If you’ve ever wondered what a day in the life of a barre instructor, or a professional ballerina was like, we caught up with one of London’s finest, Bridget Coulthurst to find out.
You’re a trained ballet dancer, tell us about life before you became an instructor?
I started dancing at the age of four and have been in love with it ever since. My life as a professional ballet dancer was an incredible experience yet extremely tough mentally and physically, I would dance from 5-9 hours a day, some ending with night performances, then a lovely ice cold bucket for my feet. When I was dancing I would also workout in a gym, (when I found time) building strength and stamina in different ways from the studio to improve my dancing. I still to this day enjoy time to myself in the gym, or at home on my yoga mat. My life has changed a lot in the past two years transitioning from dancing myself to teaching dance and barre in London. I have such a strong passion for dancing and fitness which I love to share with clients. It brings me lots of joy helping and watching clients achieve their goals and dreams!
Where did you train to teach barre and how would you describe yourself as an instructor?
I trained at ‘Barreworks’ in Richmond, its predominantly a boutique exercise studio, but they also have an instructor training programme and i still teach classes there now. My style is energetic, friendly and fun, I go by the theory that we come to class for a reason so work hard, push your limits and have fun whilst your at it!
What does a day in your life look like now and how does it differ from when you were a dancer?
A day in the life of Bridget… depending on what day of the week, I usually wake up from 5:30-6:30am with a friendly at home stretch out, green juice or oats and head to my first class. My schedule changes often depending on my private clients, but usually I teach 2-6 classes a day and if I get time I will workout at the gym, enjoy time in the sauna or attend a dance class for myself! My busy day finishes with a cup of herbal tea and some downtime catching up with my housemates before a good night’s sleep!
My days dancing professionally were very busy and long. I would start with an early at home stretch/pilates wake up then head to the studio and warm up before starting the first ballet technique class which was 1.5 – 2 hours long. Rehearsals would start after the morning classes and finish between 4-6pm depending if we had a performance that night. I would hit the gym if we had no performances in the evening. But if we were performing, I would head home to ice my feet before stage time. I have such a strong passion and love for both of these amazing lifestyles and am so grateful for the experiences I have had and where I am today.
What do you do when you’re not teaching?
If I have time off and am not teaching I love to travel, relax by the beach, attend a dance class for myself, cook or be with family and friends…OR sometimes just taking a nap!
You were born in Australia, what made you move to London?
I moved to London when I was 17 years old, on a scholarship to pursue my career in dance. My plan was to be in London for 1-3 months.. Five years later I have lived in Belgium, France, Portugal and am currently in London!
What is your best health or fitness recommendation?
The best health recommendation would be to eat as many colourful, fresh food you can and less processed, to only eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied, listen to your body! My top fitness recommendation is to get moving every single day no matter what (No excuses!) whether it is a 10 minute stroll or 1 hour HIT workout everything counts!
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
Proudest moment was moving by myself to Europe at the age of 17 to pursue my dreams!
What has your career highlight to date been?
My career highlight would be the many times I finished a performance and the audience got to their feet for a standing ovation, OR at the end of a class and clients are endlessly thanking me for a fun (yet tough) class. It helps me remind myself why I am doing what I am doing.. and why I love it!
Bridget teaches both studio and private Barre lessons in London, discover where you can find one of her classes, or book a 1:1 session here.