The 7 learning styles: What type of learner are you?

There’s a lot to learn in the IBBFA training manual. We learn about counting music, how to cue exercises, ballet terminology, as well as how and when to give students modifications and challenges.

Utilizing different learning styles is key to finding success as you go through your instructor training. There are seven different learning styles, they are: auditory, visual, tactile (kinesthetic), verbal, logical, social and solitary. So, what type of learner are you?

If you don’t already know your preferred learning style, take a short quiz online (we use this one) to discover your learning tendencies. Knowing what learning methods work best for you will help you make sense of what you are learning and help retain the material better.

Read each of the seven learning styles below to see which one(s*) is a good fit for you. *It’s possible more than one option applies to you!

Auditory learners

You think the videos and lectures provided in the Barre Level 1 online course are super helpful!

Tips: To help guide you through the material, you may want to skim the written material first, watch all related videos second, and then closely read through the material again to catch things you missed before.

When teaching, it may be helpful to record your class and listen to the cues you provide. Make sure they are clear and audible trough the entire class.

Visual learners

The photographs in the manual help you make sense of it all.

Tips: Use the photographs in the Level 1 manual to help guide through the step-by-step instructions for each exercise.

When building a class outline, use visual cues like arrows or brackets to inform you how the class flow will go. Creating more of a flow chart than traditional outline may make it easier for you to keep track during your classes.

Tactile learners

You can’t learn a new exercise without trying it out yourself.

Tips: When going through the learning materials in your instructor training, you may want to clear out some space to actually perform the exercises when learning how to set up, modify and correct errors.

This is also a helpful learning style as a student. Remember to take some time to allow students to feel and really notice the difference between correct and incorrect form.

Here’s an example an exercise to help student find proper alignment:

1. Have the student stand in a parallel position and arch their back so the tailbone reaches backwards.

2.Tuck the pelvis to reach the tailbone under the body and then forward.

3. Finally, have students find a middle ground where the tailbone is heavy to the floor and the spine is in a neutral position.

If you tried the exercise after reading, you are probably a tactile learner.

Verbal learners

Are you reading this aloud or to a friend?

Tips: If you are a verbal learner, you may enjoy going through the program with another instructor. Discuss each chapter and ask questions along the way.

Since the IBBFA barre certification program is 100% online, you may find the support team to be beneficial. You can call or email them with any questions at: +1 (888)-215-0101 or

Logical learners

The anatomical explanations of the exercises and postures are your favorite part of the IBBFA manual.

Tips: Logical learners tend to find patterns or reason in what they are learning. Many instructor trainings simply provide choreography with no reason for why an exercise works targeted muscles. As a logical learner, be sure you understand why exercises are set up in certain ways. You will learn how to set up from the ground up. Perhaps flashcards with quick set-ups and targeted body parts will help you keep track of the many variations for each exercise.

Your class structure should have some reason and familiarity to it too. When you begin to design your classes, keep things consistent. Students will appreciate the ability to know what to expect in class.

Social learners

You believe one of the best ways to train as instructor is to put yourself in the shoes of your students.

Tips: One of the final steps to becoming barre certified is to film yourself teaching a mock class with one student. Make this a fun event for the student you choose. Many people are nervous when teaching in front of a camera but use your student to provide feedback. Use someone you trust who will put energy into this experience. You only need to submit video footage of the actual exercises, but use the time with your student to test out different cues or phrases.

You can also take barre classes taught by other instructors. Stay after class to bounce ideas off one another and ask questions.

Solitary learners

You appreciate IBBFA’s self-paced, online course.

Tips: You will appreciate the individualized feedback after you submit your practical video exam. If you’ve already completed the course, go back and look at the reviewer’s comments every once and while and see what you can apply to your class.

Trust your gut. Your attention to detail allows you to anticipate the needs of your students and provide modification options throughout class.

So what do you think? Let us know how your instructor training is going, and if knowing your learning style has helped you find success.

10 summer infused water recipes

Summer is here, and we all know how important it is to stay hydrated. Especially when we are attending our favorite barre class, of course!

Drinking enough water can be difficult, but filling your favorite reusable water bottle with water and tasty fruits makes staying hydrated easy. IBBFA compiled a list of some delicious combinations to make your water anything but boring.

There are many benefits to drinking infused water besides the amazing taste. Drinking infused water helps to boost your metabolism, provide energy, flush toxins, and it can even satisfy your sweet tooth!

