2020 has ushered in exciting times at labarre studios. The Gold Barre Standard Challenge was introduced as the calendar flipped to the new decade and with it debuted the studio’s first year-long challenge.
A great deal of thought and energy went into crafting the Gold Barre Standard Challenge as it needed to achieve a few key goals. We wanted it to be both beneficial and functional. To be clearer, it had to deliver the results our members expect and it would have to be sustainable over the course of a calendar year. We also wanted to encourage our new guests to be able to join in throughout the year, so they could participate in the fun and enjoy the benefits of taking classes 3+ times per week.
What was the best way for me to assure that the challenge would hold its water? Personally, be a part of it and experience the journey as a participant, not a bystander.
This is a great question to ask and the answer is simple; It challenges us to be our best while keeping life exciting! Setting events to look forward to and, more importantly, setting goals for yourself will help you move in the right direction, while experiencing more enjoyment out of life. Whether it is your career, family or physique, goals are a great way to challenge the mind, body and spirit.
Just like other goals we set, the Gold Barre Standard Challenge is realistic and considers things that can be deemed as setbacks. Illness, injury, vacation, career pressures, family… all of these are accounted for and weighed as the labarre equipe fashioned a doable, but difficult challenge for you so that your membership works to achieve the results you had hoped for when you first entered the studio.
A refresher on how it works, we begin the challenge on the 17th of each month with attending 14 classes is the set goal. This structure even allows for members to miss a full month without falling short of achieving the challenge. We know! We get it!
For more context, I want to share my personal journey along the Gold Barre Standard Challenge. I finished December and the beginning of January strong, taking classes almost daily. Frankly, I was on a roll … and then I hurt my back while putting away Christmas decorations.
It happens to us all … I was rushing trying to get too much done with too little time. I reached over to pick up a heavy bin while bending and twisting and I felt my disc slip out of place in my lower back. No carols, mistletoe or sugar plum fairies, just pain and setback. I have a history of lower-back disc challenges and I have had a herniated, bulging and even a ripped disc in my lower back L3-L5. Amazingly, I am able to manage my back injuries with barre-inspired workouts and many of you may not even realize this is part of my life.
Barre is gentle while strengthening the body and even with injury, is an activity that can be done daily to improve such ailments. The tough part for me, though, is to remember proper body mechanics while doing everyday activities that are “automatic.” Simple actions like making beds, emptying the dishwasher, loading and unloading the groceries from the trunk, and the one that seems to sneak up on me when I don’t pay attention… working in my garden.
The point is we can typically experience injury when we are not being mindful.
This time, however, luck and years of barre fitness were on my side as I had a positive and speedy recovery. I immediately went to see our Acupuncturist, Angelica Acton, and I was teaching within days of my injury. Within one week, I was feeling exceptionally well. Luckily, this afforded me the time to get in my 14 classes for January and even I was amazed with how quickly my body recovered. (Again, a shout out the heavens for Angelica’s Acupuncture techniques!)
Your story may be different. Again, setbacks might occur in the form of time, commitments or injury. But those obstacles are not insurmountable and we want to be here to help. The labarre community and all who have partaken in the Gold Barre Standard Challenge are in the same boat: We have a goal and we are here to reach it, together.
Let this be a little motivation to keep pushing to design yourself and achieve the goals you originally set out to accomplish. Need a little more motivation? Take a look at these fabulous guests that are tracking well through the challenge… or should we call them our Gold Barre Stars! See you at labarre!
Prior to receiving his degree, Lee’s love for massage was preceded by an extreme
interest in health, diet and nutrition as he experienced health problems in his earlier
years. Looking to make changes in his lifestyle, Chuck astutely chose to begin with
a change in diet and the food that he would consume.
Through self-discipline, perseverance and research, this would only begin to be a
transformative time for Lee and one that would lead him down a path that would
begin to focus on wellness for both himself and others.
Healthier choices slowly healed his body and soon an interest in meditation and
yoga would follow.
That practice received its initial hands-on spark from a friend and mentor Lee trained
with a few years ago.
After Chuck felt a small clicking in his hip from strength training and calisthenics,
his friend asked if he could work on it to relieve him of the pain.
