Avant-Barre Turns 2!

Avant-Barre's SoMa studio turns 2 this week! Sweat it out to THEMED playlists during Anniversary Week, and reward yourself after class with goodies from our favorite brands!

Monday: '90s + Project Juice
Tuesday: 2000s + KIND Snacks
Wednesday: POP + Lorna Jane (20% off trunk show)
Thursday: Throwback Hip Hop + Perfect Bar

Friday: TGIF + Purity Organic
Saturday: AB Signature + ALOHA


Reserve your spot in class now.

Coachella 2016: 6 Artists to See

PHOTO: Quoc Ngo.

PHOTO: Quoc Ngo.

If you didn't catch on, we badass ballerinas live for music. Many West Coasters think you haven't celebrated music until you experience your first Coachella. If you're making your way to the desert for weekend 1 or 2, meet us at these acts.

If you aren't, scroll down for your consolation prize.


Day 1 | 

With artist collaboration varying in sound from Justin Bieber to AlunaGeorge, 2 Chainz to Kiesza, Jack Ü's set is sure to have something for everyone. Avant-Barre not responsible for the desire to break into impromptu pliés.


Day 2 | 

You know that one friend who says they don't enjoy live music? Put them in front of a Matt & Kim set, and dare them not to have a great time. This duo lit up the Twin Peaks stage at Outside Lands 2013, and we haven't gotten them out of our minds since. Their set promises to take FUN to a new level.

3. ZHU

Day 2 | 

If you came to dance (and what other reason is there to devote three days to a music festival?), get your booty to Zhu. Body rolls, running man, hip shaking... all fair game at this dance floor!


Day 2 | 

Last year's critically acclaimed Straight Outta Compton brought a resurgence to 90s hip hop and especially to the music of N.W.A., the subject of the film. If you haven't seen it yet, add to your list immediately. And, regardless, catch N.W.A. member Ice Cube live at Coachella to pay homage to one of the originators of West Coast rap.

5. Alessia Cara

Day 3 | 

We love a sassy, talented female performer, especially one who's coolly casual and not afraid to be silly. Fresh-faced YouTube star-turned-professional Alessia Cara is sure to BRING IT.

6. Sia 

Day 3 |

Anyone heading to Sia's set is in for a unique treat. Notorious for her stage fright, Sia will likely stay in her own little corner of the stage. Regardless, this women put funky modern dance choreography on the map with her haunting "Chandelier" video, so there will be no shortage of visual appeal. Watching her will be like sighting a unicorn. Do Not Miss.


Not Coachella-ing this year? Feed your FOMO by joining Nini for 2 special Coachella-themed classes at Avant-Barre: 5:15pm on Wednesday 4/13 and Wednesday 4/20.

Run, Ballerina, Run

PHOTO: Quoc Ngo.

PHOTO: Quoc Ngo.

Over three months prior to the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco, Mercy started race training. She’s completed a marathon, two half marathons, and countless “fun runs”—5Ks, obstacle courses, and the like—but her sophomore half marathon for Nike Women’s holds more meaning for her.

Two years ago, for the first time ever, Mercy set a goal for her time. To her chagrin, she finished the Nike Women's race 7 minutes over her personal record in 2013. In just over a week from now, she’s returning to the Nike Women’s Half starting line and going for her gold, aiming to finish her second Nike Women’s race 26 minutes faster than her current record.

To help her reach her 2015 goal, Mercy not only runs and rides her bike several times a week, she mixes in Avant-Barre classes to get her race-ready.

Thinking about signing up for a race? Thinking about starting to run in general? Read on for Mercy’s tips, tricks, and what to focus on in class to up your running game.



Weight loss may be one of your goals, but running can help you achieve so much more. 

  • Cardiovascular health benefits: This one should be a no-brainer, but in this day and age when there’s a major focus on calming and re-centering to counter balance the busy-ness of our lives, we could use a reminder about the importance of getting our heart rate up… unrelated to caffeine or stress.

  • Mental benefits: It teaches you how to cope under stress and fatigue. You can learn how to build up to a goal and get past pain and physical discomfort.

  • Emotional benefits: It’s meditative. It helps you clear your mind (and the rest will follow). Enjoy your music, and push forward out of your comfort zone.



Think running on a treadmill every day is enough? Think again! Here are Mercy's tips for race training.

  • Work on speed AND endurance.

  • Vary your training. Don’t just run when the sun is out. Don’t just run on flat land. Especially if you’re running a San Francisco race, run hills, cliff terrains, fog, drizzle, stairs.

  • Cross-train. Don’t give up classes at Avant-Barre; they will actually help you build the strength you need come race day!

  • Be consistent. Log your miles and push yourself, but…

  • REST when you need to! Rest days are just as important for your body to heal.



Every part of class can help you build strength to become a more efficient runner. Heed Mercy's advice and areas of focus to get the most out of your cross-training. 

  • Planks/ab sets: You know how trainers continually focus on a strong core for your workout and your life? Running is no different. A strong core takes the strain out of your joints, hips and knees and absorbs more of the impact.

  • Arabesque: Learning how to keep your spine neutral and long will give you better stability in running so you don’t rock and strain your hips.

  • Thigh Work: The posture and lifted chest we focus on in class is not an instinctive part of our modern lifestyle, but it will makes you a more efficient runner.

  • Lunges/squats: By strengthening your quads, you're helping protect your knees, a runner's most impacted body part.

  • Balance: Increasing your ability to balance strengthens your ankles and helps you make fine adjustments to your foot placement. It can help you pay attention to the way your feet strike the ground as well as, wait for it... protects your knees!

  • Cardio Set: Great conditioning on your days off from running!


Are you training for the Nike Women's Marathon or any other San Francisco race? Tell us how Avant-Barre has helped you prep for race day!

Outside Lands 2015: 6 Artists to See


Every August San Francisco hails music lovers from all over for our festival pride and joy, Outside Lands. We can't resist 3 days of fun, the occasional sun (it can happen!), food, and dancing 'til our legs can't take it anymore (and if you've done "Chair" in class recently, you know that our legs can take a lot!). Headed to Golden Gate Park this weekend? Catch us at these acts.


Day 1 | Lands End

Coming off a high at Lollapalooza, MisterWives continues their tour west. Their indie pop sound is the stuff summer is made of, and Outside Lands is the perfect setting for their feel-good tunes.

D'Angelo and the Vanguard

Day 1 | Sutro

We can't guarantee he will be shirtless but D'Angelo's velvety voice will make you feel all kinds of sexy. Bring the body rolls. 


Day 2 | Panhandle

The man behind Giraffage is Bay Area born and raised. Check him out for silky smooth mash-ups and creatively funky mixes.

Kendrick Lamar

Day 2 | Twin Peaks

When Kendrick Lamar reentered the rap scene under his own name in 2009 he was an overnight sensation. Rumor has it his performance will energize the crowd to levels we didn't know existed. 


Day 3 | Twin Peaks

Odesza promises the ultimate dance party in the middle of your Sunday. What more do you need?

Elton John

Day 3 | Lands End

Pack your best sequins and rose-colored glasses. Sir Elton John closes the main stage on day 3 and, if our predictions are correct, he will shut it down.


What acts are on your must-see list?