This month, in celebration of women, we've created a series honouring inspiring women who we have serious crushes on. From artists to entrepreneurs, all are passionate about what they do - we hope that sharing their stories will inspire you to turn your dreams into a reality.
First up, we have the Founder & Owner of CBARRE, Christine Sharpe. Christine is a former professional dancer and ballet instructor who was motivated to start her own barre studio. After having kids she had a desire to get back into shape and to share her love of barre with her community. She sat down with us to discuss how she got her start, her biggest obstacles, and some of the best advice she’s ever received.
Tell us about yourself?
Hi my name is Christine, I am a mum, and the owner of CBARRE studio on the Danforth.
As a former professional dancer and ballet instructor, I got started in barre after I had my kids and I was looking to get back into shape and do something just for me.
What is Barre?
Barre is a form of functional movement that comes from ballet. It's a strengthening training, there is pilates involved, It's great for the core, it's a very female empowered fitness genre. We do sometimes have guys come to the classes, everyone is welcome! But it’s generally women.
What inspired you to get your start?
I was inspired to start because of the teachers I had. These women were so strong and so motivating, I could envision myself up there in front of the class. That was such an exciting feeling.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I received a lot of advice over the years. One that really stuck with me was a teacher I had back when I was performing. It's not about who is the most talented or who is the best at something, it's often about who sticks with it the longest. Who is a hard worker, who has grit, who is relentless. And throughout everything I’ve done since that moment I have persevered. it's not just about how talented you might be, of course, that comes into play but it is about grit.
What is one of the biggest obstacles you had to overcome during your start?
In starting your own fitness studio there are many obstacles, of course building the clientele is one of the hardest. For me, I just always took it back to the basics and thought what is it that I would want at a Barre class? And that is a connection. I want to feel comfortable in the space, and that I connect with the instructor they motivate me and inspire me.
How do you balance work and personal life?
It's very funny, being a fitness instructor and someone who is meant to promote balance and wellness I often find that I myself am completely out of balance. It's hard to juggle my two kids, my partner, my business, my friendships, and my own self-care. Sometimes you're out of balance and you just have to let it go and know that you will get back into that grove eventually.
What advice would you give to another woman looking to do what you do?
If I were to chat with someone who is looking to open a fitness studio I would say go for it. There is no try. You just gotta do it. Know your own value and know that you got this and go for it. you've only got one life to live and what have you got to lose!
How would you define female empowerment?
Female empowerment to me is just about knowing your own worth. And knowing it doesn't matter what your background is where you come from we are all worthy. Worthy of love and acceptance and whatever it is that you want to go after. You should go for it.
What clothing do you feel most confident in?
I think confidence comes from within, so I can feel super confident whether I'm in sweatpants and I'm heading off to teach a class or if I'm all dressed upand going out for a night on the town. I think it really needs to come from within first
What is the most important thing to you when getting dressed?
For me, my clothing needs to be comfortable. I have two kids and I run a fitness studio. SO a lot of the time in leggings and stretchy clothing, comfort is key! I want to feel good in my clothes so I try to pick colors that suit and inspire me.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about CBARRE?
CBARRE is a really inclusive welcoming space and our classes focus on strengthening the entire body while having a complete dance party vibe so it's a lot of fun. We are all about connection and convenience we are right here on the Danforth really close to pape station and of course, the classes are super challenging. Those are the 3 C’s, convenience, connection and challenging. We hope to see you soon!
Thanks so much, Christine, for welcoming us into your space. Want to learn more about CBARRE? Check it out here.
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