Beverly Barre

Our Instructors

Carrie O’Donnell, Founder
carrie@beverlybarrechicago.com

Background:
I grew up in Beverly.  I swam and played water polo growing up.

How did you get into Barre?
I love to run and I have always done cardio classes.  I was training for the Boston marathon in 2013 and a friend took me to a Barre class to help with my training.  I could not believe what a challenge it was, I was using muscles I had never used before!  I will admit after the first class I was a little unsure about this whole Barre thing, but I continued to go and couldn't believe the results.  The classes not only helped shape my body, but also increased my endurance for running and helped prevent me from any injuries.  I love that every time I go to a Barre class I always feel challenged.

What other athletic activities do you enjoy doing?
I love to run.  Growing up as a swimmer I never thought I would say those words, but I really do find some inner peace running.  I love to do races and compete every year in the Ridge Run and Beverly Turkey Trot.

What made you decide to bring Barre to Beverly?
I loved growing up in Beverly. I have lived in Charleston, SC, Washington DC, Boston, MA and a couple of different Chicago neighborhoods and I cannot imagine raising a family anywhere else.  It is truly amazing to me how strong the ties are in Beverly, people you haven't seen in years will drop everything and be there for you when you are going through a hard time. The people of Beverly overwhelmed my family and I with their support and I wanted to bring something I loved to this community.

Molly McAlinden, Founder
molly@beverlybarrechicago.com

Background:
I grew up in Beverly and enjoyed competing in many sports and Irish dancing as a kid.

How did you get into Barre?
My whole life, I have always been active and interested in different types of exercises. About 8 years ago, a friend of mine told me about a new (barre) place that opened up near our work. I decided to check it out, and after a month of taking classes, I noticed a difference in my body and was hooked! Barre classes help me with some hip challenges I have from long distance running. Even today when I take classes, my legs still shake, it never gets easier, but I am always challenging myself to get stronger.

What other athletic activities do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy combining barre classes with cardio such as running and biking. Running has been a passion of mine since I was young, and I’ve completed two Chicago Marathons.

What made you decide to bring Barre to Beverly?
I feel my best when I consistently take barre classes and I wanted my friends, family, and community to enjoy this same feeling. Beverly has always been a wonderful community to be part of, and sharing my passion for barre classes is one way for me to give back.

Patty Holland, Instructor
patty@beverlybarrechicago.com

Background:
Born and raised in Beverly, I grew up running and participating in sports.

How did you get into Barre?
When Carrie and Molly brought Barre to Beverly I decided to try it out as I had heard great things and love all types of workouts. After running the Chicago Marathon in 2014, I needed a new exercise class that would be low-impact while still tightening and toning my muscles. Initially, I was intimidated at the idea of Barre; however, after a month I noticed more definition in my body and felt challenged every class. I love the way Barre continues to shape and strengthen my body.

What other athletic activities do you enjoy doing?
I love running, particularly competing in races, spinning and intensified and interactive group workouts.

Colleen McWalter, Instructor

Background:
I grew up in Beverly and enjoyed running and playing different sports.

How did you get into Barre?
I have always been active and enjoy different exercises. After running the Chicago Marathon in 2012, I needed a new exercise class that would strengthen my hips and strengthen my muscles. When I first started, I was intimidated at the idea of Barre; however, after a month I noticed more definition in my muscles and felt challenged every class. The stretching helped my running as well. Barre classes still test me, but I love the challenge.

What other athletic activities do you enjoy doing?
I love running, pilates, yoga, spinning, group workouts.

MaryAnn BlackBurn

Background:
I grew up on the south side. I danced and sang and enjoyed cheerleading.

I've been into fitness my whole life and was looking for something different. The name "barre" was very intimidating but once I tried it I was hooked! I love the low impact style but felt every bit of it through the work out and a few days after!

I enjoy all different types of workouts. When the weather is nice I really enjoy climbing the stairs in Palos and hiking!

I love instructing at Beverly Barre! I've met so many awesome people of all ages. This workout is for everyone!

Jen Bennett

Background:
I grew up in Hometown and ran track and cross country in high school. As an adult, I have spent a lot of time in the gym weight lifting, running, and doing various group exercise classes. I have been a registered nurse for twenty-one years and enjoy staying fit.

How did you get into Barre?
I have always been active and involved in a variety of exercise regimens. However, after being diagnosed with Lupus, I found that most exercise routines weren’t working for my body anymore. I was introduced to a barre class at a local studio, and after trying out a few different classes, I fell in love with it. Finding something that provided a full-body workout using light weights and mostly my own body weight changed my life. Barre incorporates ballet and physical therapy-like moves, so while it is an intense workout, it is also good for your joints, muscles, and mind. After taking classes regularly for about a month, I noticed changes in my body that I hadn’t seen before. It is still a challenge everytime I take the class myself, and I find that as long as you keep challenging yourself, barre will always challenge you.

What other interests do you have?
I enjoy spending time with my husband, daughter, and family, and taking vacations as often as possible. I also enjoy bike rides in the summer and dancing. I recently began working as a school nurse in my daughter’s elementary school after working in a pediatric cancer center for seventeen years.

Grace Manning
 

Grace is a yoga teacher, licensed massage therapist, and mother of three. Her first exposure to yoga was in her 20s with Bikram yoga, but as both mind and body mature she continues to explore other styles and teachers. She received her 200-hour yoga certification in 2008 after studying with Mira Binzen at Global Family Yoga. She continues to participate in teacher training workshops with Jim Bennitt and James Tennant at Tejas, as well as Gabriel Halpern, Erich Schiffman, and Rod Stryker. In 2012, Grace completed her massage therapy training at Moraine Valley College and received an Illinois License of Massage Therapy (LMT).

Grace practices and teaches with alignment and light heartedness in mind, bringing awareness to habitual movements and unnecessary tension. Her classes take a playful approach because she understands how peak postures can be the source of great ecstasy as well as disheartened despair. Her classes can challenge the body as well as the mind’s attachment to what it perceives as necessary engagement.

Olivia Mohseni
 

Background:
I was born and raised in Beverly and always loved trying new sports and workouts. Once I tried Yoga Sculpt, it became an addiction. The class is always challenging, both mentally and physically, no matter your fitness level. After several years of sculpting, I decided I wanted to go through teacher training and became certified in 2017 through CorePower Yoga. I embarked on this journey because I want to be able to share the powerful benefits I experienced with yoga. My classes are high energy, using music, breath and motivation to help push you through until the very end. For me, teaching is so rewarding because I love being able to see students break through their mental barriers and achieve their goals.