how to become a barre instructor

Learning how to become a Barre Instructor allows you to pursue a fitness career teaching classes that are rooted in the style of ballet. 

Our 4 step guide outlines everything you’ll need to know to pursue this career: 

Completing a personal trainer diploma can help to enhance your knowledge of health and fitness. This qualification acts as a launch pad for the rest of your career, providing you with all the tools to flourish as a Barre instructor. 

You can also download OriGym’s FREE course prospectus to learn more about every qualification we offer.

Step 1 – Getting Your Barre Instructor Certification

Getting Your Barre Instructor Certification

For those who are unfamiliar with the practice, Barre is a ballet-inspired class designed to test agility and strength, whilst offering the added benefits of shaping and toning participants’ bodies. 

The first step to becoming a Barre instructor is getting the right certifications under your belt! 

Whilst this specific section will explore 3 different qualifications that can increase your employability, it’s worth noting that every employer will have their own prerequisites in place. 

For this reason, when applying for Barre instructor job roles you must always read the requirements diligently. 

#1 – How To Get Barre Instructor Jobs With A Level 2 Gym Instructor Qualification

How to Get Barre Instructor Jobs with a Level 2 Gym Instructor Qualification

Those who are researching how to become a Barre fitness instructor will first need to complete a Level 2 Fitness Instructor course. This qualification is essential, as without it you will not be able to teach fitness classes.

The necessity of this qualification can be seen in the following advertisement for a Barre instructor job vacancy with Virgin Active:

Barre instructor job vacancy

As you can see, without first earning a Level 2 Fitness Qualification, you will not be able to pursue this Barre instructor job role

This certification is considered a necessity as it will also make you feel more confident in preparing for and leading the class at hand. 

You’ll gain a solid foundation of knowledge relating to fitness, through the study of areas such as: 

  • Fitness class teaching techniques
  • How to motivate groups 
  • How to design and deliver a fitness class
  • Health and safety 
  • Anatomy and physiology 
  • The business side of the fitness industry

In addition to gaining the confidence to lead classes, earning a Level 2 Fitness Instructor Qualification can be viewed as a necessity, as it is the only way you can acquire Barre instructor liability insurance.

Failure to provide evidence of this qualification can result in a lack of legal protection should a client ever claim a lawsuit against you. We’ll cover more on how to obtain this later in the article.


#2 – Complete A Specialist Barre Class Instructor Training

Les Mills become a cardio BARRE instructor

When learning how to become a Barre instructor, you will absolutely need a specialist qualification to teach the classes. There are plenty of accredited course providers that you can study under, including:

For this section, we’re going to specifically look at the Les Mills Barre qualification, as this is one of the most popular examples. 

Les Mills Barre instructor courses are trademarked, meaning that you’ll need to hold a certified qualification with the company itself to lead their classes. This means that you won’t be able to teach Les Mills’ classes if you hold a qualification from another provider, such as The Barre Collective

The difference between these qualifications will become evident when you begin to apply for Barre instructor jobs

For example, this post from Exeter City Council specifies a trademarked Les Mills qualification is needed to be considered for the position:

Les Mills BARRE Instructor Jobs

When employers are specifically looking for a Les Mills Barre instructor they will make it apparent in the application. If the brand is not mentioned, you can assume that the employer will consider applicants who hold any form of certifications.

Les Mills is a well established fitness brand known across the entire world. Therefore by completing their Barre instructor course you’re guaranteed to earn a qualification that is upheld to a high standard in society.

This can also do wonders for your reputation in the industry, as other professionals and customers alike will hold you to the same high standards.

So, if you’re interested in learning more about how to become a Barre fitness instructor with Les Mills, the first thing you need to do is head over to their official website. 

After selecting the Instructors tab on the drop down menu, you will be met with a series of options. You want to select the ‘Book Training’ text as seen in the graphic below:

become a cardio barre instructor Les Mills site

This action will take you to a webpage where you will need to select the specific option of Barre class instructor training (it will appear at the bottom right hand corner). This will look like the image found below: 

Les Mills how to become a BARRE instructor UK Courses

You will then be sent to a separate webpage that will allow you to book yourself onto any available Barre instructor courses in the UK.

how to become a barre instructor uk Online Training course

From the screenshot provided above, you can see that the next available course (as of writing this article) will begin on the 10th of December 2022. 

Every course provider will have their own methods for enrolling students – this section merely used Les Mills as an example. 

Once you’ve chosen your course provider, be sure to read the course requirements to ensure you have an understanding of how to apply.  

But if this section has sparked your interest, check out these articles below:

#3 – Get Qualified As A Personal Trainer To Become An Ideal Candidate For Barre Instructor Jobs Roles

Become a cardio BARRE instructor PT

A Level 3 Personal Training course is technically an optional qualification, but it can greatly increase your chances of becoming employed as a Barre instructor.  

