After relocating from New York City for a job promotion, one of the first goals for Alexis was to find a work-out method in Chicago that would be efficient, effective, and fun. After discovering Barre Bee Fit, she was thrilled not only with the challenging classes, After relocating from New York City for a job promotion, one of the first goals for Alexis was to find a work-out method in Chicago that would be efficient, effective, and fun. After discovering Barre Bee Fit, she was thrilled not only with the challenging classes, but the energy of the studio. Everyday Lex is grateful to have a body that works; and she hopes that during your work-outs you can truly enjoy that brief time you make for yourself in your busy day, and push your mind and body to the max.but the energy of the studio. Everyday Lex is grateful to have a body that works; and she hopes that during your work-outs you can truly enjoy that brief time you make for yourself in your busy day, and push your mind and body to the max.
Likes: big sunglasses, monograms, Après-ski
Angela Biscardi discovered Barre Bee Fit in 2010 and progressed from being a client to a client relations team member before becoming an instructor. Angela has always had a passion for fitness, having completing four half marathons, 1 full marathon and one triathlon. Her enthusiasm for races has taught her about dedication and working towards a goal. After finishing her triathlon, Angela was looking for a different type of workout and found Barre Bee Fit. Barre Bee Fit is now her go-to work out and she feels has given her better results than anything she has done in the past. Angela is passionate about helping other women feel great about themselves and feels that Barre Bee Fit is the perfect place to help women reach their goals. When Angela is not in the studio, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, trying new restaurants and cheering on the Packers!
Likes: cupcakes, country music, nail polish
Originally from Chicago, April Shipp began her professional dance career at the age of 17, with the Baltimore Chicago Modern Dance Company. In 2007, April was presented the opportunity to attend Marymount Manhattan College as a Political Science major while furthering her dance career in New York City with Clear Talent Group NYC. In 2010, April received the honor of being a choreographer for the Black Eyed Peas flashmob featured on the Oprah Show “24th Season Kickoff Party.” The project was one of the largest flashmobs in dance history. April has also had the pleasure of working with many accredited choreographers and artists, including Dr. Charles Carter, Laurie Ann Gibson, Tyce Diorio, Kirby Reed, Edwin Ocampo, Danielle Polanco, Luam, Missy Elliot, Beyonce, Kanye West, and many more. April is thrilled to be back home in Chicago and teaching various styles of dance and fitness classes while being closer to family and friends. April believes in empowering her clients to embrace their individuality and is excited to be a part of such a dynamic and inspiring community of women!
Likes: bright colors, sunny days, moon boots
Augusta Baron came across Barre Bee Fit while looking for barre classes like what she had taken during her time in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan. Augusta’s fitness obsession started with her love of dance and grew as she looked for alternative ways to stay active once she stopped dancing. Dancing from the age of 4 through her junior year in college, she had been looking for a way to reconnect with her dancer self and Barre Bee Fit was the perfect solution, allowing her to reacquaint herself with her love for dance and movement. After a year and a half with Barre Bee Fit, becoming an instructor was the natural next step, and a perfect fit! She currently teaches 5 of the 9 (and counting) Barre Bee Fit class types. Outside of Barre Bee Fit, Augusta works at a media agency in the Loop.
Likes: anything blue, coffee, chocolate
Bonnie Fonk discovered Barre Bee Fit in July of 2011, and became an instructor after taking classes regularly for over four months. Bonnie has always had a passion for the arts and started dancing jazz, tap and ballet at a very young age and continued throughout her college career. She continues to live an active lifestyle and believes nothing compares to a well rounded, challenging workout. Bonnie is dedicated to keeping clients motivated while providing a high energy atmosphere.
