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!
The work was incredibly rewarding and she simply enjoyed helping people in need. During her time working, she suffered a devastating car accident which sidelined her path and a debilitating injury to her leg put her career on hold.
Through perseverance and great influence from her family, she decided that the path to continue serving others would come via massage therapy. With advice from her brother who graduated from the National Holistic Institute, Wallie enrolled and thrived. Once she began taking classes at NHI, it was clear as day and she was enamored with the entire organization.
Wallie explains, “I fell in love with the staff, I fell in love with the school, I just loved everything about it! I grew and grew and truly felt myself while I was there.”
The connection to the school allowed her to absorb a great deal of knowledge and she took advantage of all it had to offer. As she was graduating she was also working for TrioSpa which is where Lisa Alberino, Founder and Owner of labarre studios found her.
“Wallie is an exceptional therapist and people who have worked with her and her therapy have truly benefitted.” Lisa continues, “I think her greatest strength is that she listens to the clients and can translate exactly what they are asking of her.”
This statement rings true as Wallie echoed the statement, “What people should expect when they come to see me is a person who wants to help them and will listen to them. I have post-massage exercises that I suggests to some of my patients and I care for everyone who walks through [labarre’s] doors.”
Wallie noted, “When I help others I always feel a connection with them, not only in body but also in spirit. I can tell the knowledge that I have gained throughout the past years is coming to light and it is very fulfilling for me.”
Another fulfilling part of Wallie’s life is spending time with her husband of 4 years, David, and their German Sheppard / Labrador mix, Scooby Doo!
“The little moments that we cherish together are the ones that truly count.” Wallie laughs as she notes that she and David enjoy everything from Baseball games to art shows…. It’s all fair game as long as they are spending time with each other.
Wallie also cherishes the people who have helped her to get to become a successful businesswoman. “My hope is that I make them feel comfortable and more knowledgeable about their bodies and their wellness. I like to explain the sessions we have and I like to explain the gameplan so they are a part of the entire journey. The one thing I love are questions, I always say, ‘don’t be afraid to ask any questions!’
So, the question is, when are you going to go see Wallie and experience her for yourself! Click HERE to make your appointment today!
Born and raised in Gilroy, CA to Greek parents, Angeliki Menig has a view of life that makes her a kind and caring soul that is in touch with the world around her. “My parents wanted the family to be outside and love the land, explore and be in touch with nature. We were always very active” she states.
Her formative high school years sparked a deep interest about science and health which began to blaze a path that would match her personality. Angeliki attended UC Davis and majored in neuroscience and psychology so she could better understand the brain, human beings and what motivates them. She had a passion to understand why people choose what they do and how it shaped their behavior.
Originally hoping to study with efforts focusing on pre-med, Angeliki did some soul-searching which led her to explore many different options. This allowed her to get a greater understanding of what the medical world would offer from a career standpoint. That research uncovered occupational therapy, which, Angeliki explains, is part of the rehabilitation umbrella. “In rehab there is occupational, speech and physical therapy, but occupational therapy resonated with me because it’s about meeting the person as a holistic whole – something that labarre studio also believes in with their guests.”
Angeliki continues, “It’s in encapsulating not just the person as a body or brain but meeting the person for who they are and coming up with creative solutions to make their life better.”
Angeliki currently works at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View where she serves mainly geriatric patients who may be facing challenges brought on by accidents, trauma or surgery. Her mission is to help them to get back on their feet and become physically and mentally stronger.
Angeliki along with her husband of 5 years, Peter, love to travel when not working to help others. That love includes exploring new culture on their journeys, which she defines as, “People watching, eating and meeting new friends.”
Getting to know people seems to be built into Angeliki’s DNA as she uses this same methodology when leading the studio floor at labarre studios.
She truly enjoys getting to know the class and defines her style as intentional.
“I really like people to get into the pose and know what muscles are working – it covers the occupational therapy, the very nerdy muscle part of me. I want people to understand what they are working so they can activate it. (When working out) many of us are doing the motions and we aren’t in touch with what we are actually doing. When you bring attention to a move it can transform that move into true strength training. I try to tell people what muscles they are working and give them a visualization. For example, I’d say ‘there’s magnets between your legs – zip them together!’ Of course, I try to make them have fun too!”
Although a true student of the body, teaching was never on her agenda, nor was being a barre instructor. Her teaching began when she instructed Pilates classes in 2011 and loved everything about strengthening muscles that she never knew she could engage or even knew existed! Something else she didn’t know existed was labarre studios.
“Every so often I look through Yelp! as San Jose is shifting and changing all the time. I was looking for a workout place and labarre popped up on my search and I was overjoyed! I was just hooked after I went and I knew labarre was going to be my home. Barre was a great medley of some terrific things – ballet, dance fusion and more!”
