Wedding Tips from NYC “IT” Girl Dani Stahl

Wedding Tips from NYC “IT” Girl Dani Stahl

Barre3 West Village client Dani Stahl is a lifelong New Yorker, Style Director at Nylon magazine, and creator of her own custom shoes made alongside Christian Louboutin for her wedding this past spring. In other words, she’s the kind of “it” girl who would seem totally untouchable—if she weren’t so amazingly, refreshingly down-to-earth.

When it came to wedding planning, Dani not only put together a gorgeous and magical black-tie affair, but she managed to pull it off in just six months! We had so much fun chatting with her about why barre3 is the perfect pre-wedding body-shaper, how to choose the best dress, and how her husband, Dave, helped her learn to let go of stress and enjoy the moment. Check out our conversation below.


barre3: Every bride wants to be in great shape for her wedding. What advice would you give for finding your ideal workout and—most important—sticking to it?

Dani: Consistency is key—you have to find something you’re going to want to do a lot, or you won’t stick with it. My goal was to do barre3 four to five times a week. The beauty of barre3 is that it doesn’t deplete you like other types of exercise, so you really can do it every day. I even did it the day before my wedding.

I also go to spin class and do gym workouts, but I always tell people, if you want to fit in a dress, do a barre3 class every day for a week. It’s a total-body workout, and it targets those little muscles you didn’t know you had that shape your body. And it gives you the kind of body I’m drawn to—long, muscular but lean, and healthy.

b3: What overall advice would you give to brides-to-be when it comes to getting in shape for their weddings?

Dani: Do what you can to feel good on your wedding day, but don’t kill yourself over it. I travel a lot for work, and a few weeks before my wedding I was in Paris for fashion shows. I ate my way through every dinner in Paris, and I didn’t work out once while I was there. And the week before the wedding my now husband and I took our parents to a fancy dinner to thank them, and I let myself enjoy it completely. If someone wants to host a dinner for you, go. If someone throws you a party, enjoy it. I just looked at the landscape of the last few weeks before my wedding and planned my workouts accordingly.

b3: You believe strongly in the edict, “fashion is fun.” How can brides take this to heart during their weddings?

Dani: Your dress has to be your favorite dress ever—but you have to be able to have a good time in it. If you want poofy, go for it; if you want tight, wear it, but if you can’t lift your arms, what’s the point? People look their best when they’re comfortable.

I didn’t do the typical “try on dresses” thing. In my job I work with designers, and I saw my dress a long time ago. I always wanted a Valentino dress, and I loved this one, and that was kind of it. I put it on for my mom and danced around to make sure it would work for me.

b3: Do the same rules apply to wedding shoes?

Dani: You have to have shoes you can dance in! I made mine with Christian Louboutin. They were white with giant pink bows on the back.

b3: It’s easy for brides to stress over every last detail—the invitations, the food, the flowers, the music, the seating arrangements. How did you handle all the planning pressure?

Dani: Some things came really easily, like the song I walked down the aisle to. It’s called Opus 23. I heard it once in barre3 class, and I liked it. Then I heard it again and I loved it, and I played it for Dave, and he thought it was really pretty.

But I definitely was obsessed with other things that I didn’t think were perfect along the way—not in a bridezilla way, I just wanted everything to be great. When the invitations went out, there was a computer glitch and all the zip codes got messed up. Every invitation went out wrong. Half came back, half never got there. I just hated that it looked sloppy, and I obsessed over it.

Finally, Dave said to me, “It is what it is. We’re going to get married in two weeks. Let’s just enjoy it.” I had the best time EVER once I learned to let it go. It was the perfect mindset to go into the whole wedding weekend.

The day really is about you, and everyone is there to support you and not judge you. You don’t get that time back. I’m so grateful that I found the space to finally listen. None of that noise matters. Let yourself enjoy your process.

b3: Any advice for day-of wedding prep?

Dani: I wanted to be at home. I didn’t have bridesmaids, but I had a handful of close girlfriends over the day of the wedding and we got a bunch of kale, quinoa, chicken salads. You need to eat so you can be calm and have energy. Having a good, healthy lunch with fat, fiber, and protein is a must.

b3: As someone in the fashion industry, you must have had fun packing for your honeymoon! Do you have any advice for other brides?