Likes: strong coffee, music, Instagram
Briana (Bri) Martin joined the Barre Bee Fit team in October 2011 after falling in love with the Barre Bee, Barre Burn, and Bardio Interval classes as a student. Committed to more than just improving physical appearances alone, Bri likes to make working out at Barre Bee Fit something that her clients look forward to. As a former high school and collegiate cheerleader, Bri brings a high energy to her classes, and encourages you to push yourself to achieve something new in each and every class. Bri is a graduate of Kalamazoo College and gained a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan. When not teaching at Barre Bee Fit, she works as an education researcher and policy analyst.
Likes: reality TV, cooking, Michigan football
Likes: legwarmers, sushi, dark chocolate
Catherine Aldana took her first Barre Bee Fit class in 2011 and immediately knew that she wanted to become an instructor. She has over 7 years of experience teaching dance and group fitness to children and adults and is also a certified yoga instructor. Cat has a degree in Advertising, Art, and Design from DePaul University, and works as a freelance graphic designer when not teaching yoga and barre classes. One of Cat’s favorite artists and performers is Lady Gaga, and she could teach you the choreography to just about every Gaga song!
Chelsea Coley has always been passionate about dance, fitness and health, spending most of her life dancing. After finishing her education at Michigan State University, she relocated to Chicago to work in media. When a close friend introduced her to Barre Bee Fit, she was hooked from the second she walked in. Not only were the classes challenging, she was able to find a positive community of women that had such an infectious energy encouraging one another to achieve workout and personal goals alike. She is forever grateful for the opportunity she has with BBF to help positively push her clients to see their success in the studio and in life.
Likes: coffee, fall, awkward situations
Helen Lee is proud to part of Barre Bee Fit and started in June 2010, when BBF first opened its doors. Helen loves to encourage the Bees in her class to work hard and challenge themselves while still having fun and feeling great. She is also a certified yoga and pilates instructor, bootcamp coach and received her BA in Dance from the University of Hawaii. In her spare time, Helen dances at Michigan lighthouses, likes to drink water/coconut water and wiggle her toes.
Likes: bunnies, being by the lake/ocean, kissing
Ilissa has been passionate about dance since the age of three, when she first began learning ballet. Growing up, she formally studied ballet, jazz, and hip hop. In middle school, she joined the dance team and continued as a member of her State Champion high school team as well as the National Champion competition team. Ilissa attended Indiana University, where she studied Psychology while taking dance classes to change up her workouts. Ilissa was thrilled to find Barre Bee Fit, which combined her love of dance with her daily workouts. When she’s not teaching or taking a BBF class, Ilissa works as a Financial Recruiter and also loves trying new activities and restaurants in the city. Ilissa’s favorite part about being a BBF instructor is helping clients set and reach goals and realize their potential.
Likes: dogs, pink, fireworks
Jacklyn Talbert’s love for “the barre” started at the tender age of 3 when she took her first dance class. Twenty years later, Jacklyn joined Barre Bee Fit. Initially, Jacklyn utilized Barre Bee Fit as a client while preparing for Donald Trump’s USA pageant system. After experiencing positive results, Jacklyn was eager to become a bigger part of Barre Bee Fit. As a “retired” pageant girl, Jacklyn enjoys introducing women to the fitness method that transformed and challenged her both physically and mentally. Outside of Barre Bee Fit you can find Jacklyn running along the lake, at the Sprinkles cupcake ATM, or at many of Chicago’s dog parks making new canine friends.
Likes: jokes, treats, jammin’ to the beats
Jenna Fletcher has always been passionate about health and fitness, spending her early years playing every sport possible. This translated into a lifelong commitment to being healthy and strong. After moving from Idaho to Chicago, Jenna struggled with finding a fitness program that fit her goals, until she started Barre Bee Fit. Jenna immediately started seeing the results she wanted and found a community of women that were supportive of each other. And she was hooked! Her favorite part of BBF is the positive vibe, from the upbeat music to the confident women in class. When Jenna is not teaching classes, she is working for a marketing agency as an account executive. In her free time, Jenna enjoys spending time with her husband and friends, watching classic movies and volunteering for a local non-profit organization, Harley Helping Hands.