Pro tip: Try these recipes with coconut water instead of filtered tap water for some added flavor and extra potassium and sodium (electrolytes that help your body absorb water and retain hydration)!

Here’s the how-to:

Step 1: Grab your favorite water bottle, or jar.

Step 2: Add your choice of ice cold water or coconut water.

Step 3: Round up your favorite mixture of fruits and herbs.

Step 4: Let it sit in the fridge (the longer the water sits the better the flavor).

Step 5: ENJOY!

Pro tip: Keep ingredients pre-washed and cut and stored in fridge or freezer for easy access.

The recipes:

  1. Strawberry/Lemon
  2. Watermelon/Cucumber/Mint
  3. Lemon /Raspberry/Rosemary
  4. Strawberry/Mango
  5. Cucumber/Mint
  6. Raspberry/Blueberry
  7. Strawberry/Tangerine/Basil
  8. Raspberry/Lemon
  9. Pomegranate /Strawberry
  10. Orange/Kiwi

These are some of our favorites, but you can always experiment to find your perfect combination! We’d love to see you staying hydrated with infused water in your barre classes. Share pictures with us of your favorites and use #barrecertification!

Teacher Feature: Gina Harris

Taking a barre class with IBBFA-certified instructor Gina Harris is different from any other barre classes you’ve taken before. For starters, you may not be physically near her. She streams her classes online. But the real kicker? She’s on a boat.

Gina loves to travel just as much as she loves ballet-based fitness. Being a former dancer and barre enthusiast, Gina knew she wanted to become a certified barre instructor but was never in one place long enough to go to an in-person workshop. Then she found Barre Certification and we are so glad she did! Gina continues to travel and spread her philosophy of a “feel good” lifestyle everywhere she goes. We asked her a few questions about how she takes barre along for the ride.

What was your dance or fitness experience prior to getting barre certified?

I grew up dancing ballet and jazz. For ten years I spent more time in the studio than anywhere else! As many dancers do, I injured myself out of a career and after three years of physical therapy I decided to explore other avenues of fitness. I started running, strength training and fell in love with boxing! A boxing ballerina, can you imagine?!

Why do you love teaching barre?

Part of my rehab post-dance was barre. It was a safe place to regain physical strength and emotional courage after losing something I loved so much. For me, teaching barre is a way of giving back through an avenue that brought me so much joy!

What’s your favorite part of class– do you have a favorite exercise?

When my students yell “we’re shaking!” Haha! I like to mix the ballet exercises that I learned from years of training with high-intensity strength training for a “barre bootcamp” type of class. I love working the booty and am a huge fan of weighted leg presses at the barre. Who knew a three pound weight could build a perky tush?

How has barre impacted you and or your community?

No matter what has happened in my day or what mood I’m in, the second I walk in the door, I know I’ve got to show up. After a long day at work, my girls show up for themselves, they work their butts off and they give it their all. I have to give them my all. The energy that comes from so much dedication and positivity is priceless. I haven’t had a single class without cheering, laughter and a whole lot of sweat!

Tell us a little about your travels. Was choosing a certification program that is online and allows you to go at your pace important to your lifestyle?

Since 2010, I have been traveling on and off pretty regularly. I lived in France. I bought a sailboat and traveled over 10,000 miles from San Francisco to Fiji. I practiced meditation in Bali. I took a road-trip along the west coast. Since I’m hardly ever in one place, IBBFA’s online certification program couldn’t have been more practical for me! I was able to study on the plane, take my exams from a coffee shop in Portland and record my sample videos from Mexico. IBBFA made achieving a dream accessible to me in a way it otherwise wouldn’t be.

Any upcoming travels? How will you take barre along for the ride?

I am planning on heading back to Fiji for the summer where I will teach barre bootcamp classes via social media streaming from my sailboat! Anyone can benefit from a barre workout, no matter where they are!

Any current goals?

I work a lot to promote living a “feel good” life. Feeling good in your skin is so much more than eating healthy and working out. It’s a mindset– it’s dedication and acceptance. I’d love to organize workshops where I travel that help empower women to live a balanced, “feel good” life!

You can follow along with Gina’s travels and barre classes through her blog.

Barre and yoga, a good combination for some

We can’t deny the trend we’ve seen combining yoga techniques or stretches with barre exercises. Barre and yoga workouts go together like peanut butter and jelly for some. Others prefer one or the other. It’s not completely uncommon to find studios and gyms that offer both barre and yoga classes, but there is a difference in how those classes are being offered.

