Skye Baldwin is constantly looking for ways to raise the barre when it comes to injecting fun into fitness. The renowned Newcastle fitness professional is the owner of The Pilates Barre, a boutique Pilates, barre and dance fitness studio providing fresh, innovative and exciting classes for all levels of fitness.
A former ballet dancer, Skye began her career in 1999 as a remedial massage therapist, but it wasn’t until she undertook training to become a Pilates instructor that she found her true passion.
“I was a dancer from the age of about three, so movement has always been a part of my life,” she said.
“I started with a career in natural therapies, doing remedial massage and sports injuries and then I trained as a Pilates instructor to complement that. I was treating all these recurring injuries, and I just thought we need to give these people a prevention, rather than just fix their injuries.”
She began teaching Pilates in 2003, and during 2011 she introduced Newcastle to Xtend Barre, an increasingly popular workout that takes the principles of Pilates and applies them to ballet moves such as pliés and pirouettes.
Since then her passion for fitness programs that combine Pilates fundamentals with dance elements has grown, and in 2014 Skye opened The Pilates Barre in Warners Bay. A second studio was established in Newcastle in June this year.
A quick look through their website confirms that The Pilates Barre is anything but ordinary, offering everything from traditional Pilates through to classes that incorporate a fusion of dance, Pilates and sculpting exercises completed at the ballet barre.
The classes may include fun elements of dance movements, Pilates or drumming, as well as the satisfying neurological effects of the mind-body connection of Yoga or relaxing meditation.
Each program is designed to create challenges, but apart from providing a great workout, the classes also inject a healthy dose of fun into your fitness routine.
“Lifestyle movement is so important. But not everyone wants to go to the gym,” Skye said.
“For a lot of women we want that exhilaration we get when we dance with our friends, but we also want to look good in our clothes.
“Fundamentally our programs are Pilates with an element of dance – I’m always looking for something new that combines these and makes fitness fun.
“Moving at all ages is so important, health and wellbeing are so important, and we’ve created this great little community where people can have fun, laugh at themselves and each other, and somewhere in there I sneak in a bit of fitness.
“It’s about core strength and mobility, and it’s super easy, anyone can do it.”
Aside from conducting classes for clients, Skye also regularly trains and mentors aspiring fitness teachers in their chosen field.
This aspect of her career is also going from strength to strength, with Skye recently securing a personal invite from Christopher Harrison, the founder and creator of the internationally renowned entertainment and fitness brand AntiGravity, to become a Master Trainer in Australia.
Skye met Christopher while on a trip to New York in October, after taking a number of his classes at the AntiGravity fitness training centre.
“After the class, he approached me, and we had a chat. He commented on my ability and my movement and asked me to pursue a teacher/trainer position with him in Australia,” she said.
“Positions like that don’t come up very often, I have to do training with him in New York or through a company in Australia, and then I’ll be able to teach other trainers in Australia his programs.
“I love teaching other instructors, I really thrive on it, being able to pass on all my skills and my experience to others and so I want to continue to do that and head more into that direction.”