“That was my first experience with massage therapy. One that was oriented in giving
peoples results, specifically more functional range of motion and removing blockages
that were hindering me from training better. It was great and it changed how I viewed
His friend had learned a great deal both in the states and in China and shared the
information. That inspired Lee and thus his journey began.
“That’s when my eyes were opened into the world of healing. We live in a society that
is so much ‘go go go’ all the time, that we really forget to do minor adjustments that
would make a difference in the longevity of our body and just feeling ‘right.’
It propelled me in to the world where I wanted to further my education and
He’s been practicing for a few years and that hard work led him to labarre studios.
“It was really great timing and it synchronized perfectly. I wanted to be in a professional setting and use my skills. I wanted to put myself in the right place and I found labarre.
I came across many places that weren’t for me. I didn’t want to be limited in what I was
able to do for clients. I wanted a place that allowed me the freedom to offer a lot of
different modalities, and came across labarre on line and quickly reached out to Lisa
“We had a great deal of candidates when Chuck reached out.” Lisa Alberino notes. “As we build our wellness services and ultimately the ecosystem for the studio,
it is paramount that we get the best, most passionate people in here who excel
at their discipline. I initially put Chuck on hold as I was looking at the candidates,
but simply was taken by how professional and thorough he was. Then we met
and I knew he was a perfect fit for the people that call the studio home and the
rest of the equipe here at labarre.”
“Comfortable, secure, professional and relaxing” are a few words Chuck used to describe
labarre studios and the massage therapy area he now calls home.
“I truly stress comfort and how comfortable I want the client to be … as massage can
be a vulnerable experience.” Chuck wants them to be worry-free in their choice and he
also points out that his hope is each and every client feels that he cares personally for
them, their body and what they are looking to achieve in the sessions.
“Understanding the history of what their body has been through is key. Knowing
where it is today and where therapy can take it is very important and I am here to help.
We have very specific goals we set before we begin and, after the session is completed,
we get a post-session review and report. It matters and I want to be here to help
them through anything they need.”
With so many choices in San Jose alone, why come visit labarre and Chuck Lee?
One word, “Intuition” as Lee explains.
Chuck has an Intuitive sense of the inner working of his own body and by a greater
understanding of the guests he will get in tune with their body and needs and,
along with their comfort to share what they are looking to accomplish, Chuck seems
to get to another level with those guests who will allow Chuck to tackle their needs.
“Working on patients means gaining valuable information about how they feel and
respond to the therapy and techniques that I use.” Different techniques work better
for some people and really listening to their body and being mindful of the sessions is
what separates the good therapists from the great.
Lee concludes, “It is simply about being sensitive to how they feel.”
When he is not working with a client, Chuck is enjoying life. A lover of music, specifically hip hop. Chuck loves to be entertained and enjoys creating music himself. His
favorite influencers in the genre are J. Cole Logic, Royce the 59.
If it is time to get your body in tune, we suggest you connect with Chuck Lee!
To learn more, simply click HERE.
“When I was working with my past employer, I would return home after a long day and realized I was missing out. I was missing my son grow up (Alex, her only child at the time) There was time only for dinner, a book and then bedtime with him. It was time for a change.” That change began a new chapter that Melissa is writing on a daily basis.
Pascua found someone who had perfected her craft in lashes and she acted as a mentor and beacon for Melissa’s second career. After checking out schools to further this new found passion, Melissa made the bold move and began to go headfirst in to her calling. “I started going to night school while I was working and did that for a year and Lissa’s Lashes was created!” The move would not be without its rewards. Nearly a decade later, this Bay Area veteran has a great client base and it will continue growing as she recently decked out a new space at 1445 The Alameda!
The connection to labarre was through a once member now the studios community program coordinator and instructor, Leilani Borer. Leilani introduced Pascua to the studio and sparked her interest in the drumming classes that are held on Fridays. After attending drumming and a few other classes, Melissa fell in love with the space and realized an opportunity was available.
Melissa noted “I got really lucky, labarre is so pretty and the equipe are all wonderful. The client experience is very important to me. I want clients to feel comfortable, relaxed and safe, all in a clean space. My studio in labarre is key for that and I just love it.”
