KARA B.
Empowered Studio Owner

“Being empowered means following your heart and your dreams, taking risks, working hard, overcoming obstacles and rising up from past problems, being responsible, listening to your body, feeling independent and productive.”

Kara’s fitness journey began in 2008 when she quit smoking and decided to take care of herself so that she could keep taking care of the people she loves. Kara used to think the only way to take care of others was to neglect herself, and she was very unhappy. Fortunately, she had a complete mind shift and decided she was worth the effort! Kara sampled several fitness platforms and when she met Brinn Strange in 2015 and took her first Barre class, she was hooked! Barre has become her preferred practice, and as Proprietor of Empowered, she is beyond thrilled to be bringing this format to YOU! She can’t wait to “see you at the Barre!”

AMY S.
Empowered Studio Manager
Barre & BodyFlow Instructor

“Being empowered means having the inner and outer strength to live the life you choose while supporting and encouraging others along the way.”

Amy is a native Floridian, raised in the small, Gulf Coast town of Yankeetown.  She graduated from Florida State University (Yes—GO NOLES! :) with a degree in Business (and a concentration in International Hospitality Administration) and worked for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC in Training & Development. It was then she realized her desire to work with individuals on a more personal level and discovered the joy of teaching middle school mathematics over the next 15 years.  Amy has always been active, dedicating 14 years of her young life to competitive gymnastics.  After having her first son, she discovered Barre and immediately fell in love!

Amy is a certified Barre instructor who enjoys creating fun and challenging but accessible Barre classes and is excited about sharing this low-impact, muscle-toning, lifelong fitness format with clients. She believes in creating a positive, supportive class community, celebrating movement, and empowering all to “embrace the shake” and continue to grow in strength and wellness. Amy is passionate about family, music, and travel, and when not at the Barre she can be found running after her 3-year-old and 6-year-old sons, camping, SCUBA diving, rock climbing, or crafting. Amy is looking forward to making a positive impact in the Gainesville community through Empowered!

ALIX K.
Barre Instructor

“To me, being empowered means letting go of any doubts that might be holding you back, and showing up for yourself in whatever way you need to, regardless of what others may think.”

Alix was born and raised in southwest Florida, but moved to Gainesville in 2012 with her husband, daughter, and 2 dogs. In search of an activity that would fulfill her in her new town, she eventually took her first Barre class. Although she was more sore than she’d ever been after that workout, she somehow couldn’t wait to sign up for more! Even just trying a Barre class was a major step out of her comfort zone, but the empowerment she felt from the classes and community ultimately led her to become a certified instructor 5 years ago. She’s so grateful for the opportunity to lead fun, challenging, and effective workouts that are accessible to women of all ages and fitness levels, and hopes that her classes inspire others to see their own strength in and out of the studio!

Alix’s other passions include fostering rescue dogs (and failing—she’s added 3 more to her pack!) and working on growing her online boutique, Sol Chaser. When she’s not at the Barre, you can find her spending time with her family, traveling for pop-ups, or at her favorite spa, Club Synergie.

ALLISON S.
Front Desk

For Allison, being empowered means “being able to own and articulate my strengths, challenges, and boundaries, while honoring the strengths, challenges, and boundaries of others.” 

The first time Alli took a Barre class was because Amy told her how much she loved it, and she insisted that Alli give it a try. After her first class, she fell in love, too. She found the classes to be wonderfully challenging, while also offering a chance to connect with herself and a community of supportive, empowered women. 

Alli loves the opportunity that group fitness provides to meet new people and to discover everyone’s commonalities. She exercises daily, but it is much more fun when she can share the experience with others. She finds new inspiration in the shared effort of each person trying to meet their individual goals. 

Allison is so excited to be joining the Empowered team, full of focused, passionate women, who want to create an environment where everyone is welcome.

