By Gretel Lee
Ever wanted to know what it’s like to go through the WeBarre Instructor Training Programme? Four of the most recent graduates share more about their experiences.
The WeBarre Instructor Training Programme is an in-depth, rigorous and intensive dive into all things Barre totaling a whooping 65 hours of training. Spread over 5 intensive days power-packed with over 35 hours of in-person training, you can expect to learn the choreographed moves that comprise this lovingly crafted method, anatomy, musicality and injury management in a fun and interactive environment. The training programme culminates into trainees teaching their very first 60-minute WeBarre Signature Multi-Level class to friends and family before graduating.
Sounds fun? Meet four graduates from the latest batch of the training programme. Read on for the low down if you’ve ever wondered what the training entails.
Why did you join instructor training?
Aishah: I started Barre classes at the end of last year and soon developed a passion for it when I found myself attending classes almost daily. The more I attended classes, the more I wanted to understand the underlying principles and mechanics of Barre. I found the exercises fun, engaging and effective, and achieved my body goals because of Barre.
Grace: I had been doing Barre daily for a few months then, but got to a really low point in my life and had to clear my mind and find something to focus and work on. More than ever, I wanted to become stronger than I was despite having scoliosis, to prove that every girl could be strong both physically and mentally.
Leianne: I’ve always been a dancer and fitness enthusiast. Out of all the Barre studios I’ve been to, WeBarre stood out with its rigorous, all-rounded classes and super warm instructors. WeBarre was the highlight of my day and I wanted to be an instructor to bring the same experience to other people!
Rebecca: Joining instructor training for me was a courageous just-do-it moment! I first tried Barre while I was in Sydney and ended up loving it so much I spent two weeks in the studio every morning while I was there. Coming from a dance background, WeBarre’s classes felt like home. The ballet bits to Barre plus the community spirit really drew me to Webarre and I wanted to be a part of it.
What were your biggest takeaways from training?
Aishah: I have learnt that clients come with different levels of fitness and capabilities. I have to be aware and sensitive to the slightest reaction from them, be it a smile, or needing to give a postural variation or regression. Pretty obvious, but it’s easier said than done!
Grace: Learning about my body and starting to be self-loving, to understand how everybody’s physique is unique. I’ve become more aware of the people around me and learnt why people have different postures through lifestyle habits and how to help correct them and provide modifications. I’ve also become more confident in how I talk in a crowd.
Leianne: Teaching is so much harder than it looks because you have to multitask. You have to be extremely perceptive of yourself first in maintaining form, rhythm and voice. Then expand that circle to your students: Am I visible to everyone? Is anyone having trouble with a move? How can I correct quickly and effectively to benefit the entire class? Where are the students’ energy at and how can I shift the energy? And then there is the need to remember the routine, be aware of time, and do random things like adjust the fan and aircon!
Rebecca: I never knew I could walk out of training with the capacity to hold a class! When I had my first round of teaching demos in training, I was pretty much a ball of anxiety. But with how dynamic the syllabus was in aiding and teaching us an effective way to instruct, it was something I managed to grasp before even realising it. The structure provided was a good skeleton to work with and build on my own personality when teaching.
Do you have any best memories? What are they?
Aishah: The “mannequin” challenge where we had to hold our “Arabesque” move while Anabel and Gretel came to correct our alignment. We must have stood still for at least 15 minutes, but I think we all pretty much got our Arabesques right after that!
Grace: Sharing with my barre-dies each morning how we were aching from the previous days’ exercises! Call me sadistic but it’s a really satisfying burn!
Leianne: Rushing for lunch and doing our teaching routine in the restaurant to get feedback from fellow trainees. We didn’t care if people were watching. The stress was not funny and fun at the same time!
Rebecca: My teaching demo class where I had to plan a whole class and teach it to my friends! Frankly, I never knew I could train my body to be strong enough to conduct an hour long class and teach it at the same time.
How have you changed after training?
Aishah: I realise that after the training, Barre classes are more immersive and educational, and I gain more from each workout. I am more disciplined during my own practice at home, which is useful during the circuit breaker while attending virtual classes from home.
Grace: I learnt a lot about myself through the course. I’ve become a better speaker and am more disciplined in my form. Every moment is still vivid to me with Gretel and Anabel emphasising certain muscle engagements during training, it has become ingrained in me. More than a workout, it’s a lifestyle that I enjoy.
Leianne: I definitely have more courage now. You never know what you can do until you do it. I’m also more precise and rigorous while attending classes, getting the most out of being a student while absorbing tips from other instructors to prepare for (hopefully) the day I can become a full-fledged WeBarre instructor.
Rebecca: Post-training, I am confidence-charged and have so much respect for anyone in this industry. If anything, it has made me happier and I feel encouraged to have dived deep into the new and unknown because you’ll never know what can come out of it.
What advice would you give anyone joining training or thinking of doing so?
Aishah: You definitely should, because why not? Whether you plan to teach or not, the training is a methodical way of understanding the principles of the method.
Grace: Study hard, hydrate and enjoy the process!
Leianne: Just do it and have no regrets. Even if your first try isn’t great you’re going to improve in many little ways. You’ll be with your fellow trainees who will turn out to be good people, willing to help, encourage each other and ‘suffer’ together.
Rebecca: It’s important to dedicate time to the training programme. It requires effort and work so making the time to immerse yourself in the learning will change the experience! And don’t feel intimidated if you don’t have a background in dance or Barre. We all start somewhere!
If you’re ready to bring your Barre practice up the next level, e-mail our Training Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org for more deets. We can’t wait to see you this July for our next training session!