Paradigm Shifters is a series of interviews with a select group of women and men from eclectic walks of life. It will highlight unspoken, real-life insights on how they have been able to turn weakness into strength. A naked soul point of view of how their breakdowns were really a preparation for breakthroughs. They are your quintessential paradigm shifters; internal shifts converted into genuine change.
Everything I have ever done has been focused on this underlying theme of shifting the paradigm because, "What we think determines what we feel and what we feel determines what we do." Hence, why Empowered by You takes lingerie, which has traditionally been seen merely as a tool of seduction and redirected that energy as a tool of empowerment.
I hope from these stories you will look at your own situations, struggles and accomplishments through a different lens. At the very least you will be more equipped with real life tools to change your own paradigm. At the end of the day, we are our own Alchemist turning the silver we were born with into the gold we are destined to become.
Andrea Rogers - Creator & Founder, Xtend Barre
What is the special sauce that differentiates Xtend Barre from all other barre classes?
Xtend Barre is built on a strong foundation of Pilates and dance, with unique choreography and programming that is ever evolving.
Strict continuing education requirements allow our instructors to draw from a vast curriculum, meaning clients will never take the same Xtend Barre class twice. This is what keeps our clients engaged and seeing results. I strive for every single client to leave our studio feeling strong, proud, happy and, most importantly, valued. When a client leaves class, I want them to feel as though they're leaving their second home. I want the client to realize that every single person in our studio values them...and that they look and feel fabulous!
It feels like you've filled a void in the Barre trend that wasn't being addressed. Where do you draw your inspiration?
My inspiration is driven from the fundamentals of classical ballet and Pilates. When I set out to create Xtend Barre, I wanted to offer an honest, authentic form of barre.
Working as a professional dancer and choreographer, and then transitioning that love of movement into becoming a classical Pilates instructor, I knew that holding onto a ballet barre and bending my knees wasn't going to cut it. I wanted to infuse accessible choreography that would allow our clients to feel and move like a dancer, even if they have two left feet.
I wanted to create energy in our classes by amplifying the level of cardio and flow. I also wanted to create diversity in our programming by creating programs built on Xtend Barre principles that allow clients to integrate new props, vary the level of challenge and resistance, and to step outside of their comfort zone. The diverse programming offered by Xtend Barre allows clients to challenge their bodies in ways they never thought possible.
It's so much more than a good workout. It quite literally goes "beyond the barre" into our client's every day lives and shows in the way they carry themselves and their outlook on life.
I've read a lot about the accessibility of Xtend Barre. Where did that come from?
I knew early on that making Xtend Barre an accessible and approachable workout was key.
When you walk into any new fitness center, gym or studio, there's an intimidation factor. I wanted to immediately eliminate that at Xtend Barre.
I'm from Michigan. We are friendly. I'm a Midwest kind of girl and I wanted every studio worldwide to provide that welcoming feeling while still driving home results. Our clients feel warm and welcome from the second they walk in the door.
Why do you think people feel intimidated when they go to a new studio or workout?
In general, trying something new is a challenge. If you're not confident in your level of fitness or health, but you want to make that change, it can be very difficult. If you feel like everyone else is too young, or too fit when you set foot in the studio, it's intimidating.
I'm proud to say that in our studios, our clients range in age, experience and fitness levels. I love when I am teaching and see a group of young college girls next to my client that is 81-years-old (who comes five times a week)! When a new client walks in, they quickly recognize this range and feel more comfortable. This makes us a more relatable workout for so many women.
When you're having a rough day business wise, how do you turn it around?
A term we use in our Xtend Barre classes is "mind over body."
I like to apply this to my daily life as well. I believe in the potential of action we want to manifest and in daily affirmation. Just like Xtend Barre helps to boost our happy hormones, we can exercise our brain for self-improvement.
I try to begin each day with a short moment of gratitude. It's a brief thought that sets the tone for the rest of the day, just like my morning workout. Daily life is not always glamorous and you have to make sure you can go to that place of "mind over body," take a deep breath, put everything in perspective, and be grateful.
Do you feel like you've achieved your dream or do you think there is more to it?
I have more to manifest and larger dreams to accomplish. I focus on the potential picture often and it involves a grander expansion of Xtend Barre. I'm constantly working on extending my limits.
What are you working towards right now?
I'm driven by the desire to touch more lives and to bring Xtend Barre and these incredible results and feelings to more people. My goal and focus with the expansion of the brand is to bring Xtend Barre to more people throughout the world.
How have you overcome the challenges that you face in running your own business?
It's important not to allow challenges to sink into your soul.
I do my best to create an action plan, follow through with it, and keep moving forward. Much of this goes back to surrounding yourself with good people.
I'm incredibly lucky to have an incredible, supportive team around me that shares my virtues and morals. This is instrumental in helping me to overcome these challenges.
What has been the most rewarding thing from Xtend Barre?
The people. Absolutely, it's the people.
I have been fortunate to work with talented, savvy individuals who push me to be better every day.
I also have the privilege of watching our Xtend Barre clients evolve and become more confident, happier and stronger. It sounds cheesy, but it's a gift to be a part of that.
What was your breakdown to breakthrough moment?
For me, it's been a series of smaller breakdowns, especially from the franchising perspective of the business.
When I have put a great deal of time and energy into a potential new studio that for some reason does not come to fruition, it's a major crush. But then a few months later, a stronger prospect comes into play and that is when I can step back and see that all has fallen into place as it should. It is often that hindsight shows the plan.
As the business has grown and I have these little moments, it's easier to move forward because I know there's a purpose. I believe in working your tail off, but when I come up against a disappointment or challenge, I know there is a bigger purpose and I focus on that.
What kind of legacy do you wish to leave behind?
My goal is always to fuel a sense of passion into every person that I connect with.
I want people to feel like I have motivated them in some way and have driven them to achieve their own personal goals and passion. I also want to know that I have lived my life through energy and positivity.
I do my best to live my life with gratitude and positivity and I hope that trickles down to those I connect with on a spiritual level, especially my children.