We got to talking with Tiffany Murphy, a Certified Pilates & Xtend Barre Instructor and Dancer to understand what it’s like to be a barre teacher for a popular method. From Tiffany’s point-of-view, you’ll find out why there’s not much stretching needed in barre and discover what she does to tone her dancer-like bod.
1. You’re a barre instructor for Xtend Barre. What do you love about barre and how long have you been teaching?
I have been instructing Xtend Barre for a year now, Pilates for a few more and dance for even longer. I love that Xtend Barre is the perfect combination of my two passions and can really be catered to everyone because of its Pilates roots. At Xtend Barre Broadwater on the Gold Coast we have clients from their teens all the way through to their sixties, and everyone is very welcoming and encouraging.
2. Do you have a favorite time of day to teach?
I absolutely thought my favorite time would be the afternoons – I’ve always been a bit of a night owl, but there’s something about completing barre by 7am that makes you feel so accomplished. I also love weekend classes, they have a great vibe! So I guess anytime is my favourite time ?
3. Do you have tips on living a healthy lifestyle?
My tip would be to START! Start an exercise program – if you don’t enjoy it, start another. The body likes to move, we just have to discover how. Once you’ve found how you like to move, pair a balanced diet to go with your exercise program and the two will work together to keep you looking and feeling great.
4. What other exercises do you enjoy in addition to barre?
In addition to Xtend Barre, I love to go for walks, and I also love the more traditional Pilates programs on the reformer, cadillac and wunda chair. I’m very passionate about safe exercise practices.
5. Barre classes include stretching but don’t spend a lot of time on it. As a teacher and dancer, can you recommend stretches to maintain flexibility?
There isn’t a lot of time spent on static stretching, but if you think about it, a barre class is all dynamic stretching, working the external rotation as well as parallel. I recommend barre classes to anyone looking to maintain or improve flexibility, especially men as they usually have very little flexibility and range of motion through the hips and hamstrings. I think as we get older it’s also about mobilizing. Mobilizing the spine by standing against the wall, taking your chin to your chest and peeling your spine off the wall one vertebrae at a time (the Pilates roll down). This to me is functional, as we need to be able to flex and extend our spine through our whole lives eg. simply getting out of your bed in the morning.
6. Your Instagram profile exudes positivity. Is that your life motto?
Absolutely! I’ve definitely had my share of down moments, but I believe that life is worth living and it’s worth living well. I’m very close to launching my blog Mindfulness Collective which is dedicated to living a long, beautiful life. You can find me on Instagram @mindfulnesscollective