Beyond the Barre: Interview with Nathalie from N-rg barrebody

From spending 8-10 hours dancing ballet at a conservatoire in France to becoming an innovator in the barre community, Nathalie Errandonea-Mewes, founder of N-rg barrebody, takes us beyond the barre as she discovers her passion and confidence. 

How did you discover barre for the first time?
I am a former ballet dancer, trained at the conservatoire in France so dancing and training long hours was my life for a long time. Unfortunately, I had to stop dancing for health reasons. I got back into training with pilates and got my strength back. As for ballet barre specifically, I heard of the concept 3 years ago and had to try it. I had no idea what to expect at first, I thought I was going to do a classical barre class, so imagine my surprise!! I instantly loved it, loved the moves, the strength it required, the rhythm, the music, the pace…all of it. I decided to do a training course, learn the method myself so I could teach and spread the awareness of the form as soon as possible. Barre is an amazing exercise and I recommend it to
every woman I meet.

What are the benefits of barre and why do you recommend it? 
Yes, barre is a trend…but it’s here to stay you can quote me on this. It’s such an amazing fitness exercise that I can’t see that trend fading away or disappearing. Whether it’s called barre booty, barre-core, barre, ballet barre…it’s a very efficient way to regain strength within your core, your legs and bum. Barre is amazing for your posture, it works on your abs and pelvic floor muscles, arms, calves and glutes. All the main muscles groups are targeted with each exercise, it’s fantastic! I get it..it’s hard but it makes you work where you want to. Combining cardio activity into the routines as well really does deliver the jackpot. The music makes it fun, the variety and rapid changes from one exercise to another make it captivating. I have a lot of students who use the word “addicted” when they refer to barre and with good reason.

What's your favourite barre exercise? 
I love working my core and my thighs. I would say that my favourite exercise for my core is Toe Taps on a Foam Roller (I love using props). Again, like most barre and floor exercises, it doesn’t look like much but it’s damn hard!!!

For my thighs, some simples pliés in first position (x16 reps), followed by some gentle pulses (x24 reps) can make your thighs burn very quickly. I like it because it's a very basic move that ballet dancers do at the barre on a daily basis and it reminds me of when I was training as a dancer. I feel a very strong connection to the barre every time I develop new routines and exercises.

What's your favourite accessory?
I am currently developing a foam roller class and I am loving it, so I would have to say the foam roller. I use bands, weights and balls in all my classes, they are amazing props too.

Now if you were to ask me what my idea deal class would be, I wouldn’t have any
accessories at all, just the barre.


Beyond the barre, what is something you get from your practice that benefits other aspects of your life?
I feel so strong, I feel very fit, I am happy in my clothes and within myself. I feel that I look better, but most importantly I feel better.  You find yourself in a positive feedback loop.  The more you do it, the stronger and more confident you get, which energizes you to do more barre. It’s not so much about being skinny it’s about being strong and happy, I feel this way now. Barre has given me a sense of contentment like no other fitness exercise has.
I love teaching barre and see my students going through the barre experience: the first class , the burn at every class, the wonder of how they will ever get to do some exercises and then a month or 2 later, the confidence and the surprise on how well they are doing and how strong they have become...it’s my new mojo, I am trying to get people healthy and fit, I give tips beyond the barre so the women I teach ( mostly mums) can be comfortable and happy in their body. Being a mum of 2 myself, I know the journey can be a bit complicated sometimes, and I have helped a lot of Mothers feel better about themselves, that’s a big reward!
There is a quote that I have on my wall in my bedroom: “ be a badass with a good ass” :) it’s just a bit of fun… I am also a big believer in following your dreams. I try to teach this to my children and to never quit…
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Nat teaches classes in London, UK in English and French. Make sure to follow her on Instagram @n.rg_barrebody , her amazing videos and positive energy will shine through your screen and brighten your day. Next time you're in the UK don't leave without taking her class and don't forget to tell her you're our barre bestie <3