06 Feb 9 Questions with BurnAlong Instructor Ann Marie Barbour
We’re very excited to introduce you to Ann Marie Barbour, she along with her business partner, Stacey Vandiver, own SoulBody and are the creators of the SoulBody BARRE, SoulBody Barre Unhitched, and SoulBody Power programs — all of which you can find on BurnAlong! They personally teach at multiple studios and clubs around Baltimore and have over 300 SoulBody Instructors (their SQUAD) teaching their SoulBody programs found in over 80 plus clubs across the U.S. — and now in throughout Canada, Spain and Egypt with global expansion on the horizon!
Take them on your own, or LIVE with friends you invite.
Let’s dive in and get to know Ann Marie a little better:
- What do you teach? Stacey and I (AM) teach all of our programs. Stacey choreographs the SoulBody BARRE program and I choreograph the SoulBody Barre Unhitched program. We both choreograph our third program SoulBody Power and have just hired new program directors to take the lead on this as we are busy expanding and growing the business! We are proud of our Power Class, it’s a 30 minute one and done. No props, just 30 minutes of HIIT with great toning blocks for that full body burn!
- How did you get into fitness? I fell into fitness over 14 years ago with a LOVE for Group Exercises, then got into Pilates and discovered BARRE. Together with Stacey we saw a need for a more consistent progressive BARRE program within larger clubs so we created SoulBody!
- How do you motivate yourself? I plan the night before, mark my calendar, set the alarm for ANYTHING I need to do. I completely focus on the task, try not to get sidetracked, I get it done and then off to the next job or adventure!
- How do you motivate others? I love being in front of the studio floor teaching, motivating, inspiring through movement. I connect with my class and those I work with by really being in the moment. We at SoulBody have a great vested SQUAD of instructors, we ARE THE MOVEMENT.
- In your classes, how do you accommodate different skill and fitness levels? That is the HARDEST thing. You really do need to be a skilled teacher/instructor to teach, motivate and inspire ALL fitness levels. We at SB always show progressions and modifications – trust me the modifications are still challenging! Our SoulBody Teacher Trainings (which you can find and register for on our website at www.soulbodyonline.com) really teaches those fine skills of not only learning the proper body alignment to effectively execute the exercises, but also how to connect, cue, correct, motivate and cater to ALL FITNESS LEVELS. It’s a lot to do while teaching to the beat of the music, demonstrating the exercises and walking around the room to ensure proper form. All of our classes are choreographed to amazing music, we support original artists, this makes it FUN for both instructors as well as class participants. We pride ourselves on our Teacher Trainings and have built an amazing SQUAD of vested instructors who help us lead the charge to “Inspire through Movement!”
- What are the top 3 exercises you recommend for every client? Planks, lunges, core work! I love the Pilates Core Mat series. The core drives the force for everything we do, even reaching for a glass in the cupboard. Core stability and protection of the spine is KEY to an active lifestyle for years to come! Lunges rock and create great legs and a lifted seat, I lunge every chance I get!
- How can people best prepare for your classes? Having body awareness is KEY. Being fit helps and having flexibility and strength from other classes they take such as a lifting class, Pilates, cardio classes or running/biking/swimming can all help. BUT Body awareness is king! Knowing what your body is doing from head to toe during class, being mindful of what muscles you are recruiting during each exercise, ensuring proper body position and having knowledge of technique helps. THIS COMES WITH TIME, but just wrapping your head around the importance of what the entire body is doing during one exercise is KEY! The more you do SoulBody Barre classes the more your body will understand.
- Who are your heroes and role models? Of course Jane Fonda and Lotte Berk, they were the pioneers of exercises related to dance and ballet. Lotte created her method in 1959 drawing on ballet moves but really focused on the idea of building core stability. Now many of her students have taken these fundamental principles and spun off their own unique BARRE programs, SoulBody is one of them because the principles of not only dance and ballet but yoga, pilates and body strength exercises are so beneficial to the body for everything from strength, to flexibility, to balance and posture. Of course we at SoulBody have a more athletic approach with Cardio Surges, but still adhere to the core principles Lotte created. And we still wear leggings just like Jane!
- What exercise challenge would you encourage people to do? My challenge would be two-fold – Exercise or move your body at least three times a week. Either go to the gym and take a class, jump on BurnAlong and join in on a class or two or get outside with your kids, dogs, friends and walk, hike and move. Bodies are meant to MOVE! My second challenge is to stay away from processed foods. Treat your body like a temple. There are so many man-made foods made in factories, give your body a break from these foods that the body can’t process and just eat clean. MOVE and EAT CLEAN – pretty simple stuff:)
You can find all of SoulBody’s classes on BurnAlong, including two of their newest classes SoulBody Barre Unhitched, led by Ann Marie, and SoulBody BARRE led by Stacey and SoulBody Power 2018 led by BOTH creators along with their team!