So now that this ambitious Californian has two jobs, what does she think about her new digs at 1445 The Alameda? “Oh, the studio is so beautifully manicured in every way… aesthetically pleasing in every way. The art is gorgeous, the lighting is ambient and the staff is so friendly! There is a sense of empowerment as you are greeted with care and joy and the fact that it is female owned is amazing. Being in this community of strong women is truly encouraging. All of the services, the merchandise they sell, the juices and salads, there is just so much there. That holistic approach and the fact that they are building up the community is great.”
Angeliki continues to talk about how the guests and equipe connect on many levels. “I just love to be able to go to a place where I don’t have to compete with everybody and instead I can be filled with love and encouragement from the people around me.”
One interesting element about Angeliki and her leadership is she is looking to help expectant and new mothers as they begin or continue their wellness journey. Angeliki has been focusing on and working with the perinatal community as “They’re bodies are going through a totally different process and some people even call it the 4th trimester.” Angeliki is looking to tailor exercises for that population and states that she has support from the studio owner and founder as well. “Lisa was very open to curating a well put together program for ladies in these different trimesters. That excites me and that is what we are doing.”
If you haven’t met Angeliki we strongly encourage you to do so. She is one of our newest members of the equipe and her smile, kindness and passion to help those around her make her classes a “must take!”
It was there that she was immersed and learned a great deal about mental health and, more notably, about children’s mental health. This discipline was in line with the path that Alyssa has taken as she is a mom to a “vibrant beautiful fun little girl, who loves to dance and sing and play. Amara (Alyssa’s daughter) is very emotionally intelligent, artistic and creative,” the beaming mom says with a smile.
Alyssa is an expert with children and is a Mental Health Counselor at a middle school in San Jose. Her work with children doesn’t end there as Alyssa is School-Based Mental Health Therapist and has worked in that capacity for over half a decade. “I’ve always loved working with kids and doing so in a school system.” To add to her accolades Alyssa has recently become a licensed clinical social worker furthering her value to the people she serves.
Above and beyond her work with children, she adores teaching fitness and stumbled into the avocation while at UC Berkeley.
“I was taking adult dance classes and tried something new while there. I did Bikram Yoga and just loved it.” Alyssa also began prenatal yoga and did so when she was recovering from having Amara. That love for Yoga would lead to barre classes.
“I walked into labarre when they offered a free week and I met Lisa (labarre’s owner and founder) and that was it!” Alyssa connected with barre and the wonderful studio space at 1445 The Alameda and decided to add that to her already large list of talents.
“Teaching is so much fun. I am already used to being out in front, used to talking and encouraging people. You get to know everyone who comes to your class and get to know what they are working on in their personal life.” That gregariousness and familiarity is also met with a great philosophy on how Alyssa classifies her style. “I have a nice balance in my class of being calm and consistent as well as motivating and high energy.”
We welcome you to spend some time with one of our studio’s finest. Alyssa’s class is rhythmic and fun, and you will most certainly get the workout that you deserve. “When you come to my class, we will get into working out parts of your body that are not often used. I want you to leave everything you have on the barre floor!”
Sounds like a challenge to us! See you at the studio.
Dr. Kimia, a California native, 2019 has seen tremendous additions and improvements to how labarre has redefined itself as a holistic boutique fitness studio. Approaching its second anniversary (July 14th by the way, so mark that date on your calendar for sure), labarre has become an oasis for not only barre, Pilates, Yoga, drumming and great workouts, but also a center for wellness, rehabilitation and overall body restoration. In large part this growth is due to the exceptional providers who have locked arms with studio founder and owner, Lisa Alberino; Dr. Kimia Shakerpoor, D.C. is a perfect
“Chiropractic care is a non-pharmaceutical approach to health care, for the skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. We use adjustments/manipulations which are quick, short forces into joints to provide them with more movement and less pain,” Dr. Kimia explains. “Chiropractic care can also help with the side effects of allergies and congestion, increasing blood and nerve flow, decreasing inflammation, and more.”
Specializing in women's health, dancers, Yogis and athletes, Dr. Kimia’s style is all about catering to the patient and their needs. She looks to make them “feel welcome, safe, and taken care of” and continued to assure that for those who have never received chiropractic care, “It’s not painful at all and although side effects might include muscle soreness parallel to that of after working out due to the release that occurs in the muscles and joints” the benefits can also be seen right away.
“Chiropractic care is a common form of treatment for headaches, chronic migraines, low back pain, correcting poor posture, strains, and sprains.” Dr. Kimia adds. Working on all extremities in the upper and lower body, even fingers and toes, chiropractic care can be as inclusive as the patient and doctor would like it to be. And when asked about age restrictions, Dr. Kimia has experience from those who have been around for quite some time to the newest of patients. “I can adjust new born babies. The trauma from birth on a baby can be helped with chiropractic care.”
