Amber found the studio in January 2017 & visibly fell in love with the practice. She was a regular for most of that year until she messaged me to let me know that the East Aurora to Hamburg barre commute was killing her lease mileage allowance. We mourned. She downloaded The Barre Studio On Demand. She went through Exhale’s barre certification program with the goal of teaching in EA. I silently filed her in the back of my mind to hopefully work together someday when life & leases would allow.
The studio is a powerful place, if I do say so myself. You all come here to get something out of us instructors, out of the workout, out of the community. We do the same. I’m very honored to have Amber back home with us, both contributing to & pulling from that energy.
You can find Amber at the barre Tuesday & Thursday mornings at 8:30am. Please read on & enjoy... Melissa
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m an Elmwood Village to Southtown transplant living in East Aurora. I love the village vibes of EA and Hamburg; a sense of community is really important to me. My educational background is in Social Work. I'm a Family Therapist, turned stay-at-home mom, turned working single-mom/barre instructor. My schedule is hectic, but I've prioritized a space for barre in my life because it's my break from the crazy.
What originally brought you to the studio & what made you want to teach?
I was lured to the studio by a January challenge and a super cute sweatshirt upon completion. My honeymoon was fast approaching and I wanted to be toned while skipping through the sand...also that sweatshirt. I remember feeling uncoordinated at first (what the heck is 1st position?) After a few classes I felt more confident, saw results, and was hooked, so much so that a year later I took an instructor certification course at Exhale Spa in NYC. At the time I was a stay-at-home mom pursuing a fitness side-gig. Shortly after teacher training, my husband unexpectedly passed away. My type-A plan was out the window. I went back to work, and soon after received a message from Melissa asking if I wanted to teach. I knew I had a lot on my plate, but this was something I really wanted to do; to have something in my life that’s just “mine” amidst the chaos. I'm sometimes hesitant to share parts of my story, but in this situation I think it's important. My experience has shown me that we're all usually capable of far more than we ever imagined.
Most rewarding part of the job?
Our lives are so scheduled, and many of us are pulled in so many directions on a daily basis; by our jobs, families, etc. When you come to the studio it's your time, it will be what you make it, and for 45 min a few times a week it's a much needed safe haven.
What do you do in your free time?
My favorite thing to do is cook. Usually accompanied by a glass of wine and John Mayer playing on Amazon Alexa. I'm obsessed with vegetables. When I impulse shop, it's usually in the produce section for things like purple cauliflower. When I'm not cooking or royally screwing up baked goods (lots to learn there), I can be found wandering WNY with my daughter trying to find kid-friendly places to grab a drink and food with friends. It takes a village, and I'm so happy The Barre Studio is now part of mine.