I am so thrilled to share that launching this May, we are welcoming a new face to the Aligned Life Studio— and a new way to get aligned. This month, the incredible Amber Stephens is joining the studio with barre classes to get your heart pumping and your energy flowing.
Amber Stephens is a creative artist, dancer, pilates instructor, yoga teacher, and the founder of Barre Warrior, which is a certified fitness program that combines the amazing benefits of dance-based barre exercise with pilates, yoga, and HIIT. And, she’s bringing it all to the Aligned Life Studio.
Learn more about Amber and the magic behind her Barre Warrior workouts, ahead!
At her core, Amber is a dancer and painter. She began dancing when she was just 4-years-old, starting with ballet and then moving into more contemporary and modern dance. When Amber was a teenager, she began oil painting, which ultimately led to a full-time career as a painter at the age of 22. So impressive! Through dancing and painting, Amber has traveled the world, spending time in Europe as she danced, choreographed, and painted her way through self exploration.
What makes Amber’s work so special is that she has used her background in dance and painting to inform her career as a fitness instructor and the creation of her program, Barre Warrior, which is not just about the exercises and “working out,” but also about coming back to yourself and finding your own way to breathe in your skin and be true to yourself. She brings this philosophy — and the moves that are bound to make you sweat — to the Aligned Life Studio.
What Is Barre Warrior?
Barre Warrior is a licensed rep New Zealand registered fitness program that is centered around three pillars: Strength, Grace, and Spirit. Inspired by movement and expression — both in dance and painting — the barre exercise program aligns traditional dance and barre exercises with yoga, pilates, and HIIT movements for a workout that strengthens, sculpts, and makes you sweat.
“I really wanted Barre Warrior to be a celebration,” Amber explains of the purpose behind the program. When Amber first started teaching the method at her studio, she found that people would gather there to get a fix of “spirit and joy.” And, through finding joy and making working out in this way a playful experience, Amber says you can really unlock parts of the body. “A lot of what I reach and how I teach Barre Warrior is alignment based,” she adds. “When people align their bodies, they align their energetic structure,” she notes, explaining how “when the body’s aligned, the energy’s aligned and people can start to access parts that might have been blocked before.”
While Amber’s Barre Warrior workouts are inspired by a combination of dance, yoga, pilates, and HIIT, there’s another key element to the movement she practices and teaches — one that we have talked about quite a bit over ion the Aligned Life Collective. “I got really into somatic dance techniques and all of these ways for how to create longevity of movement in the body,” she explains. Amber used her studies in somatic dance to inform Barre Warrior, “looking at the anatomical join structure, how we move, and how we can move with flow and symbiotically like the symbiotic relationship between join structure.” Through this intention, she created Barre Warrior not just as an exercise where you put your body into specific positions, but one that is flowing and more dance-centered.
Aligning Dance, Yoga, Pilates, and HIIT
This month, we’re introducing Amber’s amazing Barre Warrior workouts to the Aligned Life Studio, with a variety of great classes including Barre 101, Floor Barre and , Warrior Ball, then in the following months we’ve got lots more coming, including her Barre Warrior Express class, Cardio Wake Up Warrior and many more!
Whether you’re new to barre workouts or a seasoned barre star, Amber recommends starting off with the Barre 101 class, no matter what your skill level is. As you may know from the Aligned Life Studio,proper alignment is ultra-important and, in barre classes, it is crucial in order to see the benefits and ensure your safety. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to get alignment through your spine and learn how to hold your body stillin the neutral pelvis while you’re moving other parts of your body as well,” says Amber, noting how not taking the time to learn the basics can result in injury.
Once you get the basics down and get moving and flowing with Amber, you might discover muscles you never knew you had, as well as notice some key benefits. “The two major things you’re going to get from Barre Warrior are posture and fine sculpted muscle,” says Amber, noting how this can lead to strong and sculpted arms and legs.
Here’s what to expect from Amber’s Barre Warrior classes in the Aligned Life Studio.
Barre 101:This class is all about the fundamentals and foundational movements and body positions. It’s centered around “getting the technique to be able to correctly work the barre movements,” says Amber.
Floor Barre:This class is “a strong mixture of pilates and barre,” Amber explains, noting that it’s very similar to a mat pilates class but with barre movements.
Warrior Ball:In this class, Amber uses the Body Sphere for movements that are all about “intensifing the isometric contractions,” or squeezing and contracting. “If you want a really fast and quick way to getting a burn and you don’t have much time, this is it,” says Amber.
Barre Warrior Express:This quick flow is focused on the dancers leg movements and foundational movements, without the arms and ball. You get a quick flow that targets all areas of the body.
Cardio Wake Up Warrior:Amber says if you want to get your heart rate up, this is the class for you. “It’s a dynamic workout that gets the endorphins going,” she notes, adding that it’s all about low impact and high intensity movements.
Ready to get your sweat on? Head on over to the Aligned Life Studio to take a class with Amber!