A former professional dancer and choreographer, Andrea Rogers is no stranger to discipline. But when she left the world of pro dancing, Andrea found herself struggling to find a fitness outlet that would allow her to combine serious conditioning with artistic movement. With no obvious solution, Andrea decided to create her own.
Dance Meets Pilates
Andrea’s workout routine during her dance career consisted of dancing seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. Looking to add an extra element of conditioning to her routine, she began practicing Pilates, which she says many dancers use as a supportive tool for their dancing.
“At the time,” she said, “nobody really knew what Pilates was. It wasn’t mainstream yet. Then it started to become more popular throughout the years, so after my professional career in dance, it was a natural transition to segue into the Pilates industry and develop a career there.”
Andrea taught classical Pilates for a few years before she began craving the creativity that she had enjoyed when she was dancing or choreographing. Recognizing an opportunity to combine her experience in Pilates with her background in and passion for dance, Andrea created Xtend Barre.
Based on the fundamentals of Pilates and the flair of dance, Xtend Barre is a full-body workout that focuses on fusing cardio-driven choreography with exercises meant to condition. The ultimate result is a fast-paced fitness approach that simultaneously strengthens the body while burning serious calories.
“We focus very much on strengthening the body,” Andrea said about the Xtend Barre approach. “There’s also a focus on lengthening through stretching and proper form, technique and positioning. But we also add a cardio element so that we really get the heart rate up and are burning calories. Clients can leave feeling like they don’t need to go and take another class to get in their cardio for the day.” Plus, no two Xtend Barre classes are exactly the same as the instructors constantly switch up the choreography of movements, which keeps the classes interesting for clients.
The best part is that no prior dance, or even fitness, experience is required to reap the benefits of the workout. While signature classes at Xtend Barre incorporate movements and exercises that can be easily modified according to individual workout level, specific course offerings like the Xtend Barre technique class cater specifically to beginners. By moving at a slower pace and honing technique, the class helps newbies break down each individual movement and learn the fundamentals of each routine before working their way up to a more advanced level. Supplemental programs, including HIIT-focused classes and classes for kids, further expand Xtend Barre’s range of offerings for all fitness levels.
Building the Franchise
Since the first Xtend Barre studio opened, franchises have mushroomed across the globe, with over 70 new studios popping up worldwide in the past three years. Naturally, a huge part of this success has been Xtend Barre’s unique approach to fitness, as well as its ability to cater its workouts to a broad audience. Another, though, has been the high standard of instruction that leads to lasting results for clients.
An extensive education and training program by which instructors can learn the Xtend Barre approach not only keeps workouts effective, but maintains that consistent standard of fitness across all studios.
“Every instructor has to attend a five day, 38-hour extensive Xtend Barre training,” says Andrea. “From there, they have to put in additional hours of practice before they’re tested out.”
By the time instructors are leading their own classes, they are well-equipped with the tools and experience they need to teach within the boundaries of the Xtend Barre repertoire while having the freedom to incorporate their own personality into their classes.
A healthy lifestyle is as much about diet and nutrition as it is about fitness, and for Andrea, a key to success when it comes to eating well has always been striking a balance. Rather than getting hung up on diets and deprivation, her focus has instead been on enjoying everything in moderation.
“I obviously try to get in a lot of fruits and vegetables,” she says about her diet. “I also do a lot of protein because my body thrives on it.”
As someone who is constantly on the go, Andrea says that another major component of making sure that she’s getting the proper nutrition are her vitamins, which are her “tool to surviving each morning.”
For Andrea, though, balance goes so far beyond diet. It is a philosophy that translates into all parts of her life, especially as she constantly juggles her roles as a business owner and fitness instructor with her roles as a mother, wife, and friend, among others.
“You have to be honest with yourself in terms of what your goals are and what sacrifices you are willing to make,” she said. “You will never be able to do everything 100 percent, and you have to be okay with that.”
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