CHARLOTTE W.
Pilates & Yoga Instructor

“Empowerment to me is awareness! Self-awareness, patience, discovery, acceptance, and self-love. With awareness comes the opportunity to decide to make a change or not. That’s being Empowered!”

Charlotte’s fitness journey started as a young dancer in New York City where she learned about Pilates. This training then developed into a career performing and teaching dance.  At Florida’s Busch Gardens, Charlotte took on the role of supervising dancers, using fitness techniques to help keep them healthy and performing. She was also a Teacher Trainer for the PhysicalMind Institute, certifying instructors at B-Fit Pilates Center, her business of 30 years. Charlotte’s most recent certifications include Progressing Ballet Technique and Anatomy Trains in Motions, a myofascial fitness system that addresses the health and function of our recently rediscovered and studied body communication system.  

Charlotte enjoys the energy of group classes, where everyone can focus on themselves while still being involved in a community movement. She is honored to be a part of this studio, and recognizes the thoughtful attention to details that separate Empowered from other workout facilities.

DEANNA H.
Barre & BodyFlow Instructor

“‘Being Empowered’ holds such a deep meaning to me. It's that reminder that we can ourselves be empowered to accomplish great things, whether it's big or small: starting a company, making it through the day with kiddos, or not killing our plants (that's me!). However, ‘being empowered’ also gives us the opportunity to help empower other women around us. We each have our own obstacles that we’re working to overcome. Sometimes we can do it on our own; sometimes we need a boost from our sisters—someone who makes it easier to believe in ourselves. I hope I can help give that boost to at least one person at Empowered.”

Deanna grew up in Tampa and moved to Gainesville to go to the University of Florida. She met her husband, Carl, in grad school for math in 2004. They got married in 2008 and have three girls—Natalie, Julie, and Mollie. Deanna’s been a math professor at Santa Fe College since 2006.

She started taking Barre classes in August of 2015 right after her second daughter was born. It took her a little bit of time to figure out her strategy to make exercise a part of her routine, but once she did, man, was she hooked! Deanna’s never been particularly athletic, but this was just what she was looking for postpartum. Barre is low impact with plenty of modifications! Plus, she could take as many breaks as she needed to without feeling like she was being judged. Deanna enjoyed barre so much that she decided to pursue her Barre certification and began teaching in early 2017. Not only that, but since Barre is such an accommodating form of exercise, she was able to take Barre classes until she was about 8.5 months pregnant with her third daughter! Barre truly has been a refuge for Deanna both physically and mentally, and she treasures her time taking and teaching Barre classes.

EMMA F.
Barre Instructor

“Being empowered means feeling safe to be your most authentic self.”

Emma is currently a student at the University of Florida working on her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. Emma’s fitness journey began in 2016 when she took her first Barre class and found a workout she truly loved—it was the hardest workout she’d ever done but also the most rewarding! Through her fitness journey, Emma found health, joy, and a community of strong women that inspire and support her every day! Her favorite aspect of group fitness is community. Working out doesn’t have to be a solo activity but a way to socialize, move, and connect with amazing people! She loves reminding everyone that they are “beautiful 2”!

ERICA M.
Barre Instructor

“For me, being empowered means ‘Living life uninterrupted.’”

Erica has been active for a long time including cheerleading in middle and high school. She enjoys movement as it helps with stress management and her overall wellbeing. She was invited to Barre by friends and immediately fell in love! In her professional life, she’s been an educator for over 20 years, so blending these two passions has been amazing.

JACQUELINE V.
Pilates & Yoga Instructor

“Empowered, to me, is believing and loving yourself and having the confidence and strength to follow your true calling and passion. It means rising through life’s hardships and struggles and still shining bright and being the best version of you.” 

Jacqueline is a huge animal lover with two beautiful rescue cats and has been a vegan/vegetarian her entire life. Originally from Denver, Colorado, she started out in musical theater at a young age then danced professionally with a modern company.  