But for our newest addition at labarre, it’s not all work. Although she loves what she does, Dr. Kimi makes time for play. “When I’m not working, I love weightlifting, hiking, spending time with family and friends, trying out different ice cream and dessert shops, and playing the piano. I try to make trips to Disneyland as often as I can to keep myself young and the nostalgia alive. I also call myself an avid cat lady, as I have a very entertaining one at home!”
Dr. Kimia Shakerpoor’s addition to labarre seemed to be fate. Life and health coach, Jacquelyn Miller, one of labarre’s founding instructors as well as the leader of the Total Reset Program (returning to the labarre studios in a few weeks!) was pivotal in the relationship of getting a top-flight chiropractor to call 1445 The Alameda her home. “I got connected with Lisa through Jackie, as I was working with her through Designs For Health. We started talking about how through my previous practice, I often partnered with local yoga and Pilates studios, and she told me that she worked at labarre and the owner was looking to bring in an in-house chiropractor. Thus, I met with Lisa and the rest was history! I like to think that we fell in love with this idea of bringing in chiropractic and that the new partnership is our marriage.” She says with a smile. “I’m forever grateful for both her and Jackie for giving me my dream job!”
As Dr. Kimia settles in and begins working with patients at the studio, we asked about her philosophy and thoughts on her care and more so why labarre members and guests should consider using her for their personal care. “My approach to chiropractic care is a little different than what most people are used to, in the sense that I incorporate a ton of individualized muscle work, stretches, and exercises for patients. While I do chiropractic adjustments, I spend about 30 minutes each treatment making sure that not only the joints are moving properly, but the muscles surrounding them are working to their full potential as well. Often chiropractors are “adjustment only”, focusing only on the joints, and patients spend about 5-10 minutes in the office. This method neglects the muscles and if the muscles are not loosened and functioning properly, then they can pull the joint back into its originally dysfunctional state, making the adjustment practically useless. This causes the patient to have to get treatments very regularly, and while I love seeing my patients often, my ultimate goal is to get them on a maintenance plan and promote independence instead.”
We encourage everyone to connect with our newest equipe member and understand what chiropractic can do for you. Take a look at the page we have dedicated to all of our services or reach out directly HERE to set up an appointment with Dr. Kimia!
Our newest blog is here to welcome a wonderful equipe member to our staff. Many of you already know Katharine McCallum and have taken some classes that she has led, but for those of you who do not, we are sure you will love her as much as we do!
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Katharine spent the first 18 years of her life surrounded by familiar faces. Going to school, socializing and dancing and with the same group of people, she knew that the time to spread her wings was fast approaching. It was time to leave and that calling came by way of the University of Mississippi.
The short path of growth as a teacher and hopes to stretch her wings in a greater capacity led her to veer away from teaching full time and take the LSAT, pursuing a law degree. This opportunity was a great chance to follow her dream of living in California and Santa Clara University was the landing spot for this adventurous Texan.
Being in front of the class and teaching was not a difficult leap as Katharine previously taught dance for 8 years and already had a comfort teaching in the fitness realm. Musicality and ease of routine came natural to her. The arduous part of the process was understanding the anatomical and science terminology. “I had very supportive friends from law school help me along the way and my certification process, of course, happened during my law school finals! That was hard as I was getting up at 6am to study, teaching class at 7am, going to the library all day long and then teaching a class 8pm and then taking a final somewhere in there as well! My friends were supportive and they came to every single one of the classes and, come to think of it, I should really thank them for being so caring.”
Katharine is full pf personality and says with a smile, “I would color myself as a pretty energetic and loud person but I really try and push my classes as hard as I think the guests can handle being pushed. I like to put in as much cardio as I can and keep people moving in class. Barre offers so much and I don’t want to do my guests a disservice … I want to keep their heart rates up and keep the blood pumping.”
Off the studio floor Katharine is equally as dynamic as she is when she is leading classes. Multi-talented and clearly cerebral, Katharine loves to write and does so regularly for the Santa Clara Law School paper. She is an active teacher of not only barre but also in the field of academics. She works on the ASP (Academic Success Program) which is a fancy word for tutoring and guiding students as they navigate the turbulent waters of Santa Clara’s law program. Scuba, surfing, she does that, too! After all of this, Katharine also knows how to dial it down and does so by enjoying her favorite show, Grey’s Anatomy (and she is proud to say she never misses an episode!)
Please help us welcome Katharine to the labarre family and find time to get to know her by taking one of her classes!