Angela Vieira Interview: The Barre + Yoga Experience

Her Campus Bryant was lucky enough to have the chance to sit down with Angela Vieira, a young Barre instructor who is opening up her own studio, The Barre + Yoga Experience, here in Smithfield, RI. She was excited to share her journey as an instructor and entrepreneur, as well as what has inspired her to take this plunge.

 

HC: How did you first get introduced to Barre?

AV: The first time I tried barre I went to a studio in Rehoboth called Mind Body Barre. I had always really loved heavy lifting, but my joints usually hurt afterwards. When I discovered Barre I had finally found a workout where I thought to myself, “Wow, everything feels good. I started going to classes faithfully, and my instructors saw that I really excelled and asked if I would want to become an instructor, too. I ended up becoming certified two and a half years ago, and have been teaching classes about two times a week. I was always itching to teach more and more; it was all I thought about.

 

HC: What exactly is Barre?

AV: Great question: So, Barre originally stems from ballet. The way I like to describe it is that it is full of small movements that target all of your smaller muscle groups. It is focused on isometric movements that really work on elongating the muscles and building strength that way. We use a maximum of 4lb weights, traditionally 2-3lbs, and it’s all about building resistance using your own body weight. Since it is not exactly high impact, it is the type of workout that works for people of all ages.

HC: You said you’ve been teaching for two and a half years – so what is your favorite part about being an instructor?

AV: This one is pretty easy – the best part about being an instructor is the feeling you get when you see someone do something that they did not think they could do. It’s such a good feeling to see them be so proud of themselves. Especially at a Barre studio, it’s not about losing weight – that is not talked about in this studio – it’s about being proud of who you are and looking in the mirror and loving the person that stares back at you: that is the best feeling. When I see clients who would never wear just a sports bra and shorts come into the studio wearing just sports bras and little shorts…that means they built the confidence that they needed. Their body might look exactly the same, but they have the confidence now and that’s what is important.

 

HC: What inspired you to open up your own studio?

AV: As I said earlier, I was “eat, sleep, breathe, dream, Barre”. I worked at Fidelity Investments as a financial analyst – and not to knock that career, but it just wasn’t for me. I longed every day for that interaction with people, and when I was teaching I had that. I toggled around with the idea for about a year, and I found every excuse in the book as to why it was the wrong time: “I’m planning my wedding”, “Oh now we have our honeymoon…”, it was just never a “good time”. Right before I turned 30 I went up to Boston with my best friend, and we planned a day of fitness. At the end of the day she turned to me and said, “What are you doing? You’re such a good instructor! You shine up there!”, and then it really clicked for me, what the hell am I waiting for?

HC: Who has been your biggest supporter throughout this process so far?

AV: I’ve had so many it’s hard for me to choose! Definitely my husband; we just got married not even a year ago, and we barely see each other because I’m always working on this. He has been my rock through everything. I have to say my friends, some of which are going to be instructors, have really been there for me. I mean, my best friend was the one who truly pushed me to do this. Everyone is just really rooting for me and that’s such a huge inspiration.

 

HC: What have been your biggest challenges so far?

AV: Working a full time job and doing this has been so challenging, I can’t even put words to it. This is so much more than I ever thought it was going to be. I’m kind of glad that no one told me how much work opening a business was, because I don’t know if I would have thought I was strong enough to do it. There’s been a lot of hard days – opening a business in Rhode Island is not easy – so that’s definitely been my biggest challenge. But, my support system is everything and they’ve been so great through this entire process.

HC:  What would you tell someone who has never attended a Barre class before to entice them to attend their first class?

AV: I would tell them Barre is made for all types of people, whether you have no dance background, no fitness experience – it does not matter. There’s modifications provided throughout the whole class, because it is made for all fitness levels. It is very low impact so if you’re completely new you do not have to worry about injuring yourself!

 

Check out The Barre + Yoga Experience during their Grand Opening (March 17-18) where they will be holding free (that’s right, free!) classes all weekend. Visit www.thebarreandyogaexperience.com to check out their prices, class schedule, and book your first class today!