FEELS PRETTY AWESOME
Kristen Huffman is a Yoga Booty Ballet® instructor, Co-Head of YBB Teacher Trainings, & Creator of YBB WKND® retreats. Kristen has learned that her skill lies in bringing people together authentically; inviting openness, lightheartedness and wonder. Kristen's therapeutic classes allow participants to show up in an empowered practice of honesty, balancing ego and spirit. Kristen is listed by ClassPass as one of NYC’s “Top 10 Dance Fitness Instructors.”
Kristen completed her Yoga Booty Ballet certification at Swerve Studio in West Hollywood, California with Gillian Clark in 2007, and her Hatha yoga teacher training with Ganga White and Tracey Rich of the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara in 2010. Initially teaching public group classes in Los Angeles, Kristen developed a passion in accommodating participants of all levels and backgrounds to feel comfortable enough to have their own experience, developing a style that was structured enough to keep people interested and safe, but not alienating to those without technical experience. After studying sound therapy with Jamie Bechtold Ford of the Sound Bath Center in Los Angeles, Kristen began incorporating sound frequency in her offerings. Responding to the demand for the effective combinations that she was exploring, Kristen was led to create YBBWKND® retreat curriculums; coupling movement with sound therapy in an immersive format. Kristen offers retreats nationwide year-round.
Kristen is also a certified REALgirl instructor; fostering girls ages 8-16 with comprehensive empowerment curriculums. Kristen is in the Advanced Study program at Upright Citizens Brigade, and enjoys improv as a life practice. Before her current path as an instructor, Kristen studied Elementary Education and writing, graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
Kristen lives in Brooklyn, New York.
THE ATLANTIC STUDIOS, NYC
BREAKIN BOUNDARIES, NYC
PMT DANCE STUDIO, NYC
LUCID BODY HOUSE, NYC
TRISKELION ARTS, NYC
HEARTBEAT HOUSE, L.A.
ATHLETIC GARAGE, L.A.
YOGA BLUE, L.A.
YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD STUDIO, L.A.
ANGEL CITY YOGA, L.A.
THE FAIR OAKS, L.A.
FITNESS FACTORY, STL
SOLAR YOGA, STL
YBBWKND® is 3 days of the 'best class ever', enhanced by therapeutic sound baths, yoga, and sisterhood. The immersive, restorative retreat style is centered around the safe space and support that enables meaningful personal experience. Creating a therapeutic weekend retreat for her extraordinary community of women was a natural step for Kristen, who has enjoyed producing these distinctive getaways since 2015.
Yoga Booty Ballet® Teacher Training
Kristen offers annual teacher trainings for those interested in empowering themselves to teach. Kristen was certified in Yoga Booty Ballet in 2007, and completed her advanced level certification in 2010, both with YBB Creator, Gillian Clark. Kristen and Gillian have led over a dozen national YBB teacher trainings, since 2011. Kristen and fellow senior instructor, Dafne Schilling, of YBB Argentina, led the first South American YBB teacher training in Buenos Aires in May 2017.
When I discovered Yoga Booty Ballet in 2007, I felt ignited. I realized it was possible to find the kind of personal experience I needed from a "workout" class, even.. especially amongst others. Exploring why and how this was possible, led me to my friendship with Creator of YBB, Gillian Clark, and what became an important, empowering step for me. Without a technical background in dance, choosing to teach Yoga Booty Ballet was definitely an unexpected move!
I was 25 when I feverishly left St. Louis, and my job as an assistant line developer for a shoe company, after a stirring dream that kept me up one night. After a tumultuous first year in Los Angeles, I found myself in Gillian's dynamic Saturday morning YBB class. At the time that I found it, It felt like a gift just for me. Seven months later, I was certified to teach. I led classes wherever I could, bouncing around all of L.A., loving this practice, and what had become a way I could consistently party, and consistently heal. I began exploring what It meant to live this practice; I was driven by how strong I was feeling and what I was creating in each day. Fortunately for me, a generous teacher taught me to teach; I became more skilled, and my classes grew. I never became bored with YBB, because it grew as I did. Over a few initial years, I taught at 8 different studios, from Culver City to Silverlake to Pasadena, and I found myself at home at Heartbeat House in Atwater Village in 2010. There, a thriving community of stellar women (and men) of all backgrounds, professions, ages, and neighborhoods came together every Monday and Wednesday night. I had found what I loved in others too; connection, community, laughter. Active healing. Active being. We created a thing, and we became dear to each other, and YBB became beloved to us all.
In 2011, I began helping Gillian teach others to teach. Since then, we have together certified over 80 women to lead Yoga Booty Ballet nationally with bi-annual teacher trainings. In May 2017, I co-led my first international teacher training in Buenos Aires, Argentina with friend and collaborator, Dafne Schilling.
In December 2015, 21 women joined me in Palm Springs, for the first YBB WKND. In April 2016, we went to Ojai. In October, Joshua Tree. Then to the beaches of La Jolla, the Malibu mountains, Rockaway Beach NY, and Lake Arrowhead. "Living YBB" immersively for 3 days in the emotionally real environment YBB uniquely creates, is now a ritual I will never go without. I feel very lucky for knowing that kind of joy with other women.
Since 2015, I have been in New York City, where it is so exciting to see Yoga Booty Ballet bloom. I believe in YBB because of how great we feel when we do it; because of what it activates. And because everyone is invited. This day in age, we need a playground as well as a workout. Our workouts can be spirit-inducing and fun. What they don't need to be is pretentious. It is a priority to me that we all feel like we have a real place to show up. I know that our stronger, more open bodies will show up if we do. And I know that you will not return to my class if you don't feel pretty awesome when you leave.
What I've learned from the decade I've enjoyed of this practice, is the way to practice being. YBB invites me to be my "best self," to experience what I feel like when I dance, how I breathe, how I respond to stress, and to the feeling of freedom. A group of people accessing this "best self" essence results in something tangible and surprising. It's a living thing.
YBB expands my courage, as I continue performing as an improviser. It led me to the White Lotus Foundation in 2010, to certify my Hatha yoga practice. Yoga inspired me to create a Chair Yoga program at The Fair Oaks Living Center for Seniors, and to take on the Still Moving special needs class at Heartbeat, some of my favorite gigs. YBB led me to REALgirl, where I learned to facilitate programs that empower growing girls. It also led me to the study of sound healing, which helps regulate the nervous system and stimulate healthy brain wave function. Mostly, YBB induces my connection to spirit. That relationship, and the positive effects of it cannot be described here. But I believe it can be felt in the way I teach. In addition to studio classes, I offer team-building events for companies like Pinterest, and parties for anyone who wants to invite a gaggle of friends to be free with them. I am having so much fun in New York, where YBB is magnetically attracting all of us here who love dancing our way into our best essence. Come check out a class and let me know your intentions. I'll dance with you!
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