Some studios offer barre and yoga combination classes. IBBFA-certified barre instructor Chelsea Hanson teaches at Zenergy Pilates in Austin. She says her studio decided to create a barre and yoga combo class when one instructor was scheduled to teach a barre class followed by a yoga class and saw a divide in the clients who came on those days. The result was a 75-minute barre class with yoga techniques to improve flexibility.

“People like the class because it’s longer than the typical barre class (50 minutes) and they get some more flexibility work at the end with the yoga,” Hanson says. “I love being able to use the strength work and choreography in barre and add it to the breath and flow of a yoga class. I wish I could add 15 minutes of stretching to the end of every barre class!”

IBBFA-certified barre instructor Heidi Kambour says barre and yoga fusion, or combo classes, are becoming extremely popular at her studio. Heidi teaches a class called BARREyasa, the title of course is a play on “barre” and “vinyasa,” at the Lotus Loft Yoga Studio in Palm City, FL. She says the class starts as a traditional yoga class on the mat beginning with flows then weights are incorporated to some warrior flows. At the barre, the class starts with traditional barre routines, then Heidi brings yoga poses to the barre such as pigeon pose on the barre, tree pose relevés and cat/cow using the barre for support.

Some studios offer barre and yoga separately. IBBFA-certified barre instructor Lucie Beeley, teaches barre classes at her predominately yoga studio, 229Yoga in Albany, GA. She says adding barre classes to the studio simply made good business sense because they are the only boutique fitness provider in the area. And while the classes are separate, Lucie explains why taking both barre and yoga classes throughout the week provides a well-balanced fitness regime.

“Barre classes are excellent for toning and building lean muscle,” she says. “Yoga connects movement of the body and mind to enhance flexibility. Taking both classes provides a complete full-body enhancing fitness experience.”

The key to encouraging students to take both barre and yoga classes for those studios that offer them as separate classes is educating your clients. Lucie says at 229Yoga, they encourage yoga students to take barre and vice versa. “We also take into consideration each student’s goals and any physical limitation they might have and suggest classes based on those factors.”

Chelsea adds, offering combo classes is a way to introduce students to a new workout. “[Barre and yoga combo classes] are a nice change for those who primarily do barre classes, but also a nice intro into yoga for people who may not normally go to an entire 60 minute yoga class,” she says.

Whether barre and yoga are taught as separate classes or combo classes, there are some real benefits from offering both at your studio.

Ballet etymology: Plié

Learning the etymology of ballet words can help you visualize the intention of the position or exercise. It also makes for great trivia for your next class! Let’s dissect the word Plié [plee-ey].


What it looks like in ballet: A plié is very commonly seen in ballet. It is the bending of the knees. This exercise renders the joints and muscles soft and pliable and the tendons flexible.

Etymology: The word originated in 1890 France as a noun derived from past participle of the verb plier, meaning to bend, according to

How to use it in barre: Plié on demi pointe in parallel or first position (see Chapter 8 of the IBBFA Barre Certification Level 1 manual).

Other meanings of the word today: Plié is still the past participle of the verb plier (to bend) in French.

A peek inside our online certification program

Are you interested in becoming certified to teach barre, but you’re a little nervous to take the online course? Take a peek into our online certification course and learn just exactly it entails.

Barre Certification is a completely online, work at your own pace program, available internationally. This allows you to take as much time as you need on any given section. You have immediate access to all the materials once you sign up. The course will take you through 10 learning modules. Each module includes lecture and exercise videos and quizzes that correspond with chapters from the PDF manual. The quizzes at the end of each module are not graded, but rather there to help you absorb all the important information and prepare for the Final Written Exam.


The 10 modules will go over everything you need to know to be a top-notch barre instructor. They are:

1. Introduction
We want to get to know who are and vice versa!

2. ABC’s of Teaching Barre
You’ll learn the ins and outs of organizing a barre class.

3. Definitions & Terms

It is important that you know, pronounce and use the ballet terms correctly. Our glossary will help!

4. Posture, Feet & Form

Safety is our top priority here at IBBFA.

5. Upper Body Anatomy, Exercises and Stretches

6. Lower Body Anatomy, Exercises and Stretches

7. Core Anatomy, Exercises and Stretches

8. Common Cues

You’ll learn how to cue exercises and how to correct improper form.

9. Client Scenarios and Class Outlines

We’ll take you through some real client scenarios to prepare you for everything. You’ll learn how to create class outlines as well as receive some of our favorites.