Dani: Packing became an obsession for me. I loved it! For our honeymoon we spent two weeks in Bali and Thailand, and I spent the six months before planning my outfits for every day of the trip. But I happen to love doing that. There’s another version of a honeymoon where you pack two swimsuits and a cover-up, and you’re great.

b3: Any final advice for brides-to-be?

Dani: If budget allows, get a photo booth! We had one, and it was my favorite thing from the wedding. People had so much fun with it. I want to frame all the photos individually and line my stairwell with them. Also, create a hashtag for your wedding. That way anyone who posts pictures on social media can use the same hashtag and you’ll be able to find them all in one place.

Brides and brides-to-be, do you have any words of wisdom to share? Tell us in the comments below.

Studio Owner Spotlight: Liz Hay

Studio Owner Spotlight: Liz Hay

We love working with Liz Hay from barre3 Needham because she knows when to celebrate the wins and when to let go of the things she can’t control. Today, Liz is sharing her strategies for staying healthy all summer long as well as what she’s learned from our recent barre3 Anywhere Challenge. Here’s Liz in her own words:


I had done just about every type of fitness out there; I even got my yoga certification in 2008. After I had my son Johnathan, I was looking for a more efficient workout that would help me get my pre-baby body back. I gravitated towards barre classes, but it was with a different company and they didn’t offer childcare, so it was tough to get to the studio.

During the first two years of my son’s life, I was working a job that was incredibly demanding. That’s when I started to realize that my work/life balance was seriously out of whack. My husband and I both traveled a lot for our jobs, so we were always trying to coordinate our schedules so that someone could be home with our son. We were like ships in the night, and rarely together as a family. I wanted a career where I could be there for my little boy in the morning, take him to work if I needed to, and put him to bed at the end of the day.

My ultimate goal was to own my own business, so I started doing some research—that search led me to barre3. When I went on the barre3 website, it immediately hit me in my gut: I knew that barre3 was supposed to be my path. I started by visiting a studio, and felt like I was home the minute I walked in the door. After that first class, I continued doing online workouts and getting to studios whenever I could. Eventually I headed to Portland for training, and the rest is history.

I’ve always believed in the importance of surrounding yourself with good people, and that’s especially true now that I’ve opened the Needham studio. My team is everything to me and I know that our studio is as strong as it is because of them.

I feel the same way about my clients. We’ve created such a tight-knit community here, and I love seeing friendships blossom between these women. They carpool to class, they meet for drinks afterwards…it’s really special. Not only have their physical transformations been astounding, they’re stronger mentally too. It’s truly inspiring to me.

This sense of community is one of my favorite things about the barre3 challenges. We cheer each other on, hold each other accountable, and we love filling up the tracking board! (It’s a running joke in the studio about how much adults love stickers).

With the January Challenge, the big takeaway for me was the importance of modifications. I was teaching all the time, so I needed to keep an eye on my energy levels and modify some of the workouts so I wouldn’t get depleted.

With the barre3 Anywhere Challenge, my goal was to be better about planning out meals. I did my shopping and cooking at the start of each week so that I’d always have healthy foods within easy reach. It made a huge difference in my results, and the summery recipes were so delicious. The almond banana oat cups are my new favorite.

For me, staying healthy this summer is all about balance: making sure to get outside and have fun in the sun with family and friends, getting together for barbecues, and always adding a few barre3 recipes into the mix. I also love that you can do barre3 workouts outside— I’ve done them everywhere from a park bench across from the studio to the beach at Cape Cod. This summer we’ll be heading to upstate New York, and I’m looking forward to doing barre3 at the family lake house.

No matter where my summer takes me though, I’m always happy to come back to this amazing community. I love sharing this lifestyle with my clients and getting people excited about whole-body health. It brings me joy every single day; for me, it’s the best part of my job.

Do you want to own a barre3 studio? Learn more.

How To Do the Perfect Squat

Squats work your hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings and tighten your core. We love them because they shape the entire lower body and help improve balance, strengthen the pelvic floor and reinforce healthy muscle patterns in the body.

