Katherine Akra, former Miami Heat Dancer and founder of The Barre Scene, shares her inspirational Atlanta-based entrepreneurial story.
This whole journey started when I was 4 years old.
Like many kids, my parents put me in dance class to keep me active. Well, unlike other kids, I continued dancing until I was almost 30 years old. That included a lot of training, traveling, working with amazing musicians, spending time on movie sets, dancing in music videos and on television, being a part of the University of Florida dance team and ultimately becoming a Miami Heat Dancer.
Not only did I love to dance, I was also able to stay in healthy and in good shape without focusing on it in my daily life. However, when I retired from the profession, I had no idea how to work out or maintain my health and physique I was able to sustain my entire life to that point. Plus I missed dance. I was so full of knowledge and experience that there was no way I could venture into the next chapter of my life without putting my past to use. It just wouldn’t seem right. I somehow found myself in group fitness classes attempting to find a good “workout routine” I was happy with. Unfortunately, what I really found were people in tears, injuring themselves and dreading their workouts; not to mention an overwhelming feeling of stress.
It truly bothered me to see so many women put so much pressure on themselves to perform in a fitness room or eat perfectly to look a certain way. There was also a certain level of being told what I could and couldn’t eat or enjoy doing. I’m all about balance when it comes to maintaining health and happiness between your workouts and your ability to eat, drink and be merry. In the fitness world you hear all too often that sacrifices and choices need to be made. Unfortunately this leads to people thinking they have to be all in or not in at all when it comes to a healthy regimen. Too many times we are all or nothing.
I created The Barre Scene to counteract that way of thinking and to encourage our clients to come and enjoy a good workout and a glass of wine: two things that encourage health of not just the body but also the mind. The Barre Scene is the perfect combination of the two things I love, working out hard and hanging out with good people. I want women to know that they are fine exactly how they are and that they are admired for just walking in the door to better their health and fitness and for working so hard to get the most out of it. The Barre Scene is so much more than just a fitness studio. It’s a family. The ladies here support each other, motivate, help, and care for each other. We have so much fun just hanging at the “bar” before we go into class. It’s amazing to see that in a place where there is truly ZERO judgement.
At the Scene you can feel safe and not intimidated. Life is already stressful, your workouts shouldn’t be. And yes, I will coach you to hit goals and modify food choices; anything you need. But what it’s really all about is having that balance of health and wellness and maintaining fun and friendships too.
– Katherine Akra
The Barre Scene
325 E Paces Ferry Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
About The Barre Scene?
The Barre Scene is a boutique style studio in the heart of Buckhead that promotes a healthy balance of working out and hanging out. Former Miami Heat Dancer, Katherine Akra, created The Barre Scene because she was tired of boring, stressful workouts and being told constantly what she could and could not do dietary wise. Kat believes in BALANCE: have an amazing workout but also have that glass of wine. Needing a lively but laid-back environment, Kat opened the doors to share this concept with others. With a beautiful dance/fitness room, bar as the front desk and a lounge to hang before and after class, The Barre Scene has a welcoming atmosphere for all to enjoy. Our Menu of class programs are all beat-based, energy driven group classes that are sure to give you results and leave you feeling powerful and strong. Everyone is welcome at The Barre Scene. The programs vary but all will include cardio, interval training, light weights, stretch bands, resistance balls, and body weight exercises. Our ‘bar’, which is our front desk, opens before our nightly dance workouts so clients can bring friends to mix and mingle before class to reduce that stress level before burning major calories. These total body workouts will leave you feeling great and seeing results from your hard work in just a short time. Classes are for all levels as well as those who are recovering from injury.