“We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.” ~ Alice May Brock
Dancers tend to be ambitious people. Luckily, our ambition (in most cases) tends to stick to us like glue, naturally creating new fascinating and desirable paths for us to experience and share. I recently had the privilege to talk with cofounders, Julia Erickson and Aaron Ingly, of Barre – A Real Food Bar. Julia, a Principal with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre along with her husband Aaron, a retired dancer from PBT, serve as perfect examples of dancers whose ambition is far from being on the shy side. Today, Julia and Aaron are on the fast track with their new business endeavor – Barre – A Real Food Bar. It all began with a little heart, creativity, intelligence, but most importantly the glue that stuck. . . Ambition to create healthier lives for dancers.
dancehealthier: Tell us, what is Barre – A real food for dancers – and what inspired you guys to create this product?
Barre: As I’ve gained experience as a dancer, I’ve become increasingly more attuned to how I fuel my body. I created Barre because I was looking for a better pre and post rehearsal snack. I started futzing around in the kitchen, getting creative, and realized I could make something more nutritious and tastier than the bars out there on the market. You know how we, as dancers, are always trying to find that perfect pre-show snack…something that’ll support you yet not weigh you down? I’d found it! I designed Barre to serve dancers perfectly as a balanced source of slow and fast burning carbs, protein, fiber, and naturally occurring electrolytes – to provide great energy, muscle support and recovery. My creation was a hit at PBT among my colleagues; Aaron and I then got to thinking that we should share it with the rest of the dance world and beyond.
dancehealthier: What is Barre’s mission?
Barre: This is our mission statement: In order to fuel their bodies for top athletic performance in rehearsal and on stage while remaining lean, dancers have very specific nutritional needs. The mission of Barre is to provide exceptional nutritional fortification—inspired by these needs—for dancers and everyone else who demands clean, wholesome, nutritious and great tasting sustained energy. To accomplish this goal, Barre produces and distributes health-minded snacks and performance products specially formulated to live up to the rigors of such a demanding artist-athlete lifestyle. Barre supplies all levels of the performing arts and related exercise industries from studio to stage. But this isn’t the limit of Barre’s scope: the attention to detail given to nutrition by dancers can benefit people in all walks of life, whether it be picking up your kids from school, running a 5k, or combating the dreaded midday office slump. Barre uses simple ingredients that everyone can pronounce, in their purest and most unadulterated form. And while good nutrition is the foundation of wellness, as artists we believe great taste is paramount! When all natural, healthy ingredients are artfully combined, nutrition and taste need not be mutually exclusive. We believe in aiding performance in the fine art of life through our superior quality gourmet nutrition products.
dancehealthier: What flavors do you currently have on the market?
Barre: We currently have two main flavors, Pirouette Cinnamon Pecan and Black Swan Chocolate Berry, on the market. We also have a limited edition flavor, Pirouette Crunch, which has an extra added crunch.
Barre: We saw a void in the dance world of healthy, readily accessible snacks, and we have set out to change that. We’d love for Barre to be sold at every dance studio in America – so kids and adults alike are never presented with that situation we’ve all been in: when there is no healthy snack around so you’re forced to eat something not great or witness your energy level suffer and risk injury. It is so important that good nutrition is advocated for in the dance world, because it is an environment with a naturally high risk for disordered eating. This being said, it seems that more than ever dancers are embracing healthfulness as the new paradigm for success, and we are thrilled to partake in this positive change! Our charge is really to help educate dancers and their families about why it is so important to take great care, through great nutrition, of the very tool with which we perform our art. And to make great nutrition readily accessible!
dancehealther: If barre could give dancers any piece of advice, with integration of dance and health in mind – what would it be?
To order barre, be sure to visit http://realfoodbarre.com/products-page/. If you think could/should/would be interested in carrying Barre – pilates/yoga/dance studios/stores, of course including your workplace (if you think there’s a place for it there) feel free to contact Julia and Aaron for further inquiry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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