Q & A with Julia and Aaron, the creators of Barre: A Real Food Bar.

From Realfoodbarre.com

Julia from Realfoodbarre.com

Julia and Aaron of Barre, a real food bar designed both for ballerinas and all sorts of athletes, were kind enough to do an interview with me for the site. Both are professional dancers and agreed to talk both about their product and their experience with ballet, They even gave us a few tips for adult beginner ballerinas!

To find more about their product, you can check out their site here. In addition, they’re also running a Facebook competition for a giveaway of barres and another gift by submitting your interpretation of “Barre, A real food bar.” and “Art”. Check out their Facebook page here.

I’ll have my review of their product (and a giveaway!) up Adult Ballerina Project later this week!

Adult Ballerina Project: Why did you start ballet?

Julia: Six of my friends were taking ballet class on Saturday mornings and I decided to join up. Interestingly, they all stopped after the first year! I also generally loved dancing, and did a lot of dancing around the house as a small child.

Aaron: I got into ballet through theater.  I did musical theater in middle school, and the choreographer for our shows recognized that I had a talent for dance.  She encouraged me to try ballet, so I did, and ended up doing theater and ballet throughout high school.

ABP: What made you want to become a professional dancer?

J: I fell in love with the beauty of ballet and the joy I felt when dancing. I thought “what could be better than to reach that pinnacle of expertise and also to do what you love for a living?”

A: I have always enjoyed acting as much as I enjoy dancing.  A professional dancer is, by default, also a professional actor.  You are always acting in some respect during live performance, and I like that duality necessary of a life as professional dancer.

Aaron from Realfoodbarre.com

Aaron from Realfoodbarre.com

ABP: What has been your favorite role as a dancer?

J: This is a very tough question for me because I really love a variety of roles. I would probably narrow it down to Odette/Odile in Swan Lake though, if pressed.

A: Always a difficult question because each role has its own unique challenges and rewards, and it is art after all. BUT, I’ll give you two: Dr. Coppelius in Coppelia and Goro in Madame Butterfly.

ABP: Why did you create the real food barres?

J: I created Barre for myself because I was looking for a better pre and post class/rehearsal snack (I was actually rehearsing for the Odette/Odile at the time) and couldn’t find anything that met my exacting needs as a ballet dancer—the need to be fueled yet not weighed down, to be strong yet still be slender, to treat my muscles well, and to eat real food! I created this totally yummy concoction of superfoods that had the right balance of slow and fast-burning carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and natural electrolyte replacement. And it performed great, thus helping me to perform great! I was hooked, and my friends loved it too, and started asking me to make it for them. Aaron and I realized this was something we should share with the dance world, and also with the non-dance world—because everyone can benefit from the good nutrition of real, wholesome convenience food—and Barre the company was born!

ABP: What was your role in the creation and marketing of the real food barre?

A: Julia came up with Barre as a snack for herself, and I suggested that we turn it into a business. Now that the company is up and running I do most everything from answering the phone to talking with suppliers to filling orders.  Every day is a new adventure when you are starting and running a small business of any type.

ABP: Who or what is your ballet inspiration?

J: I am inspired by a ton of different things. The beauty in the world. Human emotion and how it binds us all together. I’m inspired by wanting to share something, to communicate something generously, with the viewer. I’m inspired by dancers around me, young and old(er), as well as by many of the famous dancers around the world. What inspires me most is watching a personality show through a person’s dancing—that is humanity at its finest, I think.

A: Honestly it’s the dancers around me that inspire me the most.  I certainly admire the great dancers of our time, but you can learn the most from those around you.  Working for a dance company is like being on a sports team. It’s very inspiring to share in the successes of others, and share your successes with them—when they have a great show, you have a great show, and vice versa.

ABP: Would you recommend the real food barres to adults who have just started ballet? Why?

J: I definitely recommend Barre to adults who have just started ballet. I know how tough ballet is, period! But for adults whose bodies have not yet been conditioned for this type of movement, I can imagine a lot of energy is required—ballet is a serious workout! Eating Barre is a great way to fuel your class but not feel overly full or bloated, so that you can still engage your core and feel light on your feet. And it’s a great recovery snack too, because in addition to carbs and protein for healthy replenishment, Barres contain mineral rich whole foods such as dates, nuts, and sea salt, whose nutrients are more easily absorbed than those in synthetic form.

ABP: What advice would you give to adults who want to start ballet or who have just started ballet?

J: Keep your chin up! I already respect and admire you because I know how daunting a challenge learning ballet is, especially as an adult. Don’t be overly hard on yourself. Don’t let the mirror play tricks on you; rather, respect it and use it as a tool to help you, not a menace to rule over you. Love yourself and value yourself, regardless if that pirouette worked or not. Don’t be afraid to try and try again. When you feel discouraged, always return to the amazing feeling of dancing to music.

A: I’ll give you the same advice that I gave to my favorite ballerina once:

Remember, it’s supposed to be fun!

It’s easy to forget that sometimes when you’re working hard to perfect a particular step. But at the end of the day, it’s just a step, and we’re dancers. The perfection of a step is meaningless if you’re not dancing it. So, work hard, strive for perfection, but not at the expense of enjoying the moment, of enjoying dance.

ABP: What are you currently working on?

J: We will be opening The Nutcracker this coming Friday! I’m dancing several roles as I do every year: Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, Arabian, and Shepherdess (Marzipan). It’s kind of awesome to get to dance the roles I dreamed of so many years ago. Not too shabby!

AND, we’re working on another Barre flavor as well as some super cute Barre-branded items such as t-shirts and water bottles. We’re really excited! Barre is on the cusp of some pretty significant growth, so I’m working on sharing our creation with anyone interested in healthy, clean eating.

Thanks Julia and Aaron!

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