Melissa primarily focuses on classic lashes, volume and volume mixed lashes (which both give a fuller look, she notes) but her goal is to have people “look natural when they leave the house, with or without makeup.” On top of lashes, Melissa offers a variety of facials, chemical peels and waxing.
With knowledge, dedication and skill, Melissa makes the most of her time with her clients… and her family when she is lucky enough to break free.
“When I am not working we plan family fun days. Our family definitely loves the beach, Monterey, park hopping, museums, hikes, you name it.” Both of her boys are in Jiu Jitsu so that keeps them active as do the Cub Scouts. With the flexibility to be involved in the boys’ everyday lives, Melissa and Danny are making the most of every family opportunity.
How does Pascua describe her craft to those who have not tried it? “When someone is new I walk them through what I will be doing before they get a service and I tailor the experience to them during consultation. Facials run 30-75min. A full set lashes, could take 2-3.5 hours and after that touch ups run about an hour. A lot of people take that time for themselves… I tell them that this is your time to nap, relax, listen to some music or chat!”
Want to be one of those lucky customers, check Lissa’s Lashes out right here!
California born and raised, Angelica has been an acupuncturist, believe it or not, since she was a child! “I was lucky enough that my dad was an acupuncturist and traveled from Boston to Japan, where he also met my mom, to pursue his calling.” Angelica explains.
“My mom and dad met in Osaka, Japan, and that is where he quenched his thirst for this knowledge; the knowledge of healing the body in a more natural way. There are great holistic ways to heal like physical therapy” Angelica continues, “and like therapy, acupuncture helps us avoid side effects and invasive healing processes that come from medicine.”
As a kid she practiced on her dad and she “lived and breathed acupuncture.” That is where Angelica decided this would be her passion as well.
“It is very modern, and it is instituted in hospitals, health care plans and it is very applicable.”
Her training to become an acupuncturist included complete immersion in Chinese medicine and manifested itself in a 4-year master’s degree from Five Branches University located in Santa Cruz, CA. Because of California’s strict education laws, acupuncturists have to dive deep and learn western medicine, orthopedics, herbs, diagnosis and more. Though the entire process, Angelica was hands on, training and treating the whole way through at different levels. Angelica’s expertise is extensive but furthering that proficiency is important to her and she looks to continue on and receive a doctorate in the discipline. Praising its practicality and popularity, Angelica states, “It’s really a wonderful integrated medicine and we are considered primary healthcare providers.”
Practicing for over half a decade, Angelica is a veteran in her craft and has a tremendous number of hours under her belt. This fully-licensed practitioner is experienced in how she treats patients, both in their physical and mental needs.
“I base my treatment on the patient. I might have five different patients who come in with seemingly the same challenge, but I may have a different plan for each one. Each treatment is adhered to individual people. Everything is tailored to the individual.”
Angelica continues on about the benefits of acupuncture and dispels myths about it being painful or mysterious.
“It is very calming… people feel relaxed and meditative. It’s understandable that people believe it might be painful prior to receiving treatment but once they take part in it, it’s a different story. People tend to feel rested and rest is so important to the healing process.”
After connecting with Angelica the question that seems to be on everyone’s mind… How DOES Acupuncture work?
Explaining it perfectly, Angelica illuminated us.
“It creates a micro-trauma, a stimulus inside the skin, and it tells the body to increase circulation into that area, manipulating the body’s own capacity to heal in order to address issues we want addressed. It increases white blood cell count in that area, and it increases the vessel capacity. It also allows the body to pull away waste from a particular area. It really is a biomechanical process and it is stemmed in very ancient medicine but it has a very western way that it works.”
Angelica continues, “Acupuncture has multiple benefits. It works with stress management and digestion. It works with abdominals and digestive points which helps circulate blood flow, working with the immune system and releasing endorphins. People sometimes don’t realize that these areas heal the body in many ways.”
One fascinating fact that came from the conversation with labarre’s newest service provider was that facial rejuvenation acupuncture is a ‘thing.’
