style of teaching?
    • Energy Energy Energy. I'm naturally very energetic, and bring that to all of my classes. I try to teach a class that has a style that I would enjoy if I was a client taking my class.  My style now is completely different from when I first started because I have evolved and grown as a teacher. Since I have worked at so many different studios with moving I have benefitted so much from it because I pick up something new, and incorporate that into my style. When taking my class you can expect fast transitions, and hardly ever a break between sections because I like to keep the heart rate elevated. One of the things I take great pride in teaching is that I am extremely comfortable with touching people, and correcting form. Even though my class is face paced, I stop, and take the time with each client to put them in the correct form. Form to me comes first above everything else, and is the ground work for a safe and efficient workout. 
  6. What was your biggest challenge when learning to teach?
    • My biggest challenge was definitely hands on corrections, and touching people. We all have our personal space, and back away when people enter that space unannounced. I never wanted to intrude on someone's personal space so learning to get over that mental barrier was a big obstacle for me. Luckily I had Stephanie who pushed me to continuously work on correcting people. In Utah I learned how to correct, but when I moved to Arizona that is where I learned to touch. I worked for a sister duo in Arizona , Veronica and Marirose, and Marirose really inspired me. When she would conduct class she would tap a client on some place on their body, as a nonverbal way to say "good job." Now this may sound so simple, but that touch of approval is actually really powerful. I have incorporated that in my classes since, and my clients love it. Another thing I'm continuously working on is slowly down my talking since I am a fast talker ;)
  7. Do you have to prep before teaching a class?
    • Yes most definitely. As a teacher you a provided with choreography from the corporate team, and you can pick and choose what to teach. When I first started teaching it felt like my prep time was an hour, and now it takes me 15 minutes to formulate my class. 
  8. How many times do you teach a week, and is there a set amount you need to do?
    • Currently I work for 2 franchisees in Dallas at 3 studios, and teach anywhere between 12-18 classes a week. Since I work from home I can teach as much as the studios will allow me to do. Each studio has a different minimum of what a teacher needs to work, but the standard is around 3 a week. 
  9. Can you live off just teaching?
    • I do get paid very well here in Dallas, but I still rely on the income from my blog and photography.
  10. If I want to start teaching what are some tips you can give me?
    • Definitely take class, and make yourself known at the studios. Owners want teachers who are able to connect with clients to create a community within their studios, and the more you able to connect with staff and clients is definitely a bonus. Also another tip is to send the owner an email saying why you would love to become a teacher. This puts you on the owners radar, and you never know if that owner is in demand for more teachers. 
  11. I'm a new teacher what are some tips you can give me to make me a better teacher?
    • First and foremost is to always walk into class with a positive attitude because your energy sets the tone for a clients day. Some people use fitness as a way to decompress, and you want that client to walk into a positive experience. 
    • Practice practice practice!!!! When I first started teaching (still do when I'm driving to the studio) I would spit out choreo to the beat of the music whenever I was in the car. By saying it and hearing it will help it stick in your brain. 
    • Make sure you talk with every new client that comes to the studio, and break down what they need to know for class. 
    • Eliminate the flash cards. I've watched a studio raise their teachers to rely on flash cards, and becomes such a crutch that is hard to break. 
    • Smile :)
    • Have fun :)
    • Be patient with yourself. Rome wasn't built in a day.
    • Take other group fitness classes to pick up cues that you can use in your own classes.
    • Take a class from every teacher in your studio regularly because this is going to help you pick up cues, and memorize class format faster. 
    • Work with the lead teacher if one is available at your studio.
    • Let your personality shine. Make your style a reflection of you. I love classes where I can see the teachers personality shine through because it keeps that class unique. 


  1. This was so interesting. I hope the Pure Barre hype will arrive soon in Germany!

    1. That would be amazing if they went to Germany! We are already all in the US, and some in Canada! They also do PB on demand, and you can do the workout online. The intensive videos are actually pretty good!

  2. I even have been getting a lot of helpful and informative material in your web site.
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  3. WOW! you are really amazing for writing this with honesty and great advice to inspire everyone who wants to become a PB instructor! I have been attending the one at Short Hills New Jersey for a while now, and I love it! I will get to my 250 class soon and I am really excited. I was thinking about becoming an instructor, but I can totally relate to the personal space you were mentioning, and touching people, but I think I can overcome that, also, I have an "accent" because I was born in Peru, but I speak English since I was 6, my pronunciation is great, and I have been living in the U.S for almost 5 years, but from time to time I get a bit nervous to talk because I am afraid someone will know I am a foreigner!! lol I know its silly, but yeah, I hope one day I get enough confidence to write the owners an email, and maybe I could apply to become a pure barre instructor! that would bring me so much happiness, pure barre has taught me so much about believing in myself, love my body for what is capable of, and become stronger! Thanks again for writing such inspiring advice! ♥

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