Over decades of performing professionally in theater and dance, Jacqueline used Pilates and yoga to improve her dancing, manage injuries, and stay in shape.  She quickly adopted these practices into her lifestyle, but Pilates became her passion after suffering career-ending injuries in a car accident.  Utilizing the skills learned over years of Pilates practice, Jacqueline has restored her physical and mental health through movement. 

Jacqueline is a certified fitness and dance professional dedicated to inspiring her clients to live healthy and empowered lives through movement.  Drawing on her vast experience in Pilates, pole dance, ballet, Zumba, and more, Jacqueline creates carefully curated programs to assist her clients in strengthening and toning their muscles while improving postural alignment, core strength, and flexibility.

JAMIE C.
Front Desk

To Jamie, “empowered” means “embracing your inner strength, especially when it’s scary, and going after what you want in life.” 

Jamie grew up near Florida’s Space Coast and moved to Gainesville in 2002. She’s a proud graduate of the University of Florida and has spent most of her professional career working in human resources, specifically in training and development. She now contributes her talents to Seattle Children’s Hospital, which is an amazing organization doing wonderful work for kiddos who need it most! Outside of work, she loves spending time with her partner Jonathan, hanging out with her gal pals, and cheering on her beloved Florida Gators! 

Jamie’s fitness journey started when she began dancing around the age of 10 (that’s also when she fell in love with the musical powerhouses of Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston). Fast forward to August of 2015, and that’s when she discovered Barre, which happened to be the perfect complement to ballet class. She quickly realized that not only was it a fun way to be active, but also provided a strong sense of community exactly when she needed it in her life! 

Jamie loves group fitness because it surrounds her with like-minded individuals, always cheering each other on. She finds it to be the perfect support system! And she is beyond excited to become a part of this special community and support women in their fitness journey

JEN P.
Barre & BodyFlow Instructor

“Being empowered means being confident in my own skin and encouraging others to do the same.”

Jen is originally from Omaha, Nebraska, and moved to Gainesville in 2015.  She’s always loved being active, but was never brave enough to try a group fit class by herself. She went to her first Barre class in 2017 with a friend and immediately fell in love with it and several other formats. Later on that year, she was encouraged to become a BodyFlow instructor and came to find that she was also in love with teaching group fitness classes! This led to even more certifications, so she could share her love for group fitness with more people.

KATHY B.
Front Desk

For Kathy, being empowered means having confidence. With confidence, you are empowered to do whatever you set your mind to.  

Originally from Jacksonville, Kathy moved to Gainesville in 2007 to attend the University of Florida. After graduation, she took a teaching job here and has called Gainesville home ever since. After trying several different gyms in Gainesville, Kathy heard about Barre and took her first class in June 2017. She has been hooked ever since! Kathy enjoys traveling and hopes to visit every state one day; she is only 10 states away from hitting her goal! Kathy is excited to be part of Empowered and can’t wait to get to know everyone.  

Kathy enjoys having fun while working out, so group fitness is perfect for her! She had never been able to stick to a workout routine, but that all changed when she started Barre because of the friendships she formed in class. She can’t wait to exercise with her amazing old friends and meet new friends at Empowered.

KATIE W.
BodyFlow Instructor

“Being Empowered means having the support to achieve ALL my goals, not just those relating to physical fitness.”

Katie is not only a BodyFlow instructor, but also a wife, sister, daughter, friend, ice cream enthusiast, book club organizer, speech language pathologist, and new mama. She has been married to her wonderful partner, Ethan, for 2 years and together they share 3 babies: 2 fur and 1 human. Dany, their dog, and Cleo, their cat, who already love their little sister Cameron. Katie started taking Barre and BodyFlow 7 years ago. She loves Barre for getting fit and making friends. And taking BodyFlow taught her a fun and effective way to relieve stress. Teaching BodyFlow has given her confidence, and she can’t wait to share that with YOU! She has always enjoyed group fitness over trying to workout by herself. She enjoys the shared experience and motivation that comes from working out with friends. 