10. Written Exam

You’ll complete multiple choice, timed comprehensive test. You must score an 80% or higher to move on to the Practical Video.

Practical Video

Once you pass the Written Exam, you will move on to the final step,  the Practical Exam. The Practical Exam is a video submission showcasing the skills you have learned throughout your training! No need to stress, we’ll talk you through it step by step. Once this has been successfully completed you will receive your certification!

This may seem like a lot, but we our goal is to train competent barre instructors who have a passion for fitness and value safety.

When you sign up for the Barre Certification program, you become a member of our community. We are always just a click or phone call away to answer your questions. We are rooting for you!

We love all of our instructors. We keep in touch way after the certification program is complete because we want to hear how you are using your certification– we know you have brilliant ideas!

You never truly stop learning, so we created additional certification courses to add to your repertoire. Increase the intensity of your barre classes with Levels 2 and 3. Or teach to special populations, like offering a special prenatal barre class to your pregnant clients.

We hope learning more about what our program looks like from the inside will curb your curiosity! As always, we are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

5 reasons to get barre certified online

There’s a better option than a rushed in-person weekend workshop to get your barre certification– an online program! Here are five reasons why you should get certified to teach barre online.

1. Turn your passion into a business

Whether you’ve loved ballet since you were a child, or you’ve been taking barre classes religiously, you have a passion that you can turn into a business. Ballet-based fitness is so hot right now! With more and more people become interested in barre, there’s a need for certified instructors. Talk to your studio or gym about adding barre classes to broaden opportunities and increase clientele. Not working at studio or gym? No problem! Pitch to facilities in the area that are not offering barre classes. Begin teaching private lessons or start your own studio. If you want to share your love for ballet-based fitness in your community, you owe it to yourself to take the next step.

2. You can do it anywhere

IMG_1118As long as you have a computer and internet connection, you can access the certification materials anywhere.  Barre Certification is completely online. There is no mailing out manuals or mailing in videos, everything is done with your convenience in mind. And help is only a click or call away. Our support crew answers questions thoroughly and quickly!

3. You can do it on your own time


You’re busy! Some days you can’t commit a few hours to completing the certification course, and that is okay! No need to stress because you set the pace. You are able to log in and out as you please and complete the course at times that work best with your schedule.

4. The community

Studio_BFF_Promo-49Not only is the team behind IBBFA Barre Certification cheering you on, but also other certified instructors. Through an online group, the entire IBBFA community shares insight, asks questions and encourages one another. Looking for a study buddy? There’s a studying group for instructors currently going through the program.

5. Endless possibilities

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 1.38.04 PMScreen Shot 2017-04-21 at 1.37.44 PMWith six courses to choose from, IBBFA has the most extensive barre training in the industry. All IBBFA barre certifications are independent certifications. There are no franchise or licensing fees. You are encouraged to take what you learned and create your own unique barre classes.


5 Ways Your Studio Can Give Back

Whether your studio or gym is in a small town or big city, it is important to make your community feel like you care. Creating opportunities to give to local charities is a great way to grow closer to your community and a fun way to get your clients involved. Here are a few easy, but immensely rewarding, examples of how your studio can give back!

Food or water drives

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 12.44.51 PM
IBBFA Barre Certification
Co-Founder Lisa Juliet’s Studio BFF in Mesa, AZ organized a canned-food drive last November. Food drives are popular during the holiday season, but don’t limit your time for giving. Bottled water drives are good for when the warmer weather starts to kick in. Plan a drive and donate the collection to your local food bank. Set a goal with your staff and clients. Give everyone updates on the goal to get them excited.

Pick a local charity and donate items

IBBFA-certified instructor Christina Zarnowski and her Milwaukee Barre District lifestyle studio says they pick a new charity each month and find ways to get involved as a studio. “We choose charities we can collect items for over money,” she says. “Our last drive was collecting Legos for a local school that helps children with autism.”

Keep an eye out for local news

Keeping an eye on local news is a good way to find people who need your help. When the BloodCenter of Wisconsin issued an emergency because of shortage of donations in March, Barre District encouraged clients to donate blood through a special promotion. Anyone who donated blood could receive a free week on unlimited classes.

Awareness months

Find out which months are awareness months for causes you and your studio care most about. Some examples are Breast Cancer Awareness in October or Autism Awareness in April. Create special month-long promotions or find local charities that correspond with the cause to donate to.

