Oh hello, my beautiful internet friends! In the last few weeks, MissFunctional Money has been unusually quiet (unusual because I’m rarely quiet, just ask my husband :P). The blog has had to take a back seat to my newest project … and I’m SO excited to finally share the news with y’all:
I’m going to be a Pure Barre teacher!
If you’ve been around for a hot minute, you know that I’m proud to be a Pure Barre babe. I love, love, love it.
As an athlete at heart, I love the physical challenge and progression. As a writer with a very loud brain, I crave the daily ritual of quieting my mind and focusing entirely on my movements. And as a former ballet dancer, I need that spot at the barre — something I didn’t know I’d missed so much, and a realization that’s been completely gratifying and unexpectedly emotional. I’m so thankful.
There’s something about that studio that is a sanctuary to me — a safe space, a coveted third place. I always leave in a better mood than when I arrive.
Is it the light and airy lobby? Is it the good music? Are they putting something magical in the incense burner?! Who knows how I leave so happy, but whatever the method, I ain’t complainin’ ;)
If you haven’t already, check out a little more about my dance background in my blog-post-turned-word-vomit ode to Pure Barre.
Ahead, I answer a few FAQs I know are just totally burning you up, right?!
Why do you want to be a Pure Barre teacher?
See above gushing^
I just really, really want to. My studio owner (who may be an actual angel?) knew I had a ballet background and has encouraged me to teach for awhile now — it really does sit in well with my classical training and years of teaching dance. I thought about it a year ago, but had a lot going on (having a job, getting married, going to Scotland, blah blah blah) and I just haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I’ve always managed to come up with an excuse not to, and I finally just said YUP, I want this.
And because I am just about up to my eyeballs in free time over here, why not add a new job to the mix?!
What does training to be a Pure Barre teacher require?
First, you have to audition at your studio. Your owner decides if you’re a total trainwreck a good candidate, and from there you plan a trip to the four-day training.
I went to Spartanburg, South Carolina, where the Pure Barre corporate headquarters are located — just a hop, skip and a tuck away from Charleston! The little downtown part of Spartanburg is way cuter than I remembered/expected — it reminded us of Stars Hollow, the town in Gilmore Girls. So. Cute.
Anyway, the training lasts fully three and a half days — all day Thursday, Friday, Saturday and half of Sunday. It was a combination of physically doing/understanding each position and studying/understanding the technique. We started each morning with a full class, then broke it down bit by bit. To be honest, it was a bit less physically demanding than I expected, and a whole lot more mentally challenging.
Pure Barre is incredibly specific, both in the actual movements you do and the logistics of the class. I knew that. That’s what I loved about it.
I didn’t know that it was SO specific — down to when you raise and lower the music’s volume, when you turn off the lights and how long you can demonstrate an exercise. But you know what I realized?
That’s part of the reason I was so drawn to Pure Barre originally.
I liked that every single class was consistent and I never had a “bad” teacher or negative class experience. Because each teacher is so thoroughly trained and because of the rigid class structure, I always knew I’d walk away satisfied and proud of my workout. Does that even make sense? I think what I’m trying to say is that boutique fitness is TOO dang expensive to have a bad experience, and so I liked that Pure Barre had certain expectations for what would be accomplished in class, what the energy would be like, etc.
And now that I’m practicing teaching full classes, I can understand the freedom that a specific class plan can offer. Because then I’m not spending my time during class thinking, “Oh shoot, should I do one more thigh exercise? That didn’t feel like enough,” or “Crapcrapcrapcrap I only have 5 minutes left and we haven’t even done any ab work yet.” With the class’s framework solidly in place, I can focus on being present with clients and giving them that one-on-one attention and corrections that I loved so much as a new student. Not to mention, memorizing the correct set-ups for each exercise is crucial to ensure every client has a safe workout.
Once back in Charleston, I began working with my studio owner to practice allllll of the things. Technically, a trainee has 30 days from the end of training to send in a test-out video. So, after awkwardly filming myself teaching to an invisible class and working on my weak spots, I taught a class to a few other staff/teachers and we submitted it for review by the corporate team.
Here’s a hot tip: Under no circumstances will you ever like the way you sound teaching when played back over a laptop speaker — those are the facts. It’s science. You’ll sound like a slightly-out-of-breath Minnie Mouse doing an impression of Jane Fonda. Trust me on that.
So, yep, it was a whirlwind long weekend of memorizing and learning and my brain exploded a little bit. Once I got in the studio and started practicing though, it all started to settle into place and feel more natural.
Put differently: I left Spartanburg in a mild panic of “HEAVENS TO BETSY WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO” and have transformed slowly into, “Heck yahhhhh, I got this!”
Now, we wait for the corporate team to review the video and give the final nod that I am certified to teach. Then BAM, I’m on the sched.
Unless I fail.
Man, how embarrassing will that be. Should probably have waited to announce until I was for surreeee in. Ah. Too late now.
How much did it cost to become a Pure Barre teacher?
I actually don’t know the policy for everyone, but at my studio, the only costs I incurred to become a teacher were my accommodations during training. Well, that’s a lie, because my studio owner and I split the training fees with the agreement that I will be reimbursed for my half after I’ve been working for my studio for a predetermined number of months.
(And now that I see how much of a time investment it is for the studio owner to train me, this makes total sense. She doesn’t want me to dine and dash to another studio to teach. Fair.)
Also, I totalllllllyyy NEEDED new workout clothes too :D So add that to the training budget.
MONEY SAVING TIP: There wasn’t anyone else going to training from Charleston that weekend, but my studio owner hooked me up with two of her best friend’s trainees (did you follow that??) that were going to be coming to training from Columbia at the same time. Boom, my hotel costs went from about $600 down to about $200!
“Wait, so, you’re telling me you slept in the same room as total and complete strangers?”
To quote Maria in the Sound of Music: “Mmmmhmmm, and having a marvelous time!”
Also, I’ve ~*personally*~ never seen any Pure Barre teachers that I wouldn’t want to hang out with. They’re just generally not a super scrappy bunch.
So if this is a job, what’s the money sitch?
It’s naaahhhht really a job you get into for the money. The longer you’re in it, and the more additional trainings you receive, the more you get paid. That said, it’s not nothing. It’s a nice side hustle, and it’s doing something I’m obsessed with — I call that a win-win.
In addition to being paid to teach, I’ll also have unlimited access to classes — so that’s roughly $159 per month I’ll be saving on the membership. Also, there are other perks, like major retail discounts. And that’s great, because 100% of my paycheck will go toward Alo leggings.
I do have a plan for this money. Another cool project my husband and I are considering tackling in the near-ish future. Any guesses? Let me know in the comments if you think you’ve figured it out.
So …. Are you quitting your real life/big girl job?
I’ll be teaching outside of my regular work hours.
Can I come take your class?
Come tuck it out with me; first week is free for first-time local clients! Shoot me an email and we can get you all set up!