External Influences - Going Beyond the Barre
Opening your eyes to a world beyond barre is vital - even if you are a barre-obsessive and your life has been transformed by it - trust us, we know!
Social media can be a help and a hindrance and the first rule of Instagram is that comparison is the thief of joy. Be informed of what your competitors are doing, take inspiration from content that you see and that you consider to be of value. But never, EVER plagiarise it.
Your most valuable asset is YOU. Your story to what brought you to here and it is entirely unique to you. But we all get creative blocks sometimes.
Instead of copying what you might see on another account similar to yours (but most likely with more followers), cast the net out wider. Look to different movement disciplines. What can you learn from them - and what could their audience learn from what you have to offer? Research common movement ‘problems’ and consider solutions - you can guarantee that they will apply in some way to the general population.
Visit Studios as widely as you can, if you visit a new country, make it your mission to find a barre Studio. Learn from the bad as much as the good. Write notes. Reflect. Don’t be immediately lead by someone else. Read your subject, take a new course, consult the experts directly, then think about how you could weave some of that rich knowledge into your content.
Experience other forms of physical training yourself. It will benefit you physically and expose you to a more realistic view of how your clients ‘consume’ exercise and how/where your workouts may fit into that. If you know that a number of your clients also attend a nearby spin studio, visit that studio and take a class. Instead of seeking to find fault with it and attempting to lure clients away, accept that this is their choice and consider how your barre instruction could help support their spin training and keep them out of injury.
Having a broader base of training for yourself will also help build your strength, stamina and resilience to a higher level for teaching. Remember to schedule rest days for your body to avoid burn out, never EVER fall into the trap of teaching on one side every time you demonstrate (this is a fast track to injury), rest your voice as much as you can - and make sure you have personal boundaries in place between you and your clients. While you may wish to have a friendly relationship with your clients, they are your clients, not your friends. Sharing too much about yourself can become intrusive and exhausting.
Oh, and avoid the temptation to fall in love with a new form of exercise yourself and steal/borrow elements of it to introduce to your classes. Hula hooping has no place in a barre class - we know this from personal experience!