When you do a squat, your body’s first instinct is to choose the path of least resistance, which can lead to improper form. We asked Master Trainer Catie Fahrner to throw her training out the window for a moment and demonstrate how NOT to do a squat. Here are three common squat don’ts:

1. DON’T let your knees track forward beyond your toes.

Knees are tracking forward beyond the toes.

When squatting, keep your knees behind your toes. Letting your knees go too far forward puts unnecessary stress on your body and prevents the right muscles from firing.

2. DON’T tuck your butt under and round your shoulders forward.

Butt is tucked under and shoulders rounds forward.

Focus on reaching your tailbone behind you (like you’re about to sit in a chair) and roll your shoulders down your back. By doing so, you’ll alleviate low-back tension, open up your chest, and work your glutes and core more effectively.

3. DON’T move your chest up and down instead of dropping your seat.

Moving chest instead of dropping seat.

When many people squat, they lower and lift their chest instead of bending their knees and dropping their seat towards the floor. Moving your chest up and down doesn’t work your glutes at all and can cause low-back strain.

And now, for the perfect squat:

The perfect squat.

Look at Catie’s beautiful form above. Her knees are stacked over the the top of the feet, her seat is dropped as if it were reaching back to sit down, and her chest is lifted and bright. A squat like this will deliver maximum results in minimal time.

If you have any questions about the right way to do a squat, don’t hesitate to ask your studio owner or instructor—they’ll be happy to check your form. And if you’re doing our online workouts, feel free to ask us questions in the comments below or email us at We’re here for you!

barre3 Book Club: Stories I Only Tell My Friends

barre3 Book Club: Stories I Only Tell My Friends

We hung his poster on our wall and swooned over him in The Outsiders. We’re talking about Rob Lowe, and for anyone who grew up in the 80s, his autobiography is the perfect summer read.

Stories I Only Tell My Friends is a fun, nostalgic journey that starts in Lowe’s hometown of Dayton, Ohio and leads you to his heartthrob days in Malibu, where he took his place among the Hollywood “Brat Pack”.

The book is peppered with unexpected celebrity cameos, like the time he had lunch in high school with a girl named Sarah. They ate French fries at a local diner and bonded over a love of acting. Turns out, the girl was Sarah Jessica Parker. He befriended another young actress on the set of his short-lived sit-com A New Kind of Family. On the day the show was canceled, Janet said, “I’m done with acting… I’m going into music. If my brothers can do it, so can I.” It’s Janet Jackson.

While there’s plenty of dish and some deliciously juicy anecdotes, they’re never provocative or mean-spirited. Instead, Lowe delivers honest, insightful glimpses into his disappointments, relationships, and triumphs over the last 25 years. More than anything, it’s the coming-of-age story of a teen idol who would go on to become a man who honors family and marriage. (We love the fact that he’s been married to his wife for over 20 years!)

We’ve read quite a few celebrity memoirs over the years, and Lowe’s is one of our all-time favorites. Even the title lives up to its name: by the end of the book, we really did feel like his friend.

Have you read Stories I Only Tell My Friends? Tell us how you like it in the comments below!

Beyond the Barre: Breathe Big

Beyond the Barre: Breathe Big

When Oregon State University’s star linebacker, Michael Doctor, injured his ankle, he tried everything to heal it. Then his trainer suggested barre3. One class and he was hooked—and not just because owner Robin Jones handed out barre3 brownies afterward! Read on to find out how this tough football player—who’s now an NFL free agent with a stellar chance of getting picked up by a team this August—was humbled by his first class, how the barre3 mantra “breathe big” helped his game, and why he intends to practice barre3 even beyond his football career.


I played linebacker for OSU, and I fractured my left ankle during the 2013 football season. I was working with the school’s athletic trainer in rehab, and we were trying all kinds of things to make it better. I did some yoga and pilates, but I wasn’t improving as much as I’d hoped.

Then the trainer told me about barre3. She said it combined yoga and pilates and ballet all in one, so it would be a great way to improve my balance and stability. I had never heard of it before but I figured it couldn’t hurt, so I gave it a try.

