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Inspiring Conversations with Natalia Stamm of barre3 Kansas City

 

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Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalia Stamm.

Hi Natalia, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I have danced for most of my life: I started ballet classes when I was four, then discovered modern dance at the arts high school I attended and continued dancing and performing during college. After graduation, I moved to Chicago to dance professionally and got a job teaching barre classes at a new studio.

At the time, I had some experience teaching dance but not much. The new studio was still under construction and I was the studio owners’ first hire. Looking back, I realized that this was a big leap of faith by the studio owners to take a chance on me. I was only 24 and had just moved to the city where I didn’t know many people, but I worked hard and became their main instructor, teaching 10-15 classes per week.

I started taking on more responsibility at the studio: training new instructors, leading client workshops, and helping the studio owner with scheduling. When they decided to open a second location, they asked me to be the studio manager and, after a year, I became the manager of both studio locations. During that time, I met Caroline Harris. She was a client at the studio and would take my class often.

A few years later, my husband and I decided to move to Kansas City, where we could afford to buy a house, we would be close to his family, and it would be easier to have kids. I knew that Caroline had taught at barre3 in Austin and had then moved to Kansas City. What I didn’t know was that she was planning on opening a barre3 studio.

When she heard that I was moving to KC, she asked me if I would be interested in teaching at her new studio. I was thrilled! Before her offer, I didn’t have a plan for work in our new city. It felt very serendipitous. And once again, I was a founding instructor at a new studio and had the chance to help build the community.

In 2019, Caroline announced that she wanted to sell her studio and I decided to take my own leap of faith by purchasing it. I knew that I loved to teach and I could lean on the experience I had as a studio manager. I loved the community at barre3 and knew how vital it was to my mental health when we first moved to KC and also when I adjusted to becoming a mother. In both instances, I felt that barre3 was a place where I was known, where I belonged, and where I mattered. I had to keep that going, not just for myself but so that I could offer others the same.

I have now owned barre3 Kansas City for 1.5 years and we celebrated our 4th studio anniversary in April. There have been ups and downs this past year, but through it all our community has grown stronger together. We adapted by going from all in-studio classes last year to livestream classes from home during lockdown last spring, to reopening last summer with a hybrid model of in-studio, outdoor, livestream, and online classes.

Now that the vaccine is available, I feel very hopeful that my studio will make it through. Every day I hear from clients who are ready come back to movement, connection, and community, and it fills my heart.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
During the pandemic, I feel like there has been a new challenge every week. At first, I had to figure out how to livestream workouts from home. I purchased USB microphones for each of my instructors and delivered them to their homes. I would troubleshoot music and mic issues while hosting their Zoom workouts. When I reopened the studio, I had to figure out how to space clients out at the studio and had to consider the logistics of checking clients in, livestreaming studio classes, and cleaning the exercise equipment. I had to purchase two webcams, a sound mixer, and a new tablet to improve the quality of the livestreamed classes, and spent many afternoons at the studio setting everything up, testing and retesting the sound and cameras. I had to train my instructors and front desk staff on using Zoom, changing camera views during class, and playing music on the new devices.

At one point last summer, I cried because I couldn’t decide where to put the camera in the studio, but I realized later that I wasn’t crying about the camera. I was experiencing decision fatigue and, because I felt so stressed and overwhelmed by the pandemic and the unknown, even a small decision like this felt heavy.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about barre3 Kansas City?
barre3 is a total-body balanced workout combining cardio, strength-training, and mindfulness. You’ll be guided through sustained holds, muscle-burning micro-movements, and heart-pumping cardio bursts that will leave you feeling balanced in body and empowered from within.

But barre3 Kansas City is more than an exercise studio- It’s a place where you’re encouraged to listen to your body, where movement is joyful, and where differences are celebrated. Our dedicated team of instructors, front desk and play lounge staff make every client feel like they belong.

We currently offer barre3 classes in-studio, outdoors, and via livestream. barre3 Kansas City members have access to our private online Video on Demand library of classes led by local instructors, plus they get a subscription to barre3 online workouts led by master trainers.

We offer play lounge for children ages two months and older, so parents can get a workout in a while their children learn and play with other kids.

This summer and fall, we are heading outdoors for FREE classes at the Brookside Farmers Market on June 19th, July 24th, August 28th, September 25th, and October 16th. Bring your yoga mat and wear athletic shoes.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
Brett and Tami Conway – the studio owners in Chicago who believed in me and gave me the opportunity to lead.

Caroline Harris – the founder of barre3 Kansas City who built this wonderful community and is an integral part of my teaching team.

My parents – who encouraged me to be independent and to follow my dreams.

My husband – who listens to me when I need to vent and helps me make decisions and get things done.

Pricing:

  • $10 First Class
  • Summer Special: 5 Classes for $55 (limit 1 per person)
  • barre3 Membership: $99/month
  • 5 Class Package for $110
  • 10 Class Package for $200

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Anna Petrow

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