Alongside helping you to further develop your knowledge relating to health and fitness, this qualification will also allow you to work with clients on a 1-to-1 basis. 

This can come in handy as a Barre instructor as your students may approach you for personal training sessions that help to facilitate improvement within classes.

Essentially, completing a personal training course provides you with more professional opportunities, allowing you to earn money as a PT whilst simultaneously working for Les Mills. 

This experience can also help you stand out in the eyes of employers, presenting yourself as a more qualified individual compared to your competitors. The importance of this qualification can be seen below in the advertisement for Ragdale Hall Spa.

Here you can see that Level 3 personal trainers are viewed as ideal candidates to lead holistic fitness programmes that include teachings similar to Barre.

How to become a BARRE instructor PT Level 3

Therefore, this could be the ideal option for candidates who wish to teach Barre alongside other fitness classes, rather than just specialising in the specific area.

What Does A Barre Instructor Course Consist Of?

What Does A Barre Instructor Course Consist Of?

Whilst most Barre instructor courses will teach a similar syllabus they won’t be identical to each other. 

This is due to the fact that different course providers will have their own unique way of teaching – for example, Les Mills courses will exclusively teach the brand’s chosen choreography, that will not be available anywhere else. 

With this in mind, you should always be sure to read a course’s content page to get an understanding of how the providers teach their students. 

To keep this article consistent with the previous section, we’re going to be using Les Mills as an example again here

The first thing you need to know about the Les Mills course is that it requires you to do prework:

PreWork Barre Instructor Job role

Once this pre-work has been completed, you will be able to attend the actual Zoom webinars, where your official training will commence. 

To understand what these Les Mills Zoom classes consist of you should click the ‘More Info’ option on their Barre page. In doing so, you will be taken to the following webpage which provides you with further course details:

Details of Less Mills become a cardio BARRE instructor

From this breakdown you can see that the Les Mills Barre instructor training consists of 2 days of initial training, and a further 2 days of advanced training to be completed within 12 months of passing the initial section.

Throughout this training you will need to learn the essence of the Barre programme, and how it relates to the five principles of Les Mills:

  • Choreography 
  • Technique 
  • Coaching
  • Connecting 
  • Performance 

Adhering to these principles is particularly important, as when working with Les Mills you cannot create your own routines. Instead, you must adhere to the material that the company provides throughout the year.

This isn’t true for every qualification, as other providers will allow you to have creative freedom in the creation of your classes. 

The only downside is that a lot of competitive courses lack the name recognition that comes along with a Les Mills qualification.

how to become a BARRE instructor

As of writing this article, Les Mills’ BARRE instructor training in the UK only takes place online. Other providers such as Barre Collective offer in-person training sessions, so if this is something you wish to pursue the options are out there. 

This means that if you’re intent on earning a Les Mills certification you will need access to a computer and the internet. This will allow you to download training materials and send recorded proof for your assessments. 

How Much Does A Barre Instructor Training Course Cost?

How Much Does a Barre Instructor Training Course Cost?

Just as there is no universal curriculum for a Barre instructor course, there is no set price either.

For this reason, we’d always recommend conducting some price comparison research, in order to find a qualification provider within your specific budget.

For example, the cost of enrolling on a Les Mills Barre course can range from:

  • £380 for an early bird registration
  • £425 for standard registration 
  • £470 for the full-price registration

These price changes all depend on how far in advance you book your place on the BARRE instructor courses. If you wish to avoid increased fees, you should make it a priority to register early! 

In addition to this, Les Mills instructors will also need to pay a set fee to attend quarterly updates throughout the year. In doing so, you will be provided with 2 new BARRE routines that you can teach to your class. 

Failure to attend these quarterly classes will result in you teaching outdated BARRE choreography that does not reflect the brand’s current teachings.

Quaterlt how to become a BARRE instructor UK Updates

This isn’t to say that every provider will require you to attend quarterly updates. 

Qualification providers such as The Barre Collective will see you pay one flat fee, in order to become qualified under them. This can be seen below, for the price of £600:

BARRE collective become a cardio BARRE instructor

This can be an example of conducting price comparison research – whilst the Barre collective will see you pay more upfront, the cost of being a Les Mills instructor will always be higher as a result of their quarterly updates. 


Tips For Passing Barre Instructor Courses

Tips For Passing Barre Instructor Courses

The way in which you’re assessed during your Barre instructor course will differ from one provider to another. 

For example, when studying with Les Mills’ once you’ve completed the initial 2-day Barre class instructor training, you’ll need to submit a video recording as part of your final assessment. 

This assessment will consist of you leading a class of a minimum of 5 participants in a licensed venue. The recorded assessment is to show that you have taken the course on-board and can effectively teach a safe and effective class, in line with the Les Mills standard. 