“All of the channels we use in Chinese medicine… they eventually go to the face. The face is the reflection of the body. The glimmer in people’s eyes and their face reflects how they feel. You can tell how someone feels simply by looking at them and acupuncture can help you look and feel better.”
If you are a weekend warrior and have nagging injuries or simply need a boost, we urge you to set up a consultation with Angelica. If you have never tried acupuncture but are interested or if you are looking to continue on care that you are already getting, this is a great opportunity for a face to face connect with one of the Bay Area’s best.
Enjoy the newest service from labarre and find new ways to design yourself. Click here for more information about Juniper Acupuncture!
Did I need to focus my energy in this area or that? If I could do a few things to amplify “Me” what would they be? These have all crossed my mind.
Just taking a moment to help create great habits and long-lasting behaviors of the guests that I see week in and week out. Many of you have walked into labarre and walked out changed in many ways, but I know more can be accomplished.
We want to help simplify this for you and allow you to not only design yourself, but truly focus on YOU. The Gold Barre Standard will help you do just that.
It was created to keep members on pace, not as a gruesome taskmaster, but more of a beacon of optimism and the prospect of keeping your sights on what’s important without having to be overwhelmed by massive changes in diet, timing and schedules.
If this is the first time you are hearing of it, I will oversimplify it for you. The challenge is to take 14 classes a month, all year long.
That’s 3.5 classes a week! That’s it.
We also know that there are events that might keep you from the studio on any given week…. guess what? The Gold Barre Standard has a built-in safety net for you. You are allowed ONE Free month away from the studio… think of it as a workout mulligan! You work hard to pay for your membership, and the Gold Barre Standard will put it to optimal use!
The challenge is doable… the goals are attainable. It’s that easy.
Each month that you achieve success, you are rewarded with 2 free guest passes and even more as the challenge continues on… but what better prize than a clear mind, strong body and full spirit?
Meet Claudia who has spanned several countries en route to taking center stage at labarre studios! Claudia hails from Belgium, and has spent time in South Africa and Saudi Arabia – before heading to the United States to go to school. While in the States, Claudia met her husband, Anthony, and decided to call it home!
Claudia’s US journey began in Pasadena, CA where she attended community college and eventually decided to attend UC Santa Barbara where she earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics.
Putting her education to work, Claudia currently works in finance at Proof Point, a cyber security company in San Jose. However, as an avocation, it was only recently that Claudia made the move from attending barre classes to leading them.
A year and half ago, Claudia and Anthony, moved to the beautiful Rose Garden neighborhood of San Jose which is only a few blocks from The Alameda, where our studios are located.
“I decided to check out labarre and did a year of classes there. I loved it and this year one of my bucket list items was to become a trainer and so I went ahead and did it!”
How does Claudia feel now that she is in front of everyone as opposed to among them? “I get nervous before every single class,” Claudia admits, “but after the class I am on cloud nine.”
“I instruct the same way that I am,” Said Claudia (and notes that some of her students tease her for being too ‘in charge’ at times.) “It’s funny because I decided to become an instructor to boost my confidence and become more comfortable and it has absolutely helped with that. I can think more clearly and think ahead much better because of the instruction and the classes!”
Claudia has fit in well and her classes will most certainly get you moving. “If you really like to exercise and get your heart pumping in a group environment, labarre is a great place to be a part of. You will see how your body will change and it is remarkable in a short period of time to see how much you can prove to yourself and to see how your mentality will change. You can have a bad day at home or work, come to labarre and walk out invigorated.”
Finance and fitness aren’t the only things that drive Claudia. She enjoys being out and about and list some of her favorite things as traveling, running and loving Bella, her husband’s dog that she has more than adopted.
Like many of our loyal members, what drew Claudia to labarre was the convenience, location and accoutrements of the nearly 3-year-old studio space. Claudia expressed, though, that the physical aspect of the space was only a small piece of why she is part of the labarre family.
“The vibe at the studio … I love how it is. The teachers and Lisa are so invested in the people. As far as I am concerned, Lisa really made it easy and held my hand to make me successful. She was super receptive and set time aside and it’s hard to find people like that.”
