Health & Wellness: A Chat with Xtend Barre’s Founder & Local Studio Owner

by Catherine Trifiletti

A new studio location brings warm service and high energy to Arlington.


Studio owner Kelly Wilkinson and Xtend Barre creator and founder Andrea Rogers.

It is not often that exercise can be classified as fun, especially when referring to the practice of barre where tiny range of motion movements stress and strain seemingly foreign muscles. The prospect of walking into 45 minutes of painful exertion is typically an intimidating venture, unless you wander into Xtend Barre. A hybrid of choreographed moves, pilates and barre, classes feels more like a high-energy dance party than a standard sweat session. After visiting Xtend Barre’s new clean, modern and welcoming Arlington studio, the third to open in the area, it is clear that not all barre classes are created equal. We sat down with Andrea Rogers, founder and creator of the practice, and Arlington studio owner Kelly Wilkinson to find out what makes the concept so refreshingly different.

Washington Life: How did you come up with the idea for Xtend Barre?

Andrea Rogers: It started with my love of dance and movement. I started dancing at the age of three, and was teaching dance at the age of twelve, choreographing at the age of fifteen, and then became a professional dancer. I was twitching behind the seat of my desk job after college so I segued into the exercise world in South Florida. After becoming a classical, comprehensive pilates instructor, I was itching to choreograph…so I started playing around with my pilates clients. I really wanted to connect the true foundations of dance and pilates.

WL: When was this and how did it grow?

AR: In 2008- 2009 I took time to develop my repertoire. From there I had a client who had relocated to Florida after Hurricane Katrina and when it was time for her to move back to New Orleans she said: “I can’t leave without this program.” So I researched and licensed the program for her to teach back at home.

I did it backwards– most people  start the business, and have an intention to franchise from the beginning, but mine was very organic. People fell in love with this workout, wanted to bring it to their communities, and that put things in motion for me to figure out how to make that happen.

WL: How do you describe Xtend Barre to people who don’t know much about it?

AR:With Xtend Barre, you’re going to burn calories, you’re going to work like you’ve never worked before in a barre class. You get cardio,  strength training as well as a mind-body component. You’re going to leave saying: “I should have brought my towel!” And that’s just a taste of it. Every class is different. We pride ourselves on having a very strong, continued education platform, so our instructors are never teaching the same class twice. You’ll have that familiarity within the class, you’ll understand the flow and dynamics…but it will never be the same thing.

Kelly Wilkinson: I fell in love  after one class!  I am a cardio girl; I need to sweat or I don’t feel like I’m getting a good workout and this class made me sweat.  The small movements combined with bigger larger movements worked every muscle in my body and the faster tempo got my heart rate up to burn calories.  It’s a total body work-out.  I saw results very quickly, and my husband noticed them as well.

WL: So when you do Xtend Barre, does that mean you don’t have to do alternative cardio, like other barre concepts?

AR: I’m never one to say, “All you need in life is Xtend Barre!” I’m an advocate of finding passion. If you love to run, then run! Incorporate Xtend Barre to help your running because it can help in any facet. You can use Xtend Barre as a complementary addition to any other workout that you love and enjoy. You don’t have to replace anything, you can just add it your routine and find balance.

WL: What is special about the Arlington location in particular that you would like to share with prospective clients?

KW: Starting a new workout routine is intimidating.  Getting out of your comfort zone, walking into a beautiful studio where you don’t know anyone is intimidating.  I get it.  I’ve been there before.  I want your experience to be anything but intimidating.  Xtend Barre Arlington is a community where friendships are created, goals are set, life’s accomplishments are celebrated, hardships are supported and for 55-minutes we are going to give you one killer workout.  Everyone is welcome, no experience necessary.

WL: What is your goal for the future– do  any new programming that you’re going to do?

AR: Yes! We do have a new programs in the works, hush hush. We’re always trying to reinvent what barre is, and make sure that we are the leaders of this industry in terms of education and programming, so we do have some new props in play and some new programs coming in. You’ll always see that, you’ll always see us evolving our workouts. We want to partner with like-minded people who love this industry, who are passionate about fueling their communities with this type of great workout, and working with other women, to empower and excite them to do something they love. It’s wonderful and that’s what life’s all about.

Xtend Barre 2008 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, Va. 703-528-7846


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