Welcome to the Family!
An East Bay native, Carrie Criss-Harvey grew up in Oakland and found her way to San Jose as she and her husband, Patrick initiated careers in the area and made it their home.
Starting out teaching sculpture to high school students, Carrie now teaches art to kids ranging from Pre-K through 8th grade. That artistic side is clearly a product of her being a lover of all arts from a young age, specifically the performing arts.
“My friends and I were going to be backup dancers for every rap group that ever was… but it never happened.” Carrie says laughing.
“I have always had fun with dancing, I just love it.” This former ballerina who has studied the art and enjoyed many forms of dancing decided a much needed return to the studio was in order. “It really wasn’t until after I had my kids that I needed to get back in shape. I was ready to transform my body as best I could.”
lead classes of anxious students ready to continue on their very own fitness journey. That teacher was labarre’s founder, Lisa Alberino, who shares the love of barre and now teaching classes with her good friend, Carrie.
“I loved the way [Lisa] taught and for me, the hook for barre was the dance aspect. Moving to the music helped me workout in a way that really toned my body and kept me interested. I was getting stronger and I could do it and do it well! It was a natural fit.” Carrie continues.
“Before [barre] I was trying to get through a workout because I knew it was the right thing to do, but now I was enjoying the process of it.
It was like I was dancing and having a great time. I just love it.”
Getting back to her dance roots was paramount for Carrie and it helped quickly ignite a passion for barre that was tangible. “I was reaping the benefits of the instructor and I was getting stronger.”
Mentally and physically, change was occurring. The student was becoming the teacher – literally. As someone who has taught in many settings, Carrie now finds herself as a bright-eyed rookie instructing at 1445 The Alameda.
“I have never taught in this type of setting and I was thinking…” Carrie says emphatically “Am I going to model my instruction after one of the instructors I love or am I going to create my own style? Maybe initially, because I know first hand that that works, but I definitely want to infuse my personality and my type of music into these workouts.”
Editor Sidenote – to define her type of music is easy. She loves Flo-Rida, Bruno Mars and the Imagine Dragons so expect a variety of fun music when taking a class with labarre’s newest instructor!
Anyone who knows Carrie will know the transition from student to instructor will be an easy one for her. She is very comfortable teaching and she is comfortable in group settings as well. Her personality, smile and attitude shine through to whoever is around her and she will certainly make guests to the studio feel right at home. However, she is taking it very seriously and looking forward to the challenge of working at labarre studios.
“It will initially take time. Everyone should go through instructor training” Carrie says with purpose “It is not easy to instruct, keep time, keep with the flow, know all of the moves and seeing everyone watch you! There’s a lot of pressure but I am excited and curious to see it all come together.”
“I just had a conversation with my neighbor about what barre is and I told her, ‘you just have to do it!’ It is a huge community. It doesn’t matter if you can dance. It doesn’t matter what size you are. Experience, flexibility, whatever you are bringing in doesn’t matter. It works for everyone.”
We couldn’t agree more. And if Carrie wasn’t fabulous enough, she left us with some sage advice as she finished the interview.
“You have to have fun. You have to leave here feeling like ‘not only did I get a good workout but I had a great time doing it, I felt supported and I felt like everyone around me wasn’t looking at me because they were all focused on themselves and getting better.’ That’s barre… there’s layers and options and you can take it anywhere you want to go with it.”
Amen. Welcome to the team Carrie Criss-Harvey!