Published: 08th October 2019
Why Sagarika Ganeshyam's BeyondBarre routine could be your new fitness fix
Sagarika Ganeshyam is the first and only certified instructor of BeyondBarre, a group fitness routine that uses elements of dance, in India
You'd think that dance and fitness go hand in hand, but you'd be surprised at how difficult it can be to make the twain meet. That is exactly what Chennai girl Sagarika Ganeshyam has been doing successfully for 4 years now – she combines her love for dance and fitness at BeyondBarre, a group fitness routine that involves strengthening ballet exercises, yoga, pilates and dance and aims to increase flexibility, strength, balance, core strength, conditioning and more. In fact, what truly sets her apart from her peers is the fact that she is the first and only certified BeyondBarre instructor in India!
“I discovered BeyondBarre when I visited the US back in 2015. I was on the lookout for something that was connected to dance, yet went beyond it. That’s when I came across different fitness formats. I noticed that BeyondBarre sort of spoke to me because it consisted of a body of principles I could relate to. For example, I loved the fact this fitness routine was flexible and focused on the whole body,” Sagarika points out.
But what truly appealed to her was the fact that it was injury-free and that anybody – from 12-year-olds to old people – could do it. “Usually, people have an apprehension of intense body work-outs as they fear that may cause considerable wear and tear and take a toll on their bodies. The BeyondBarre routine not only does not cause such problems, but there is also scope for the instructor to come up with modifications corresponding to each person’s requirements,” she avers, letting us know that more and more people from the city are getting to know about this fantastic routine and signing up for classes today.
Having taken to dance right from her school days, she has trained in jazz, hip-hop and contemporary dance at the Academy of Modern Danse under Kokila Hariram, a pioneer of Western dance education in the city. Sagarika has a glittering repertoire – She has performed in over 100 commercial shows at a regional, national and international level, and is also a certified zumba fitness instructor, kids’ zumba fitness instructor, aqua zumba instructor and dance teacher who does not limit herself to one role.
Teaching the art is something she loves. “I love multitasking. I perform, I choreograph and I teach,” she says, adding, “I teach a lot of children – at both clubs and at schools. I feel that as a dance teacher, I am able to connect well with them because I believe that dance is more than just getting all the steps right. I believe that dance is a form of creative expression that opens your mind and soul to different possibilities. It is also therapeutic. When you go to a dance class, you not only learn the routine and steps involved, you also learn how to work with different people and broaden your horizons.”
As Sagarika has dealt with children of all ages (From 3-year-olds to teenagers), she believes that she is able to understand their psyche better and help them deal with any issues they may have – both emotional and physical. “My students come to me with any problems that they may be facing – at home or at school. I try to keep an open mind and help them out and sometimes even act as a liaison between their parents and them,” she shares.
Her number one advice to children of all ages is that they should never give up, no matter what. “I have noticed a behaviour that is being all too common in children of today – they give up easily when the going gets tough. This is not to be encouraged. When I was in school, I was easily able to juggle dance, piano and art classes with such ease! That never-say-die spirit has made me the ‘balanced’ person that I am today. So never give up,” she smiles.