Oh man, that first class! It was a winter day, and the owner of the Corvallis studio, Robin Jones, was the instructor. I’ll be honest, when I walked in and saw a few women in their 60s, I thought, if they can do this, I can for sure do it. But then we started class, and we were working all these muscles I don’t usually work, and it was really challenging. I was humbled. I just kept thinking, “man, I respect this class!”

As a football player, I’m used to doing really intense workouts, but barre3 was different. I was really struck by how much emphasis there was on balance and keeping your core tight. That really helped me heal my ankle, and it built my core strength—all of which helped me out on the field.

But the thing that hit home the most—and changed my football game—was barre3’s focus on breathing big. Robin started that first class by telling us to take deep breaths, and throughout the workout she reminded us to breathe deeply. I went into spring ball two weeks after that class, and at one point I was out on the field, really pushing myself, and I remembered Robin saying “take deep breaths.” I consciously did it, and it changed everything. Now anytime I’m tired, either out on the field or during workouts, I hear Robin’s voice in my head telling me to breathe big.

I’ve recruited just about everyone I know to try barre3. I convinced a lot of guys on the OSU team to go. We’d go to class on Saturdays after crazy heavy lifting sessions, and it would restore our energy levels. I recruited my girlfriend and her mom and her aunts and uncles to go, too, and they still go to this day. I take classes anytime I’m back in Corvallis, and when I have free time on the road I try to find studios. Even when I’m done with my football career, I plan to keep doing barre3. I know if I do, I’ll never get out of shape.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman—you have to be a warrior to do barre3. I want to be in the NFL Hall of Fame one day, and I know barre3 can help me do that. My advice to anyone is that if you want to improve your life spiritually, mentally, and physically, go to barre3.

barre3 Anywhere Challenge Success Stories

So many of you told us that this past challenge was the most fun one you’ve ever done. We’re so glad you enjoyed it as much as we did! We especially loved the major theme that kept bubbling up in your feedback: that it’s time to create a new definition of what it means to be healthy and fit—one that makes us feel good in our own skin. We couldn’t agree more.

One of our favorite parts of every barre3 challenge is our Share Your Story contest. The stories this time around were especially inspiring. All of our winners experienced transformative results like a more toned body, better sleep, and happier mood, but we’re especially proud of them because they’re each choosing to keep the challenge going. They feel so good, they don’t want to stop. Read on to get inspired:


Cara Sonness

I did a workout EVERY SINGLE DAY of the challenge and loved it! I found myself wanting to do the workouts, looking forward to them, craving them. This has never happened to me before. Exercise has always been a chore for me, something to dread. Never in my adult life did I think I would find something that changes, challenges and strengthens my body, and that I also love to do. And I’m not done yet. I plan on continuing the challenge throughout the summer and continuing on with barre3 for a lifetime. I didn’t lose any weight during this challenge, but I did gain muscle. I changed my body for the better. I am down 2.1″ on my waist; 1″ in my thighs, hips and chest; 0.8″ in my calves; 0.3″ in my upper arms. I am stronger. I kicked my caffeine habit. I’m eating healthier (and so is my family). I have a much more positive body image (this is huge!). I think the best part of all is that my two little girls are seeing me get active, take care of my body and take care of myself. – Cara Senness, Monroe, WA

Laura Zink-Koiner

I gained patience, energy, and self-confidence. I also lost 15 pounds in just one month thanks to barre3 and healthier eating. My marriage is better because I feel better. I am happy, which means my family is happy! I WANT to work out and move daily, I WANT to eat fruit rather than cookies, I WANT to get dressed and play with my kids and be able to keep up with them—all things I didn’t want to do just a few months ago. I have made friendships through barre3 and feel a sense of belonging. The Frisco community is so supportive. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE connecting with the barre3 team and clients there. – Laura Zink-Koiner, barre3 Frisco

Tracy Frasier

During the challenge, I discovered a new me. For the first time ever, I’m living intuitively and my body feels amazing. I even dropped that last stubborn 5 pounds that had been hanging on for years. I especially love the wonderful online community that has been there for me every step of the way. I have never met any of the women that I connected with, but I feel like they are all family. It’s really amazing! Tracy Frasier, Oak Park, MI