Claudia, we agree and it is also hard to find great instructors but you are now among that group as the equipe of labarre is stronger with you on staff!
Come take a class with Claudia right here.
Here at labarre we strive to make the studio a place where members can work hard to achieve their goals as well as strive to design themselves in a multitude of ways. As fall turns to winter we are challenging the incredible women and men once again to raise the bar. Resolutions are easily created and forgotten and as the calendar flips, our focus is on helping you to turn your resolutions into habits by entering into our Gold Barre Standard Challenge for 2020. The goal is simple but will take determination and commitment.
Exclusive “mini challenges” and prize opportunities will be awarded throughout the year. This will amplify the potential and desire for Gold Barre Standard participants to stay on track. Gold Barre achievers will celebrate at our year end “Design & Shine Celebration” where they will receive special gifts and their name forever etched on a plaque in studio.
The New Year is only a few shorts weeks away, so it is time to focus on 2020 and that means it is time to focus on you.
We are here to help you design yourself every step of the way.
Lisa Alberino, Founder & Owner, labarre studios
Our equipe has grown since we have opened the doors in 2017 and with every new instructor comes a great story and a better personality. With that, we want to introduce you to Phoenix! Phoenix has been part of our equipe as she began this year and has been leading classes brilliantly for labarre studios.
Phoenix embodies San Jose as she comes from a family that boasts the city as their home for 7 Generations. Amazingly, her family has been a part of the fabric of the area for decades and she continues on the tradition.
If you were wondering where she went to school… a safe bet would be San Jose State University as it was a clear fit for her. Many of her family members are alums and Phoenix is a proud Spartan who graduated with a BS in Hospitality Event Management.
Her love for dance and fitness, however, started prior to her college career. She started teaching Yoga in high school as a senior project and before that, she was a competitive Irish dancer at a young age. This form of dancing took a toll on Phoenix’s body, however, and her mom, who enjoyed Yoga, introduced Phoenix to its healing power.
Yoga became a huge form of relief for Phoenix and it prompted her to do a 200-hour certification training when she was 18. That led to the ability to teach full time throughout her college career.
“I love yoga and have been practicing it for years….and then a friend found labarre and said ‘Hey! You have to come to a class here you will absolutely love it!’ I walked in and decided I needed to add it to my resume!” Phoenix states.
“I came and immediately fell in love with labarre. The format of barre, the space and what Lisa (Alberino) has done with the studio there. She has created this incredible pocket of happiness and fitness in what can be a crazy hectic area of San Jose.”
After becoming certified to be an instructor at labarre, Phoenix is able to use both Yoga and Barre in her repertoire of classes she teaches. Phoenix delivers a very different outlook for each discipline and explained what a class she teaches would feel like to those who have never taken one with her at the helm.
“My Yoga class includes basic foundations and postures but I sprinkle in active and high intensity at times to have a change in pacing to what traditional Yoga is all about. It includes core and breath work as well as intentional mindful movement of the body. Otherwise you may as well stay at home if you are not going to do the work! I want a quality experience for everyone in my classes.”
Phoenix continues, “Barre is different, the high energy you have to bring to a barre class is phenomenal and yet very challenging. At the end of a work day for me, I hype myself up and bring as much energy as I can because I know the students will feed off my energy. Quality of movement is key in these classes.”
Her musicality is also a big part of what makes this former dancer a special addition to labarre. She is “obsessed” with music as she has been immersed in a musical household her entire life. Her dad is a musician (drums, guitar, bass, piano, mandolin to name a few of the instruments her father can play!) and that is where the seed was planted for her.
In her free time – which she most certainly doesn’t have much of – she loves to travel and be around her family. Her older sister and boyfriend's family live in LA so she often travels down south. "My littlest sister recently moved to Wales for University so I can't wait to pay her a visit and continue my travels abroad. I love my California roots but love to travel out of state or out of the country any chance I get! Next on my list is Italy, Bali or perhaps Aruba! Anything active is always welcomed.”
And when she is not out on a trail or traveling, she also loves to cook and bake and has currently stumbled on a recipe for healthy Twix bars… if she patents this she may be a billionaire!
Come see Phoenix for yourself and find out why we love her as much as you will!
