"Yoga Booty Ballet® is a blend of sweaty cardio dance, strengthening ballet, and balancing yoga. Kristen is known for her vigilantly friendly, high-energy, joy-filled classes. The result feels pretty fun, pretty liberating, and pretty awesome."
Kristen has been enjoying the last 10 years as a Yoga Booty Ballet® Instructor, Head of Yoga Booty Ballet® Teacher Trainings, and creator of "YBB WKNDS." Offering weekly Feels Pretty Awesome YBB classes in Manhattan, Kristen was recently listed by ClassPass as one of NYC’s “Top 10 Dance Fitness Instructors.” Kristen is known to lead heartfelt, high-energy classes that are vigilantly friendly and joy-filled. Kristen offers teacher trainings and 'YBB WKND' retreats worldwide.
Kristen’s “YBB WKND” retreats have ignited a contagious deeper practice, and have expanded bi-coastally since 2015. YBB WKND couples the effects of empowered YBB dance parties with other therapeutic and restorative modalities.
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 10 national YBB teacher trainings, certifying over 80 instructors. Kristen and fellow senior instructor, Dafne Schilling, of YBB Argentina, led the first South American YBB teacher training in Buenos Aires in May 2017.
Kristen completed her Hatha Yoga teacher training with Ganga White and Tracey Rich at the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, CA in 2010. She has studied Sound Therapy with Jamie Bechtold Ford of Ascending Sounds in Los Angeles since 2014. Kristen is a certified REALgirl instructor; fostering girls ages 8-16 with comprehensive empowerment curriculums. Before the days of YBB, Kristen studied Elementary Education and then Writing, graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Art. Kristen lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with her boyfriend, Marc, and several plants that are doing quite well. She is a very proud auntie to Everett and Stella.
When I discovered Yoga Booty Ballet 10 years ago, 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 left St. Louis, and my job as an assistant line developer for a shoe company. A year after landing 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; my body was looking great, but I was being driven by how strong and light I was feeling in my life. What I was creating daily. Fortunately for me, I learned how to teach from a generous teacher; 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. There, a thriving community of seriously 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, I led my first Yoga Booty Ballet Weekend Retreat with 21 women in Palm Springs. In April 2016, 28 of us ventured to Ojai, CA for "YBB WKND II." In October 2016, Joshua Tree. And in April 2017, the beaches of La Jolla. "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.
Yoga Booty Ballet is a passion and a way to practice BEING. YBB expands my courage, as I continue performing as an improviser and actress. 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 girls ages 8-16. It also led me to a favorite new 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. I offer workshops, DISQKO "dark dance" parties, YBB fund-raisers, outdoor YBB events in Joshua tree and at Burning Man, and personalized Yoga Booty Ballet birthday parties. I am having so much fun in New York, where YBB is magnetically attracting those of us here who crave openness. I host regular classes at PMT Dance Studio near Union Square, Power Studios in Midtown, and Battery Dance in Lower Manhattan. Come check out a class and let me know your intentions. I'll dance with you!
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