Likes: water skiing, jelly beans, autumn
Jestina Orlando has been passionate about fitness her entire life. Growing up she lived and breathed sports, especially soccer. Jestina went on to play at Northern Illinois and then semi-professionally in Colorado. After coming back to Chicago, she searched for a workout that would make her body work as hard as soccer would. Finally, she found Barre Bee Fit and fell in love. Knowing her body was pushed to limits and challenged mentally and physical on so many levels helped her not only better her life and health but also her soccer performance. Through her journey in sports and fitness, Jestina became a certified fitness instructor and personal trainer with a lot of experience in a variety of training styles. Jestina enjoys bringing her love for all things fitness to her classes. She is dedicated to keeping clients motivated and challenged, while also keeping a high energy atmosphere.
Likes: anything from sweet Mandy B’s, my puppy Dakota, any season of Real Housewives
Lauren Huefner brings a wealth of dance knowledge to the Barre Bee Fit team, having been a professional ballerina performing with The Cleveland Ballet, The Pennsylvania Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Lauren started dancing at age 4, and by age 16 was selected to spend summers in New York City training at the American Ballet Theatre School. Lauren has also had extensive training in Pilates, Vinyasa yoga, and Bikram yoga for over ten years. After moving to Chicago for her professional career in finance, Lauren wanted to find a way to incorporate her former dance career back into her life. Barre Bee Fit was exactly what she was looking for. She believes that Barre Bee Fit offers the total body workout and is the best method to creating a long, lean, dancer’s body. She looks forward to seeing you in class, and ever the ballerina, will remind you to point those toes!
Likes: costume parties, tuxedo cats, Will Ferrell quotes
Chief Training Officer and Bootcamp Director
Lina Belkin has many years of experience teaching classes and special bootcamps at Barre Bee Fit. Recently, she has also taught a series of specialty barre classes for Nike at NTC Lincoln Park. Lina currently heads up the teacher training for new and current instructors. As part of the creative development team, Lina is committed to incorporating the newest and greatest in the fitness industry into challenging curriculum for Barre Bee Fit’s wide array of classes. Lina has accumulated various fitness certifications from CrossFit to Zumba and has also obtained a USAW Level 1 certification in Olympic weightlifting. A firm believer that strong is beautiful, Lina is thrilled to be able to pursue her passion for inspiring women to become the best version of themselves through increased levels of health, strength, and confidence.
Likes: strong coffee, HGTV, pull-ups
Madeline Franke was introduced to Barre Bee Fit after hearing rave reviews from friends, and was a client of Barre Bee Fit before auditioning to become an instructor. Madeline attended the University of Kansas, where she majored in Business. Madeline has trained and prepared for various fitness competitions, where she has placed 2nd and 5th place respectively in two recent competitions. In her free time, Madeline enjoys hanging out with her friends, spending time with her dog Chloe, and cooking.
Likes: cardio, chocolate, laughing
Megan Linge’s passion for fitness began in high school when inactivity and boredom resulted in unhealthy lifestyle choices. Upon recognizing this pattern, Megan started exercising at a local gym and began to appreciate the sense of accomplishment and challenge that resulted from a great workout. When Megan first came across Barre Bee Fit, she felt Barre Bee Fit was the perfect solution to keeping motivated and healthy. Megan hopes to help Barre Bee Fit clients exceed their own goals through sharing her own personal experiences. Megan is a certified personal trainer and also has a degree in Program Management with an Exercise Science minor.
Likes: fitness magazines, morning coffee on a cold day, shaking in chair pose
Melissa Kusack discovered barre workouts several years ago in hopes of beating the boredom she felt at the gym. After spending time in various exercise classes such pilates, bootcamp and yoga, Melissa knew she had found something special after her first Barre Bee Fit class. Right away she fell in love with the unique routines that mixes strength, cardio and flexibility training while shaping lean thighs and flat abs and that worked muscles she didn’t even knew she had. Melissa is hooked on the shake, burn, and consistent challenge of the Barre Bee Fit classes and cannot envision a life without Barre Bee Fit. As a marathon runner, personal trainer, pilates instructor and self-proclaimed “Cardio Queen,” you’ll be sure to get a tough workout in with Melissa!
