GET SCULPTED AT WINNIPEG'S FIRST BOUTIQUE BARRE STUDIO
By Ashley Tokaruk
Summer is upon us and so comes the desire to work out and take extra good care of our bodies. Though, for some of us the idea of strolling into a gym full of iron-pumping pro’s can be intimidating and disheartening. That unsure, apprehensive feeling that many people experience is what inspired Tess White to open Sculpt Barre, Winnipeg’s first boutique barre studio.
Barre classes focus on isometric training. This means you are doing moves that require work from your stabilizing muscles (your smaller muscles). “When you’re at the gym using a big weight, you’re going more for power,” explains Tess, “ So in barre when you’re holding a move for a while you’re using those big muscles and having to pull from the smaller muscles to keep that movement and the momentum going.” This is how you target the smaller muscles that you don’t always use in a regular movement, which gives the body that lean, toned look. The studio offers many different classes to help clients get exactly the kind of workout they’re looking for.
The Sculpt Barre class focuses on strength and flexibility by combining poses and postures from traditional ballet, pilates, and yoga practices. Sculpt+ is similar to the Sculpt Barre class but has more bursts of movements and barre work. There is a stretch class that puts emphasis on foam rolling, which Tess explains is “like going to an intense massage, but you can do it on your own.” To put that into context, foam rolling is when you put your tight spot or problem area and all of your body weight on a foam roller and slowly move up and down. The combination of pressure and movement causes all of the built-up fascia, scar tissue, and tightness to loosen up, increasing your flexibility. Cool, right?
Tess grew up in Winnipeg and returned here after moving to Toronto, Calgary, North Carolina, San Jose, California, and Detroit. She was a regular at barre classes while living in the States, but struggled to find a similar class when she moved back to the prairies. She was already equipped with her personal training certificate, so she teamed up with a friend who had opened Sculpt Barre in Edmonton and opened the first franchised studio in Winnipeg.
Tess truly redefined the title Barre Star and officially opened Sculpt Barre in 2015. It took two years of planning, flights back and forth to Edmonton, and 20 days of ten-hour barre method training classes to prepare herself for the opening of the studio. She then spent six months teaching the methods she had learned to her employees, aka her Sculpt Squad. “I lived off of wine and Advil, and man it was intense,” Tess laughs.
Tess also found that some clients wanted more of a cardiovascular workout, so a couple of the instructors developed the Studio Cardio class. It is an up-beat, fast-paced bootcamp run by Fit Girl Gang creator Johanna Seier. The studio also occasionally offers Date Night classes and Barre Baby classes.
The clientele is mostly women, though there are a few men who participate in the classes. “It’s just a safe place for them to come and work out,” Tess says, “It's a community and it's about them feeling welcomed and it doesn't matter what size you are or what fitness level you're at.”
Barre class provides a low-impact, full body workout for people of any age. “I looked at my mom who struggles going to the gym because she doesn't know what to do; she's intimidated and she's insecure so opening up Sculpt Barre provides a safe place for women,” says Tess. Classes consist of one instructor and 20 clients, so everyone gets that one-on-one attention and guidance. Tess also ensures instructors are at the studio half an hour before class and half an hour after class so clients can come discuss any difficulties with moves, injuries, or just to chat.
Did I mention that Tess is also a single mother of two? When she’s not teaching Sculpt+ class or managing her studio, she is driving to soccer practice, dance class, or just hanging out with her son Paxton and daughter Gracelyn. Can you say #GirlBoss?
Tess and her Sculpt Squad celebrated their 2nd anniversary this July, so cheers to the girls who keep our arms, legs, cores, and hearts strong.