Submitting the video does not guarantee you will pass the course. Instead, in order to obtain this qualification a Les Mills instructor will have to deem you to hold a suitable amount of knowledge and experience in order to lead their classes.

Recording Barre instructor certification

Similarly, the Barre Collective requires its students to:

  • Submit a video assessment with a buddy from the course, in which they demonstrate that they are capable of leading a class
  • Pass a One-Hour Theory exam
  • Attend a final group session in which they will all lead a specific section of the class

With both of these providers in mind, we’re going to provide you with some holistic advice that can be applied to passing any Barre instructor certification:

#1 – Personally Attending Sessions Will Strengthen Your Barre Class Instructor Training 

Become a cardio BARRE instructor tips

When learning how to become a Barre instructor, one of the best things you can do is personally attend as many classes as possible. 

This is a great way of getting acquainted with the Barre teaching style, through the observation of a qualified instructor’s behaviour and approach to choreography.

For example, from attending these classes you can consider what attributes of the instructor you appreciate the most. You can then embed these characteristics into your own teaching style, in order to come across as an effective teacher.

In addition to this, if possible we’d recommend attending a course that is led by an instructor who holds the same qualification that you wish to earn. For example, if you wish to learn under Les Mills, then you should attend Les Mills Barre classes. 

In doing so, you can get better acquainted with the course provider’s approach to learning, a factor which could potentially better your chances of passing. 

#2 – Always Ask Questions During Your Barre Instructor Courses 

Always Ask Questions During Your Barre Instructor Courses

We cannot state this enough, but never be afraid to ask questions. In doing so, you will only improve your education and chances of success when it comes to passing your assessments.

Qualification providers will typically always encourage their students to engage with the course and ask as many questions as possible. 

For example, when completing online Barre instructor training in the UK, Les Mills will have a section of their zoom meetings dedicated to Q&As. 

The answers that your instructors provide can help to shape your overall performance for the better. This can increase the likelihood of you passing, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

If you’re not comfortable asking these questions in a group environment you can always contact your instructor and ask them privately.

#3 – If You Want To Become a Cardio Barre Instructor, You’ll Need To Practise 

If You Want to Become a Cardio Barre Instructor You’ll Need to Practise

As the old saying goes, ‘practice makes perfect’ and that is especially true for physical challenges like leading barre classes. During these sessions you will have to recall complex choreography from memory, so prior rehearsals will ensure things run smoothly.

You should get into a habit of diligently practising routines during your initial training. This can involve:

  • Asking your instructor for feedback on form
  • Recording yourself to observe areas for improvement
  • Asking friends and family members to act as a mock class

Essentially, this comes down to the more work you put in from the beginning, the better you’ll feel when it comes to recording your assessment.

#4 – Submit The Best Version Of Your Video Assessment To Obtain Your Barre Instructor Certification

become a cardio BARRE instructor

As previously stated in the article, many Barre course providers will require you to record and submit a video as part of your assessment. 

You should not submit your first attempt at recording, as these drafts can be riddled with errors and basic mistakes. Instead, we’d recommend leading multiple rehearsals to ensure a polished final result.

Whilst a rehearsal may not entirely rid you of any potential nerves, it will help you to feel more confident in your ability to deliver a BARRE class. 

It’s best to record multiple takes, as whilst this will be time consuming it provides you with more footage to work with. You can then determine which recording presents you in the best possible light and submit that for your assessment.

– – – – 

If learning how to become a Barre instructor interests you, then you should check out these other OriGym articles too:

Step Two: Obtaining Barre Instructor Liability Insurance

Obtaining Barre Instructor Liability Insurance

Once you’re fully qualified you should make it an immediate priority to obtain a BARRE instructor liability insurance quote.

Being insured is essential for a variety of different reasons, for example it can provide legal protection when you’re planning on working:

  • With members of the general public 
  • In public settings
  • With different pieces of equipment

Essentially, getting Barre instructor liability insurance will protect you from unexpected legal claims made against your practice. Providers such as Insure4Sport offer coverage from as little as £32.99 a month for £1 million in coverage. 

Insurance example become a cardio BARRE instructor

Ultimately, when you’re looking to invest in Barre instructor liability insurance you need to make a subjective decision as to what provider and quote will work best for your business.

Whilst some providers may differ in their approach, generally Barre instructor liability insurance will typically cover:

#1 – Barre Instructors Must Have Public Liability Protection

Barre Instructors Must Have Public Liability Protection

Public liability insurance is essential for any business owner who regularly interacts directly with the public – whether they’re customers or private citizens.

As a qualified Barre instructor this is an insurance policy that cannot be avoided. This is because it will offer you legal protection should a client ever make a claim against you, following an injury or damage to their personal property. 

In this instance, your insurance will cover your legal fees should a client state that you were personally responsible for said incident. 