Melissa Lupo is originally from New Jersey, but has called the Midwest home ever since her days at the University of Michigan (go blue!) for college. Melissa came across Barre Bee Fit in a quest to find something that would help her better other people’s lives. Through her time at Barre Bee Fit, Melissa has come to realization that she would like to dedicate herself to helping improve the health of others, and thus is currently pursuing a degree in physical therapy. Outside of BBF, Melissa enjoys attending concerts of her favorite artists, such as Arcade Fire, Lupe Fiasco, and M83.
Likes: romantic comedies, sarcasm, underdogs
Priya discovered Barre Bee Fit in September of 2011 and was instantly hooked. Priya has been an avid runner since high school, competing in several half-marathons and when a running induced ankle injury prevented her from running for several months, she tried many different workouts but couldn’t find the same motivation and intensity she felt with running. When a good friend recommended she try a Barre Bee class, she instantly fell in love with the mix of strengthening, cardio and focus on increasing flexibility. She never gets tired of the routines as they are constantly changing and challenging her and she will be forever grateful to Barre Bee Fit for getting her into the best shape of her life for her wedding in June. After graduating from the University of Illinois she began studying medicine to become a doctor and loves the balance that Barre Bee Fit brings to her life. When not teaching, working, or studying, Priya loves traveling back to Australia to visit her family, spending time with her friends, cooking with her husband, and running.
Likes: Giordano’s pizza, Disney movies, visiting family in Australia
Stephanie Williams graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a B.F.A. in teaching dance. While dancing at Columbia, Stephanie performed in professional works with Beth McNeil, Paige Cunningham, Twyla Tharp, and Matthew Hollis. Stephanie is thrilled to be able to share her love for dance and fitness with other women in Chicago. When she’s not teaching at Barre Bee Fit, you can find her teaching Zumba as well as working with her very own modern dance company, Through the Body.
Likes: cupcakes, good beats, soy iced green tea lattes
Susan Mowder has always found a way to keep her body moving. From nine years of formal dance training, to being a member of the gymnastic team, to working as a lifeguard, all before graduating from college, Susan could not imagine her life without some form of exercise. About six years ago, Susan accidentally walked into her first barre class and she was quickly hooked. Susan enjoys being able to share her enthusiasm for this fitness regimen through teaching at Barre Bee Fit. In addition to encouraging others to “tuck and squeeze,” Susan owns a wardrobe styling business, the STYLE Principle. As one client commented, “she really does wants to help you look and feel great – one way or the other!” You can find out more information about Susan’s fashion consulting business at www.thestyleprinciple.com.
Likes: long hot showers, kindness, Carol’s Cookies
Director of Operations
Taylor Wendel is dedicated to prioritizing fitness, health, and well-being in her everyday life. She spent most of her youth being active, having participated in gymnastics, dance, and cheerleading. However, dance was her passion, her favorite styles being hip-hop and lyrical jazz. Taylor spent several years performing with the hip-hop dance troupe Hip Hop Connxion. As she entered her college years she lost track of her active lifestyle and was excited to have found Barre Bee Fit, where she reacquired her taste for physical challenge and healthy habits. In addition to practicing yoga on a regular basis, Taylor trains in ballet in order to maintain her strength and flexibility while also bettering her knowledge as a teacher. She recognized helping others achieve their personal best gave her an unparalleled fulfillment and purpose. Taylor graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Public Relations & Advertising, minoring in Psychology. With her newfound conviction and power derived from Barre Bee Fit, she became an instructor with the goal of helping clients gain strength and confidence in order to become the best versions of themselves, both inside and out.
Likes: burlesque, organic products, fantasy/sci-fi