Small conversations with Barre Base.
Our latest interview with Barre Base. A light, bright and modern barre studio, offering barre, mobility and yoga-inspired classes.
Barre Base fuses elements of ballet barre (French for 'bar') conditioning exercises with pilates, yoga, and functional, body-weight training. Alongside their traditional barre classes, we also offer yoga-fusion classes and stretch and mobility sessions— offering a balanced timetable of classes for our regular clients.
We were lucky enough to chat with Rosa, owner of Barre Base and Barre Base Anywhere to discuss all things Barre, must see places around Ōtepoti and more…
Hey Rosa, thanks for chatting with us. Can you please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and what led you to become a Barre instructor?
Kia ora! My name is Rosa Anderson-Jones, and I was born and raised in Dunedin, NZ - the deep south! I adore this city – the rugged and diverse landscape, and the simplicity of getting around to all of your favourite places. I live on the peninsular, and it is truly one of the best places on earth.
I grew up a dancer and dance teacher (mainly jazz and contemporary), but also a passionate sportsperson – so barre is the perfect union between physical movement and a nod to the dancer that is inside all of us. Barre allows you to embody strength, but in a way that celebrates grace – and moving in ways that are a little more expressive than a typical workout.
I love that you can get a mighty workout, but leave feeling taller and freer (physically and mentally).
What made you decide to open your own Barre studio?
Barre was so unknown here in New Zealand when we launched in 2015 – especially in Dunedin. So the only way to get things happening was to do it ourselves.
What was great about starting something ourselves is that we could put our stamp on it, and ensure the brand carried our ethos on fitness.
We imagined a new style of training that centred around gaining the strength, length and grace of a dancer while leaving behind the intimidating (yet sadly common) body focus associated with dance conditioning. We wanted to open to door to anyone who was looking to move with strength and freedom.
A particular goal of mine is to empower students who may have felt left out of sports earlier in their lives and felt that movement wasn’t for them. Our classes attract movers from all walks of life, which is part of the magic of our studio.
Barre has been around for 7 years now, which is a true testament to how popular your classes are. What have been some of your highlights throughout the years?
Thank you! I love how far we’ve come, and all of the people who’ve contributed along the way. It has been such a wonderfully connected experience between all of the members who’ve walked through our doors, and every single teacher who has left their mark.
A highlight was lockdown 2020… which I know could sound mad. We were completely homebound and unable to get to the studio, however, our whole team jumped on board immediately to a full Zoom timetable. At times we had 60+ people jumping in for a barre workout. We had children joining in, tours of chicken coops, and even had past members and teachers join back in from all over the world. Throughout this uncertain time, we had one another – we had a chair (our at-home barre), and we could exercise and stretch out the feelings of the time together. It was a poignant time for me, and a time I really could reflect on of the community we’d built.
This was also when our online classes were born – which, 2.5 years later, is growing steadily.
A great segue into my next question. You started Barre Base Anywhere recently which is perfect for people like me who sadly don’t live in Dunedin! What inspired you to create an online alternative?
Funnily enough, we’d wanted to do online classes for years before COVID-19. Our barre classes are unique (we draw a lot from yoga, so our classes are grounding albeit tough). We often had members who had left Dunedin ask us for videos, as they hadn’t been able to find something that fulfilled their Barre Base craving. My partner is also a videographer, so we had all the tools to do so. At this point though, he and I were both still working full time in marketing roles, so time was tight. Like for many, COVID forced our hands!
Although COVID was an obvious application for at-home classes, we have all come to experience the benefits of having an at-home workout option - from saving time/money on commuting to keeping a workout routine while raising little ones or to accessing classes from a rural destination. There are so many reasons that people either prefer (and love) the option of our online studio - so it's wonderful to continue to make movement accessible to even more.
We now have barre lovers joining us from all across New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USA, France and Germany to name a few.
Being based in the beautiful Ōtepoti, what are your favourite things about your local community?
Dunedin is understated but incredibly beautiful. The community also reflects this. This city is full of amazing creatives, academics and business people, all of who do things in their unique way. A lot gets done around here, but it doesn’t have the hectic pace of a big city.
I love food and exercise – go figure. Eating scrambled eggs (with Bang Bang Chilli) at Side On – or taking home any of their amazing baked goods. I love Common Ground Espresso for my at-home coffee. I have recently switched to decaf (resting the nervous system), and you’d never know the difference when it comes to taste.
I love walks in Ross Creek, which is close to where I grew up. You’ll also often see me walking around the peninsula, and in season, Hereweka (Harbour Cone), is a hike worth doing.
We have endless beach spots here. After all of the travel I was lucky enough to do in my corporate life, there aren’t many spots that beat Dunedin.
I'm clearly quite patriotic when it comes to this place.
For someone new to online workouts, what Barre class would you recommend starting with?
We have a “Getting Started” collection inside our workout library, which is a great place to start! This includes our Gentle Barre classes, our crowd-favourite Stretch classes and a few classic barre classes for those who are drawn to a challenge. You can also select classes based on intensity, which is a great feature for those who are new. All of this is available with a 7-day free trial, so you can get a feel of what we offer, experience the barre burn, and my style of teaching too.
Thank you for using our Glass Cleaners! What made you decide to use our sustainable cleaners?
A nod to the dance teacher in me, the glass cleaner! I am obsessed with making sure our studio mirrors are always shining. Handprints get to me, haha!
Limiting plastic where we can is a no-brainer. The stress of climate change is always close to the surface for me, so it's great to see a New Zealand business looking at ways to do its part. Although much more needs to happen at a government level, at least we can sleep easier knowing that individually, we are trying to make a difference where possible.
Lastly, can you please let us know where we find you
If you ever visit Dunedin, we’d love to see you at our inner-city studio. We love when people drop-in!
And if you’re keen to try out our online classes, head to our website: www.barrebaseanywhere.co.nz and get on the free trial. We have 65+ workouts on-demand (and growing), and we run a Zoom class weekly which is always recorded for members too.
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