I know. I’m getting ready for the game too. 🙂
I’m also getting ready for Xtend Barre Huntsville to open this Saturday. The process has been long and we’ve done A LOT of work. But there is so much work to be done that has NOTHING to do with instructors practicing cueing, choreography or cute little sayings to sprinkle throughout class. It has to do with changing culture. It’s time to change the CULTURE of how we see ourselves and who can and cannot take a barre class.
I’ll start with me.
I am a non-ballerina with thick thighs and a big butt. I can remember a time when I walked into a barre studio feeling like I was the LAST person on Earth that should have been in there. The truth is the stares could have been because I was the only Black person in the building. The stares could have been because I had the only non-luxury vehicle in the parking lot. To me, because I walked IN with issues, they were staring at me because of my body.
Barre is for thin girls.
I know way too many people believe this to be true because I cannot tell you how many people have told me how excited they are to see me teach at Xtend Barre Huntsville (#thickgirlsrepresent) but they would NEVER come in there because they are too big, too awkward and don’t move like a dancer.
Let me be the FIRST to say that THESE are the people I want in my class.
I’ve said it before and I will say it a million times. Part of my attraction and loyalty to Xtend Barre Hunstville is Michelle Steed herself. Michelle is the owner and she made it VERY clear that Xtend Barre Huntsville is welcoming and open to ALL TYPES, all day, all the time.
I know. You’ve heard that before. I get it. I’m not “just like you.” I AM you. I spent way too many years (even as a fitness professional) uncomfortable with how I looked IN COMPARISON to other people INSTEAD of just keeping my eyes on my goal. If you have a goal, we want to help you reach it. If you are afraid to come to class (that fear is real. I’ve been there too), hit me up in advance and if I’m not teaching, I’ll take the class with you. Your body type has NOTHING to do with your right to reach your goals. Your mindset, however, will keep you from getting there.
If you have knees, you can plié.
If you have toes, you can point and tendu.
If you have hands, you can do push-ups.
If you have a mid-section, you can work on your abs.
Remember this: Bodies change. When we learn to push through, become secure in who we are through the changes, become less occupied with what other people think of us, we become unstoppable. Once those things are etched in our hearts and we KNOW we can do it, those guts, that courage, well, it never changes.
See you at the barre!