As Spring has now made its rainy entrance to San Jose, we have our own ray of sunshine to be thankful for. Amber Bilak is our newest instructor who will join a terrific lineup at labarre studios!
Amber, a Bay Area native, may be one of the most interesting people we know. Don’t believe me? We don’t even know where to begin….
Amber, as mentioned, is from the Bay but grew up in Salt Lake City. A student of tap and ballet at a young age, she has been active since she could walk. As far as sports are concerned, she’s done more than most! When she wasn’t on a soccer field Amber was on the slopes. When she was skiing down a mountain, she was climbing up one! Activity and the outdoors were central themes in Amber’s life.
“How could I climb more, How could I ski more?” Amber notes. That climbing led to even greater heights for her. “I am an aerialist and I do aerial dance. I love it, and I started doing it because, well, you don’t get extra points in rock climbing for being graceful.” She says with a smile. Now I would like to add to the story that she’s a performer in Cirque du Soleil…. but that would actually be less interesting than what her journey has truly been about. Amber’s heart, as you will find out when you meet her, is made of gold. She headed to Africa for 2 years where she was in the Peace Corps, she has done extensive research in cancer labs and that’s just the beginning. She has a PhD and is a proud wife and the mom of a beautiful baby girl, Junie!
As the years passed, though, Amber settled in to the Bay and focused on her family, however, her passion for fitness remained a staple in her life.
“Fitness has been something that held my life together ever since I was young. I began to branch out in different ways and began to do yoga and barre more deeply.”
After years of doing very high impact sports and sustaining injuries, Amber needed to find something that helped to continue her along her fitness journey but was gentler on her body. That search unearthed barre workouts and allowed Amber to truly appreciate the value of working tiny muscles. “It feels so good to be balanced. It feels amazing when you are aligned. That’s one thing that drew me to barre. When I start activating those smaller muscles to fatigue it felt great because I have imbalances that I have gained through high impact sports.”
Being a student of barre is what is going to make Amber such a terrific instructor for guests lucky enough to have her lead their classes. When asked what makes a good instructor, Amber’s answer was simple, practical and something that will set labarre apart from it’s competition. “Someone who can work with multiple levels in a class - someone who challenges multiple levels but keeps things safe and most importantly fun. I want to keep it light and remind everyone that this isn’t life or death… just keeping it light and wonderful is what I will be about.”
That type of instruction will be a trademark of Amber’s class. She has already worked with barre veterans and novices alike and is honing her teaching skills to work with a multitude of willing students.
“I am good at offering modifications, because I have been injured and know what those modifications mean. You can’t know someone else’s body but you can help to get them to make the most out of their workout.”
We hope you make the most of your workout and join Amber as our third instructor to lock arms in the labarre family. Welcome aboard Amber!