It has been a while since we have updated everyone but we have so much to tell you about… so here we go!
First of all, “Cheers” to a great Fall!! We hope you and yours have been able to reflect back on a wonderful and prosperous summer as labarre studios was busy this summer. We created special events for our guests & community and we wanted to take pause and rewind to catch everyone up!
It all started with our 2nd birthday which we celebrated in July. A cake and candles can’t emphasize how incredibly excited we were as we enjoyed our busiest month EVER. We rocked our open house with sold out classes, delicious cookies from Desserts Designed and healthy food samplings from our neighbors, “Whole Foods.”
Our studio was buzzing… and we love company so it was all good! Speaking of company, our Century board has seen some wonderful additions since we began honoring those guests who have taken part in 100+ visits. When you come to the studio be sure to walk down the alley inside and look to your left to see whose gorgeous face graces the wall!
Later that month, we treated our Las Madres members to an afternoon of pampering and a specialty class with beats & barre that was a total hit.
As the summer progressed, we held our “100 Days Summer Strong Challenge” where our members and guests shared their vacation posts by hashtagging #labarreafar on their Instagram accounts, challenging themselves to take 15 classes in August and got to know our service providers (chiropractic, massage therapy, and our esthetician.) Wait… you didn’t know we had these services? Well if this is the first time you are hearing this we need you to get back in the saddle and head to labarre because we have not only expanded to a wellness center with chiropractic & massage therapy offerings, but we are constantly refining and evolving based on what our guests have suggested to us.
Our Total Reset Program grew as well. It took a new spin this summer with field trips and Yoga classes, and an educational experience at Whole Foods.
It didn’t stop there as we have added more classes that our guests have also pined for. That means more barre, HIIT, Yoga and Drumming! As a matter of fact, drumming has now become a Friday staple on the calendar.
We entered fall excited about our Faithful Fridays (Go Niners!) and the chance to win $49 Faithful 4-packs with every 49ers home win.
Our Breast Cancer Swag has JUST arrived and is flying off the shelves. With 50% of the proceeds going to Cancer Connections you will look great and be helping to kick cancer’s ass while doing so.
It’s time to get to know another instructor and we’d like to introduce you to Tiana Mayo!
Born and raised right here in San Jose, Tiana comes from an athletic family as her four siblings all had “skills” at one sport or another.
“I was known as the black sheep,” Tiana says half-jokingly, “My brothers and sisters are all-star athletes across disciplines like volleyball, basketball and even MMA!” As she recounts their accomplishments she laughs at her lack of prowess on a court or a field.
After having Tua, Tiana became more mindful not only of succeeding but also of her health and well-being. She began to truly think about what she was putting into her body and was determined to treat “herself” better. Tiana had gotten involved in group fitness and Pilates and had become interested in teaching. “I was over 200 pounds and I knew I needed a change,” She states, “and then I found barre and I truly fell in love.”
Along with being an amazing mom and possessing acute business talents, Tiana is an accomplished dancer. From ballet to Polynesian dancing, rhythm is in her heart. That has played well and has been a part of the reason she is such a shining light at labarre studios.
“I love labarre, out of all of the studios I have been to it is the best. I love the community within… the camaraderie between the instructors and service providers that Lisa [Alberino] has built is amazing. I have never felt so warm and welcomed. I also love the things that are provided at labarre. If I wasn’t an instructor I would be a member!”
The reverence of labarre is a direct reflection on the leadership starting at the top. “I admire her (Lisa Alberino, founder and owner), she is just gold. Her energy and abilities are terrific… she is so rounded in everything she does.”
So, you now know what Tiana is about… can we say the same thing about her classes? When asked what one of her sessions would be like for a first-time student Tiana perked up with some immediate honesty.
“I am always nervous before any class. The reason why is that I know I have the capability to transform someone and I have felt those changes in my life, I try to bring that same intensity and determination. I tell students that their best is enough. I want them to leave stronger and more determined than when they came through those doors. I am definitely high energy”
When she is not on the instructor floor you can find Tiana somewhere out and about! “I love being with Tua. We do everything from basketball to surfing, he loves the water!