Caitlin Podaras

Wow, where do I even start in terms of my success during the challenge? I think the simple answer is: I finally was able to get that mean little voice in my head (you know the one that says negative things like “you can’t do this”) to shut the hell up. When I first signed up for the June Challenge my goal was to become stronger. At the time I was thinking in terms of muscle, never realizing that it would be mental strength that I would gain. – Caitlin Podaras, barre3 East Cobb

Katherine Van Steenburgh

In Dubai, our summers get very very hot (110-120 degrees F!). It’s hard to exercise, so the barre3 Anywhere Challenge came at the perfect time. I needed a boost to keep going in the extreme heat! Since it is so hot here, most of the time I did my “outdoor” workouts right by a window in our apartment that overlooks the city and the Persian Gulf. Even though I was inside, it was almost like I was outside on the beach. Also, with barre3, I’ve seen results like NEVER before. I’m leaner and stronger, my back pain has significantly decreased, and I have more energy throughout my entire day! For a first-time mom who moved to the Arabian Peninsula with her newborn son, barre3 has really been a life saver. I’ve never felt in shape in my whole life and I can’t believe I can do it all in my apartment during nap time! – Katherine Van Steenburgh, Dubai

Becky McCain

My daughter Lydia hooked me on barre3 over a year ago, and she was my workout buddy for the challenge. This challenge was the first I’ve tried and it was so fun sharing the recipes and keeping each other on track. Lydia got married Sunday, June 27th, and the challenge helped us get ready for her big day. The morning of the wedding we even went to barre3 together. As Megan Hurley (the studio owner and our instructor at barre3 Fayetteville) closed class with the final breaths, we all had tears in our eyes and felt so strong. The past year at barre3 has made my 59-year-old body feel younger, stronger, healthier, and taller. I also no longer have chronic pain in my back and neck. The community of women is so supportive and caring. I am so grateful that Lydia found barre3 and shared it with me. – Becky McCain, barre3 Fayetteville

Heather Hauge

After just a week of attending classes I found myself not feeling like an hour of cardio each day was necessary. I was finally okay with letting go of excessive cardio and doing something that I found joy in instead. I was seeing myself with a new set of eyes, suddenly loving myself and appreciating my body. Maintaining that attitude was more important than fitting into a certain size or seeing a certain number on the scale. – Heather Hauge, barre3 Scottsdale

Nicole Frankoff

The challenge has been the best thing that has happened to me in a while. I gave up coffee, soda, and sugar cold turkey. Let me tell you, that first week was hard. There really is such a thing as sugar withdrawal! But once I was through that, my energy skyrocketed. I loved sprinkling a couple of 10-minute workouts in throughout my day to keep me going. Having two kids with autism makes it very hard to get workouts in, especially in the summer when they are home from school. But the 10-minute workouts really helped me to hit my 60-minute goal. Now, my daughter is doing boat pose with me! I lost 6 lbs and 6 inches from my body, and I don’t plan to stop. I want to continue because I love the way I feel. My sleep is better, and even my energy at work. Thank you barre3. This journey has been amazing. – Nicole Frankoff, Olmsted Falls, OH

How did you change during the barre3 Anywhere Challenge? Tell us in the comments below. And if you missed the challenge altogether, you can still do it on your own timeline. We’re keeping all of the exclusive content live on our website through the end of August. Get started.

New barre3 Studio Openings

New Studio Openings!

Barre3 is still growing strong—in fact, right now we have over 90 studios open or in the works. Read on for our latest openings and hear from the owners in their own words. Who knows? Your community could be next!


