Teacher Feature: Emma

Join us in giving a warm welcome to one of our newest barre instructors, Emma! With a background in dance and over 15 years of teaching experience under her belt, we are so excited to have her join the Barreworks family. When you step into Emma's class, her warmth and positivity will make you feel as if you known her for years, and her energetic teaching style will have you pushing through the #barreburn!


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Top Faves Pop Quiz!

  1. Pre-workout food? Smoothie (banana, spinach, almond milk, protein powder, frozen berries)
  2. Aprés-workout food? Protein bar for that freelance on-the-go lifestyle.
  3. Dessert? Chocolate or popcorn (white cheddar please)
  4. Workout gear? The odd crazy print always makes me smile.
  5. 3 favourite ways to sweat? Dance, barre, swim!
  6. Restaurant in Toronto?  Rose & Sons (danger, it’s around the corner from my house!)
  7. Travel destination? Home on the beaches of the east coast.
  8. Fave way to relax? Painting.
  9. Fave song on your current playlist? On my current Barreworks playlist: No Roots - Alice Merton and from my own personal music that’s far too chill for class: What He Wrote - Laura Marling
  10. Netflix/TV show? Veep, House of Cards (before you know who ruined it…), and my super geeky answer Landscape and Portrait Artist of the Year (obscure British painting shows)

What made you decide you wanted to become a Yoga Instructor at Barreworks? I started coming to Barreworks when my roomie Jane-Alison began teaching.  I came as a form of cross-training with my dance career and loved how it worked my muscles in a way I wasn’t used to.  At one point I had a back injury and was unable to go to dance class but still needed to stay in shape to perform.  I really love how Barreworks offers a safe yet full-bodied workout for people with injuries of all kinds, and is awesome for professional movers and first-timers alike.  I believe in the training, and I love working as a dance teacher, so eventually I put two and two together.

What do you love most about teaching? I’ve been teaching for over fifteen years, and the more I teach the more I learn, and that still really excites me.  I love creating a body-positive atmosphere where people feel free, confident, and empowered.  It’s the simple things in life I’m choosing to appreciate, and I approach teaching with the hope that after each class, in some small way I’ve made the world a better place.

What keeps you motivated/feeling positive on days when your body feels tired and your energy is low? OAs a dancer, my body is always tired and sore.  I’ve learned from years of experience, the hardest part is getting there.  Once you’ve made it to class, the hard part is over.  Positive spaces like Barreworks are all about listening to your body and doing what’s right for you on that given day.  A healthy and active body will thank you for taking time out of your day to focus on your breath, focus on your muscles, focus on moving.  Personally, I’m fuelled creatively through movement.  But if you’re really having a negative day, know that teachers are there to shine some joy your way, and it just might turn you day around.  Also, and rather importantly, whenever I’m in a room of beautiful people moving together I think, what privilege, and I am instantly filled with gratitude and fuel.

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How do you want your students to feel when they leave your classes? How do you help them achieve that? Experiencing and discovering new sensations in my body interests me and keeps me active and dancing.  These experiences are better shared.  When I see people truly in their bodies, it’s something special.  I want clients to feel like they were pushed, but never in a way that feels serious.  Hard work goes hand in hand with enjoyment and positivity.  When these things are in harmony, we are open and motivated to move, listen to, and learn from our own bodies.  I hope this will bring clients the joy and fulfillment it brings me.  We’ll leave feeling energized and open!

What would you say is your greatest strength as an instructor/how will this positively impact your students? I really believe in people.  I absolutely love seeing even the slightest day-to-day improvements in clients.  Watching, assisting, and celebrating people as they achieve personal physical accomplishments is a gift.  I have an absolute love for movement and for understanding individual bodies.  I want to share my knowledge and body positivity in a way that helps clients get to know themselves better and feel the love.

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What was your favourite moments of the Barre Certification program and why?  I loved the focus on functional movement.  As a dancer used to doing some truly wild stuff, it’s nice to connect with really fundamental human motion.  There’s a beauty to its simplicity

What would you say to people trying Barreworks for the first time?
Come ready to sweat with an open mind and open heart.

Instagram: @eksk
Twitter: @ekerson

Photos by: Blythe Sheppard