Ask your clients for ideas

Your clients are bound to have causes, charities and nonprofit organizations that are near and dear to their hearts. Ask them what charitable opportunity they would like to see at the studio. If they would like to help organize it, the better. Encouraging your clients to get involved makes it all the more special.

You are more than just a studio, you are a part of a community. Organizing these charitable opportunities through your studio helps your neighbors get to know you more.
“Picking monthly charities helps us to expand our love past our studio doors,” Christina of Barre District says. “We enjoy helping others, it’s as simple as that.”

Teacher Feature: Aniela Finch

Aniela Finch has over 25 years of dance experience. Her ballet training began at a young age and she had teachers and mentors who trained with the New York City Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, the Danish Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet. Aniela left her dance training behind when she entered the adult world. Now married and a mom of three, she has found a new passion through teaching barre. Aniela received her barre certification last November and is working hard to spread her love for barre to her community in Greeley, CO. Her creativity shines through her classes. Aniela loves finding new exercises to introduce to her classes, she creates playlists and shares them on her Instagram account and she throws some seriously fun barre parties.

What was your dance or fitness experience prior to getting certified?

When I was about six [years old], I started to do ballet. From there, I had a classical ballet training from Boulder Ballet in Boulder, CO. I quit ballet my junior year of high school then took classes in college, and that allowed me to start ballet again. I stopped again after college. I kept exercising, but it wasn’t until I had my third baby that I wanted to get back into ballet and [Barre Certification] was a great avenue for me to do so.

Why do you love teaching barre?

I love barre because I get to use my passion for ballet, health and fitness, and it’s fun to be able to encourage people. Using [barre] as a form of low-impact exercise, I just love it. I love the joy that it brings to people. It’s a new way to workout and a fun way to workout. I love this style of exercise to gain strength and flexibility and to tone your muscles in new ways.

What’s your favorite part of class?

I have three things. I love doing the weights and finding new ways to work with the light weights. I’ve added in some towel movements. We use towels kind of as gliders, so that’s been fun. The call it the torturous towels now in my class. The third is at the barre, we put our feet on the barre and do some bridges, so bridges on the barre— I have a video of that for you! And adding fun music makes those exercises even more fun!


How has barre impacted your community?

I teach at our local recreation center here in Greeley, CO– the Greeley Family Funplex and the Greeley Rec. Center and it’s actually though our dance studio, Northern Colorado Academy of Dance Arts. We partnered with the City of Greeley and we’ve been able to extend it to the city. [The studio] has enabled me to teach and do my own thing, in terms of barre. At the end of each session, and I spoke about this in the [BarreCast] podcast, but I do a barre party. We have done 80s, 90s, Girl Power, Country, Sports themes, the next one is going to be the Roaring 20s. The barre parties are a fun way to have people invite their friends and bring joy to the community. I have a heart for each of my students. I believe that they were brought into my life for a reason, and I just want to love and encourage my students and community. I’m just so blessed by that.

You’ve been dancing since you were six years old. How great is it to continue your ballet passion through ballet-based fitness?

I just love that I am able to continue my passion for ballet and fitness and combining those through barre. It has been such a blessing and a joy for me, and I would say for my family too, because it’s given me an avenue for something I have a passion for and given me an outlet to go and do that.

Any current goals?

I’d say more current goals would be to learn more about barre, teaching and group fitness, even personal training, things like that, so I can continue to grow in my knowledge. I always want to learn more, and I always want to encourage people more.

Ballet etymology: Arabesque

Learning the etymology of ballet words can help you visualize the intention of the position or exercise. It also makes for great trivia for your next class! Let’s dissect the word Arabesque [air-uh-besk].

IMG_4935What it looks like in ballet: A classical position in which the dancer is balanced on one supporting leg with the working leg lifted behind them. 

Etymology: According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word arabesque originated in 1610 and takes its name from a form of Moorish ornament. From there, the word became the French arabesque, then into Italian arabesco, both referring to an Arabic decoration or design. It wasn’t used as a ballet term until 1830. In 1853, the Robert Schumman, a German composer, titled a song “Arabeske” for its meaning of elaborate decoration.  

How to use it in barre: Arabesque battements using the barre (see Chapter 8 of the IBBFA Barre Certification Level 1 manual).

Other meanings of the word today: According to, the word defines a short, elaborate music piece for piano, a spiraling literary motif, and any ornament (rug, mosaic, etc.) with fanciful patterns of flowers, fruits, animals, and figures.