barre3 Allentown

I want to provide the Lehigh Valley community with a place where they can leave feeling refreshed, reloaded and ready to be a better parent, friend and person. That’s how I always feel leaving the studio and I’m so excited to give my friends and family the same opportunity. Brittany Morse, barre3 Allentown

barre3 Santa Barbara

Barre3 is such a perfect fit for our active Santa Barbara lifestyle. I want to help my clients stand tall and feel strong and balanced while they surf, hike, cycle, swim, run and enjoy our beautiful town. Barre3 is the perfect way to accomplish that! Mindy Sofro, barre3 Santa Barbara

barre3 New Orleans - South Market District

I love witnessing new friendships begin in the lobby. Seeing the relief in a new mother’s face when she finds out we have childcare. Hugging a client through tears when she tells me that she has never felt better about herself. My goal is to expand that health, love and vitality all over the city. Kendall Carriere, barre3 New Orleans—South Market District

barre3 Cincinnati

Since opening the Cincinnati-Montgomery studio, I’ve come to realize that sometimes being strong means asking for help or taking a moment to reset. I’ve seen this true strength in my clients when they listen to their bodies and take a break in class, and I’ve come to recognize the same quality in myself and my teammates when we lean on each other. —Natalie Denka, barre3 Cincinnati-Montgomery

Are you still waiting for a barre3 studio to open near you? Why not be the one to open it? Click here for information about franchise ownership and turn your dream job into a reality.

Exclusive Recipe from The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon

Exclusive Recipe from The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon

We love cookbook author and blogger Sara Forte’s simple approach to whole foods-based cooking. (That’s why we’re always visiting her blog, The Sprouted Kitchen, for tasty ideas.) Now in The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon, Sara’s giving us a whole new world of possibilities for bringing her favorite kind of food – bowl food – to the table. We’re so excited to share one of Sara’s delicious breakfast bowls from the book with you. This Popeye Protein Bowl will start your day off right. It’s got plenty of protein, fiber and healthy fats to help you stay sated and keep your energy levels up!


Popeye Protein Bowl

Recipe adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon

Serves 2

2 cups cooked black beans

1 cup vegetable broth

2 cups arugula

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of ¼ lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 zucchini, diced

2 cups baby spinach

3 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

6 whole eggs

2 tablespoons whole milk or non-dairy milk

1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

Finely chopped fresh chives, for topping

Salsa, for topping (optional)

Full-fat sour cream, for topping (optional)

1. In a small pot over low heat, combine the beans and vegetable broth. Cover and cook until warmed through.

2. In a small bowl, dress the arugula with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, a small squeeze of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside.

3. In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add the zucchini and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until it softens and begins to brown. Add the green onions and baby spinach and cook another minute to warm through.

4. Put the whole eggs and milk in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and whisk well. Reduce the heat to low, add the egg mixture to the vegetables in the skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just firm, 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Assemble your bowl with a scoop of the beans and a helping of the scramble. Top with the avocado, chives, and some dressed arugula. Serve with salsa and sour cream, if you wish.


“Photo by Hugh Forte. Reprinted with permission from Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon by Sara Forte, copyright © 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.”

Join us for barre3 in the Park

Join us for barre3 in the Park

Let’s Take it Outside. Join us for barre3 in the Park!

Three years ago, we took things outdoors to teach a barre3 class in a local Portland park. It was such a hit that we started offering barre3 in the Park all over the country. This summer, we’re celebrating taking barre3 Anywhere with even more outdoor classes! Make sure to grab your new barre3 in the Park tank and check the list below to find the location nearest you.


barre3 West Village, every Monday through August 24

7:30am class begins

Bryant Park, by the fountain on 41st and 6th


barre3 Vancouver – Felida, Saturday August 8

9:00am class begins

Felida Park


barre3 Bellingham, Saturday August 8

9:00am class begins

Across the street from the Bellingham studio


barre3 Vancouver – Camas, Saturday August 15

9:00am class begins, registration at 8:30am

Fisher Basin Park


barre3 Eugene, Saturday August 15 & Saturday September 12

7:30am class begins

Washington Park


barre3 Portland, Saturday August 22

11:00am class begins, registration at 10:00am

The Fields Park


barre3 Berwyn, TBD


barre3 New Orleans, Saturday September 12

10:00am class begins

The Big Lake at City Park


barre3 Columbia, Saturday September 19

8:30am class begins, registration at 7:45am

The State House Grounds


barre3 Bend, Saturday September 27

10:00am class begins

Tetherow Golf Course


barre3 Nashville, Sunday October 25

3:00pm class begins, registration at 2:00pm

The Parthenon Lawn at Centennial Park


Have you ever been to a barre3 in the Park event? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!