For former professional dancer Dr Andrea Robertson, fitness is a way of life. She’s an osteopath, a naturopath and nutritionist, and a barre, yoga and ballet teacher. Now Andrea’s added ‘TV personality’ to her CV, as she takes her business The Barre Clinic digital. Lauren Zwaans from KIS Communications chats with our September Business Partner about business, staying fit – and her new offering, the Barre Clinic TV (tBCTV), that lets you work out from home.
Thanks for being our September Business Partner Andrea! Tell us about your businesses.
Andrea: My businesses reflect my background in health and fitness. I own Southside Clinic, a large multi-disciplinary clinic in Unley, offering Osteopathy, Naturopathy, Physiotherapy, Psychology, RemediaL Massage and Clinical Pilates. Within our clinic, we house my other business, The Barre Clinic, a boutique fitness studio offering Barre, Yoga, Adult Ballet & HIIT classes.
Tell us more about your classes. Where are they held and who are they suited to?
Within our building in Unley, we have two studios, as well as five treatment rooms. Upstairs we have our Clinical Pilates studio, where we treat clients who need rehabilitation from an injury, or where those who have lower levels of fitness can have their own individual Pilates program written for them, and work on that with an instructor in a small class of five people maximum.
Downstairs, we have our barre/yoga/ballet studio, where we cater to all ages and all fitness abilities from beginners through to the experienced fitness or ballet enthusiast.
Congratulations on launching the Barre Clinic TV! When did you launch and what classes are you offering?
On June 1st this year I launched my online studio, tBCTV (the Barre Clinic TV), where I offer Barre, Yoga, Adult Ballet and HIIT classes online.
Why did you decide to add an online studio to your offering?
This came from a need within my client database, especially among those who used to come to the studio (so they know me and what I do well), but who couldn’t come anymore due to either moving away, having children, or work commitments. I’ve had a great response so far, with many clients loving the fact they can do a class whenever it suits them, and they can choose the class length and style.
What’s the response been like so far?
I had a good/better/best goal for my launch of 80, 100 and 120 members on launch week. I hit 101 clients on launch week, so that was my ‘better’ goal. I was thrilled! The numbers have been growing steadily ever since. I upload 2-3 new classes per week, which I film, and edit myself.
What advice would you give someone who’s never tried barre before?
All you need to know is a plie (bend the knees) and a tendu (point the foot) – done! Now you are ready to start! Plus, come with a fun attitude, a water bottle, and be ready to sweat and shake. You just need to work to your own ability, but all of our classes cater to all abilities, because we can advance up or modify down as needed within any class.
You’re a qualified barre, yoga and pilates instructor. We feel like that’s controversial because it seems many people are a fan of yoga or pilates, but not both! Do you have a favourite?
I like all forms of exercise for different people for different reasons. For me personally, I love combining barre, yoga, pilates, ballet, gym work and HIIT all into one week. It is very important to stretch though, and I feel most people don’t stretch enough, so more people should definitely balance strength and cardio work with yoga or stretching.
You were originally a dancer. Tell us about some of the places you’ve worked over the years! How has this experience shaped your approach to fitness?
I’ve danced since I was three, and I worked professionally as a dancer all over the world. I was a dancer at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, Son Amar in Spain, with Carnival Cruises in the USA, and I did all sorts of stage and TV work in Australia, including Australian Idol, The Aria Awards, film clips and big corporate events.
I relate to how this has shaped my approach to fitness. I love barre workouts because they are true to my roots, being based on ballet and pilates. It feels like I’m home when I’m at the ballet barre, having started ballet at three and never stopping since, so that’s been 41 years of ballet for me! Being a dancer has meant I’ve always moved my body too, and so I know and feel the value of regular exercise and the health benefits that gives.
What sets your offering apart?
My dance background and knowledge of the body allows me to create a Barre workout that is true to ballet and pilates, and at the same time choreographing the moves and classes so they are very safe. Many barre workouts are gym-style movements performed at a ballet barre, but that is not the true essence of a barre workout. Barre is ballet and pilates, and so my workouts reflect that. I have designed my Barre workouts to follow the structure of a traditional ballet class, with barre exercises, then centre, then floor. I have also designed my workouts so that anyone can join and reap the benefits. We can modify exercises for those with lower levels of fitness, injury or pre or post natal, and we can also advance every exercise for those who would like more of a challenge.
My barre workouts improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen, tone and lengthen all at the same time, so with only doing 2-3 classes per week for a few weeks, you really start to notice positive changes with energy, flexibility and muscle tone.
For those of us who are a little out of shape at the moment (like myself!), what advice would you offer as a first step to getting back into fitness?
Find something you really love doing, and make it easy to achieve. Online workouts are great for this as you can choose what time, style and level you want to do, and do the class whenever it suits you.
Also, start gently and slowly. There is nothing worse than having a 100% commitment to a new exercise program, then going too hard too fast, and finding you can’t walk for a week due to muscle soreness, and then letting it all slip.
We love having you involved in the SA Woman community. How long have you been a part of our community and what do you love about it?
I have been a part of the community for a few months, however I have known Carly for longer through the Telstra Business Women’s Awards Alumni, and have been watching all the wonderful things she has been doing with SA Woman for a while.
The support and networking through SA Woman is amazing. I needed some help recently with a project I was doing. I put a call out on the Facebook page, and within a few hours, my problems were solved!
To find out more about the Barre Clinic TV, head to www.thebarreclinic.com.au.
Andrea is offering a special price on studio classes for SA Woman. She is offering a 5 Class Pass to SA Woman members for only $19* (normally $95).
* There is a two-month expiry on the five class pass at this special introductory price.