Our newest equipe member is as kind and lovely as she is talented and interesting. Meet Andria Reta who hails from first generation Ethiopian immigrants. Making their way to California, Andria’s family settled in Fontana. Years later, Andria would attend nearby UC Riverside and receive her undergraduate degree in sociology, as she proudly states that “I always had a profound desire to help people.”
Furthering her education, Andria added a Masters in Health Administration and Gerontology, as her desire manifested itself perfectly as she is now working in the field of public health administration where she gets to help people every day. Advancing her career in health administration meant a move to NorCal 5 years ago to take a position at a Medicare Advantage Company, a health insurance company that tailors to people over 65. Change was instantaneous in her personal life as well. Immediately after moving to the area, Andria met her husband, Kip, and they are celebrating 2 years of marriage and reside in Oakland.
“I have always been relatively athletic and staying in shape is key for me,” Andria notes, “and barre was a perfect balance to get a really great workout and where you do not feel defeated at the end of it. I decided I want to pursue it further as I am a lifelong learner and took advantage of the instructor training that is held a few times a year [through barre intensity.]
“From there it manifested into something bigger and the opportunity to instruct presented itself. I am a firm believer that the universe gives you the things that you are supposed to have.” She says confidently.
“I am enjoying it so much – it reminds me of when I was younger and wanted to help people – and now I am standing in front of the room and I can see how I am helping people make changes in their life, and it is so empowering and so fulfilling.”
On the studio floor, Andria defines herself very clearly. “I am going to push you – I want to bring out the best in my students. People may come in not knowing what they can achieve and I want to be there to help. I am going to encourage and challenge you to try your best.”
These words rang true as Andria received similar treatment as a student prior to becoming an equipe member.
“The other instructors at labarre saw my potential and saw what I was trying to achieve and honed in on that and helped me pull out my own strengths.” She continues to be insightful and states, “when I do my affirmations I always say you came here perfect, you were perfect when you arrived, and now you have challenged yourself to be even better. That is something that I find gratifying and if I can have my students feel good about what they have been able to accomplish in that 60 minutes, I feel that I have done my job.”
We agree completely, but we asked Andria what does she do when she is done doing her job! “Me and my husband are big travelers. We take multiple international trips a year as we love to explore the world.”
That world can be local as well… and it revolves around coffee beans and a great meal when listening to Andria.
“I am a big fan of coffee, wine and overall I am a foodie! I like to immerse myself in other cultures.”
Because they are both very busy – the weekends are key. Hiking, picnics, exploring and mini getaways are the norm for Andria and Kip. Lots of date nights and a “monthaversary” to celebrate the relationship keeps the marriage fun and interesting. That “date-night” may put her on a trail exploring with Kip or place her squarely on the couch binging Netflix.
“I listen to myself and hear myself say, ‘This is what you need right now, and that’s OK!’”
Andria’s journey is fueled by passion and education and at times, by loss. Her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer 6 years ago and that life changing event created a shift in Andria’s lifestyle. She was self-admittedly “skinny fat” as she didn’t eat very well. Her mother’s illness was eye opening and prompted a profound change in Andria’s life. With the passing of her mother 2 years ago, she has taken her commitment to health and wellness to another level. She is the healthiest now that she has ever been. “I am a practitioner of good health and I even help create action plans for people around me,” she says proudly. She focuses on her wellness through small changes and primarily focusing on a proper diet.
“It takes time, but it’s a commitment to being healthy”
We know that you will find Andria as spectacular as we do and hope you get a chance to be taught by one of our newest equipe members! We are so lucky to have you Andria and welcome to the family!