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!”