Updated: Jul 6, 2022
If you're one of the (apparently) many people out there searching for the answer to this question, you'll be relieved to know that you are in the right place!
15 years ago, there was only one place to train in the UK and that was at the Lotte Berk Studio in London (as I did in 2007). If you were happy to go a little further afield (or quite a LOT further afield) as I also did, you'd have to go to New York to find what you could call a 'barre scene'. It was there that I discovered how this beautiful method could be updated, how it could be taught with a faster, more dynamic pace - and of course with all the vigour of a Manhattanite.
It was a privilege to be able to take my Lotte Berk foundations and add a hefty serving of NY stamina courtesy of Exhale Teacher Training in New York City. Add to that, becoming the first non-ballet Student (and certified teacher of) the New York City Ballet Workout, following a 5-day residency at the Lincoln Centre and I had all the ingredients I needed to create and deliver my very own Teacher Training programme back home - all the essential elements I knew were not available anywhere else.
At the time, I had become good friends with a client attending classes at my Studio. She just happened to be the Lead Physiotherapist for the Team GB Canoeing, soon to be competing at the London 2012 Olympics. She suggested bringing her athletes to some sessions so they could train in a completely different way, understand timing and sequencing, promote use of their slow twitch muscle fibres, not to mention flexibility and strength - albeit a very different stimulus to that which they were used to!
I was totally overwhelmed at the prospect, but of course they LOVED it. They came again and again and immersed themselves in a completely different way of training their bodies. And through the process, Katherine (my physio friend) and I started to put language to the bio-mechanics of barre and to understanding its unique effects. This became the basis for the first independently-endorsed Barre Instructor Training Programme in the UK.
PD:Approval have accredited and endorsed our programme since its inception in 2013. We have certified hundreds of Barre Instructors over the years and to this day, competition in the market remains limited. Our course stands apart, not just because our content and knowledge is industry leading, technical and based on years of analysis and application across a variety of populations, but also because we DON'T teach you a set formula, nor do we ask you to sign a license agreement. We teach you what we know, what we know WORKS and then we let you create your own unique 'brand' of barre with a solid foundation of knowledge and a variety of skills in place to support you. And if that foundation falters at any point, we're here to support you with mentorship, re-certification options and general business support resources.
So 'how do you become a Barre Instructor'?
Do your research. Find out what style of Barre you enjoy and would like to teach, visit those studios or do their online workouts.
Find out what the course content is. Will you just be expected to learn a routine and repeat that for 6 weeks until the next release, or will you actually learn the skills YOU need to create your now un-ending class variations (hint, head to our 'enrol' now link if this is your preference!)
Work out how much time you will need to dedicate to the course you choose. And beware of what seem like easy short-cuts, that turn out to be a waste of time (and money). You really do get what you pay for. Ring-fence the time you will need, so you increase your chances of certifying and work out how you will manage/juggle your other priorities (work, family etc.,) people do this all the time, so it IS possible, but it will take effort. Be prepared to put that work in.
Do as many barre workouts yourself as you can. It's only by performing the movements that you will truly master them and be able to teach them to others. But in doing this, you'll inevitably come across some workouts that aren't for you. That don't hit the mark in terms of intensity or professionalism. There is barre and there is BARRE. Find out what does and doesn't satisfy your expectations and learn from it.
PRACTISE! There is only ONE way to get good at anything. And that's to practise it regularly. There is a huge difference between being a superb barre student (client) and a knockout Barre Instructor. One doesn't necessarily follow the other. Don't take for granted that it will come easily and without dedication. Nothing good ever came from easy!
Book your spot! Head to our Instructor Training Booking page to enrol, or visit our testimonials page to read reviews from past Trainees. We hope to meet you on a workshop very soon!