As everyone should know by now I’m a sucker for trying new things + attending launch parties. Is it just me or does attending launch parties make you feel like you’re a cool kid in town (maybe that’s just me). Anyways the newest barre studio, Barre Belle, opened up a few weeks ago on 4th street. I attended the lovely launch party on March 2 which featured wine and appys as well as a Fond Boutique + Adidas fashion show. It was great to see the community come together to support and celebrate the ladies of Barre Belle.

What is barre? It is a full body workout based on dance principles. So lots of plié basically in the different feet positions. It is great for building long, lean muscle and a really nice butt. I struggle with it because I am used to sticking my butt out for squats – but it’s been good for me to concentrate on form and tone out my legs.

barre4Barre Belle was founded by Jill Belland and Kristi Stewart, two badass boss ladies. I had a chance to chat with them about their passion for barre and the development the beautiful studio. Both ladies grew up dancing but had to retire at the ripe age of 24 due to the stress dance puts on the body. 

What was your first barre experience?

J: I actually came across it while hosting a show (I’m a host on Breakfast Television ) we had done a feature on barre and I fell in love with it!

How did Barre Belle come to be? Where did the name come from?

Kristi and I were teaching at different studios and we started the conversation on how we evolve what was being offered and make it into our own offering. We started brainstorming and came up with the class formats.

The name “Barre Belle” was on a shortlist of names we had compiled, we did a survey among our girlfriends and it won. Our logo was created by the team at WAX!

“I am a super competitive person which makes me a very motivated person in general” (8)As with opening any type of business there are set backs but also daily motivations to keep moving forward. For the ladies at Barre Belle, the most rewarding part has been the ability to incorporate their love of fitness and teaching into a community that they have built. They are motivated by watching their students push themselves and reach their fitness goals. The energy that surrounds that kind of dedication is addicting and inspiring. “We feel honored that our clients are choosing to sweat with us!”

What has been the most challenging part?

Honestly it takes a village and we’ve been very fortunate to have an outstanding team to help us get Barre Belle off the ground and we really trusted our designer Aly Velji and contractor Sylvio LeBlanc to be experts in their field and it paid off.

We happily do laundry and clean floors because we’re so proud that it’s ours so no task is too small!

What keeps you motivated to workout?

The endorphins. The feeling of accomplishment. The sense of purpose. The creation of patterns and playlists. It’s a creative expression to put a class together and share it with a community so that is very motivating. Even if you feel tired or not up to it, getting your sweat on will always make you feel better.

What is your best advice for maintaining a healthy lifestyle?

Balance is key. We try to sweat every day and make mostly healthy choices but let’s face it, there’s nothing wrong with having a treat or an indulgence once in a while. It’s more important to have realistic expectation and feel happy about life!

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Barre is absolutely amazing – you need to sign up for a class ASAP.  The ladies at Barre Belle will get your heart rate going and your legs burning, you can thank them later (like 3 days later), after you can walk again. Visit their website to sign up, follow them on Instagram, and like them on Facebook.


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