KATY H.
Front Desk

“Being Empowered is energy-giving. As in, walking away with more energy than you had when you showed up. That could be physical energy, mental energy, emotional energy, anything. And it could be showing up for a Barre class at the studio, or simply after an interaction. I think it goes both ways too. Empowerment begets empowerment—the more you empower others, the more empowered you yourself will feel.”

Katy started taking Barre classes in 2017.  After practicing yoga for years, she landed herself in physical therapy for her knee and hip, working on her stabilizing muscles. She happened to find Barre a little after that and was thrilled to find it was mostly the same moves as physical therapy—but WAY more fun!  She has been pleasantly surprised how much Barre classes have increased her strength in a number of spots (hello, shoulders!). Katy loves being in a room where everyone is pushing themselves to meet their best. “That will look different for each person, on each day, but just knowing that we're all in this together gives me that extra oomph to give it my all...or to be gentle with myself that day. Both are important!” For Katy, it’s the community and welcoming atmosphere that keep her coming back for more, and she looks forward to seeing you at Empowered soon!

KRISTY S.
Barre Instructor

“I believe being empowered means recognizing and harnessing the power within yourself and confidently utilizing your gifts and abilities to fulfill your aspirations.”

Kristy grew up in Apopka, Florida, and attended the University of Florida, where she received her bachelor’s degree in criminology and joined Zeta Tau Alpha. She began her law enforcement career at the University of Florida in 2007 and recently completed a master’s program in public administration with a focus on law and legal policy. She lives in Gainesville with her husband and Chiweenie, 2 rabbits, and 3 cats. She has 2 grown stepsons who are attending school at the University of Florida and Florida State University. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and being active. 

After attending the police academy, Kristy became more intentional with her workout goals and began attending a variety of fitness classes for her physical and mental wellness. With her dance and cheerleading background, she instantly fell in love with Barre’s incorporation of dance concepts and energizing music and began instructing Barre classes in 2016.

LAUREN L.
BodyFlow Instructor

“Being Empowered means coming as you are, and showing up for YOU…because you know you are worth it!”

Lauren is a native Floridian; she grew up in Sarasota and came up to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida for college (Go Gators!).  At the University of Florida, she met her now husband, Michael, and they began their adult lives in the swamp with their 2 gray cats. Some of her loves are: coffee, spending time outside/hiking, cooking/baking, talking with friends, and tasting new wines or checking out the local breweries. While it has been on pause for a few years (pandemic and all), one of her passions is traveling and experiencing different cultures and foods. She is also becoming quite the budding plant-mom (pun-intended), as her pandemic hobby is quickly taking over her house!

Lauren’s main “gig” is working in banking; however, she has always been drawn to group fitness as it provides an outlet for her to move her body in a mindful way, and it allows her to be more creative and musical. Lauren has a background in music, so having a great playlist is a MUST in her classes! During her first few years working in Gainesville, she felt challenged to find community and to find her passion. When she first started taking Barre classes, all of the pieces fell into place. She found a community of amazing individuals, a workout she loved, and a strength that she never knew she had! Lauren absolutely loves the movement and musicality of Bodyflow and Barre, but most of all, she love that both have something for everyone and can be modified as needed. At Empowered, she’s looking forward to connecting and reconnecting with both new and familiar faces!

SASHA C.
Barre & Pilates Instructor

“Being empowered means that the power resides in me. I have the opportunity to do (or not do) as I see fit.”

Sasha is originally from South Florida, but considers Gainesville her home. She began attending Barre classes in August of 2016 and instantly fell in love with Barre. Sasha became a Barre tender in June of 2017 and has continued to pursue other fitness certifications, such as Pilates. Sasha works as a speech-language pathologist, serving adult and geriatric populations, in a rehabilitation center in Gainesville. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., enjoys traveling, attending group fitness classes, spending time with her family, and attending Beyoncé concerts with her friends.  Sasha is so excited to meet you at the Barre!