#2 – Personal Accident Insurance For Barre Instructors

Personal Accident Insurance for Barre Instructors

Personal accident insurance is designed to protect you should unforeseen events lead to a decline in your personal quality of life – e.g. through injuries. 

This is a long-term policy that can provide you with money for your future, should the injury be so severe that it permanently prevents you from teaching another BARRE class.

#3 – Loss Of Earnings Insurance For Barre Instructors 

Loss Of Earnings Insurance for Barre Instructors

Also known as income protection insurance, loss of earnings insurance is there to help you cover your expenses in the instance that an  injury or illness prevents you from being able to work.

This type of insurance comes in 3 main forms:

  • Accident
  • Sickness 
  • Unemployment Insurance

As the name suggests, this is a short-term policy that tends to pay out for up to 12 months in the case of long-term sickness or recovery after an accident. 

These premiums vary in how long and how much they pay out, as well as differing from one provider to another, so always read each policy diligently.

#4 – Barre Instructors Must Also Have Equipment Insurance

Become a BARRE instructor UK example

Equipment insurance is vital for business owners who rely on certain pieces of kit to do their job – for example, the free weights you’ll be using as a BARRE instructor.

This type of policy should cover you in case of accidental damage, theft, or loss of the property you use for your business, so you won’t have to constantly lose money replacing your equipment


Step Three: How To Find Barre Instructor Jobs

Step Three: How to Find Barre Instructor Jobs

Once you’ve achieved your BARRE instructor certifications and insured yourself, the next step is actually finding a job! 

To ensure that a full scope of careers is presented, we will discuss employers who take different qualifications into consideration:

#1 – Look For Barre Instructor Jobs By Checking For Affiliated Les Mills Chains

Les Mills logo become a cardio BARRE instructor

As we have used Les Mills as an example throughout this article, let’s look at how you can specifically obtain a job with a Les Mills affiliated gym chain.

As you’re aware, Les Mills is widely known within the fitness industry for providing high quality fitness courses that encourage people to workout.

This reputation means that many popular gym chains choose to have affiliate relationships with Les Mills. This allows them to offer branded classes to their customers as part of their paid membership. 

By choosing to become a cardio Barre instructor with Les Mills, you have the opportunity to work with popular gym chains in the UK such as:

  • JD Gyms
  • David Lloyds
  • Total Fitness
  • Nuffield Health

One of the easiest ways to find gyms in your area that offer Les Mills classes is to check on the company’s website. 

By pressing on the ‘Find a Class’ option you can see what fitness centres in your local area offer BARRE classes. These could be regarded as future employers.

For example, from the screenshot provided below you can see that there are 15 sites offering BARRE in the London area alone:

how to become a BARRE instructor uk Map

But this tool isn’t just limited to Barre, as it can be applied to any Les Mills class of your choosing.

#2 – Use Indeed And Other External Job Sites To Look For Roles As A Barre Instructor

Use Indeed and Other External Job Sites to Look for Roles as a Barre Instructor

Whilst on the hunt for a Barre instructor jobs, it’s always worth checking various external job sites available such as:

  • Indeed 
  • TotalJobs 
  • Glassdoor 

External sites are an easy way to find vacancies that are immediately available within your local area. This won’t just be limited to the likes of Les Mills, and will highlight jobs suitable for every Barre instructor. 

For example, when using Indeed to look for Barre instructor jobs, the following results were pulled up:

Indede How to become a BARRE Instructor UK

Applying for Barre instructor jobs on external websites will be a fairly straightforward process. 

Typically, you will simply be asked to attach your CV and cover letter to the application, but keep in mind that every employer is different and may ask more questions to assess whether you’re a desirable candidate.

External sites will also filter all the relevant information to ensure that you know the vacancy is worth applying for. This includes:

  • The proposed salary 
  • The contract type – e.g. part or full time
  • Rating information on the employer 

If you’re looking to become a cardio Barre instructor, visiting these external sites regularly will help you find employment teaching the classes. 

#3 – Before Settling On A Barre Instructor Job Research The Competition And Consider Your Options

Before Settling on a Barre Instructor Job Research the Competition and Consider Your Options

After learning how to become a Barre instructor you will likely be eager to delve into the world of work. But before rushing into this process we recommend checking out various employers to see how they compare with one another.

From performing this research you will be able to determine whether the position is suitable for your specific needs. For example, you could determine whether the vacancy is offering a suitable enough salary for your personal experience.

According to TotalJobs, the average fitness instructor salary is roughly between £17,000 – £26,000 per year. Whilst Payscale reports an average earning of £8.81 per hour.

How to become a BARRE instructor payscale

Therefore, jobs such as this example from The Yoga Bar in London, which pays £30 – £40 can be viewed as a valuable form of employment for your consideration:

become a cardio barre instructor Money

Another thing to note is that this is only a freelance role, and that you should also consider the type of contract on offer before accepting a job. 

With both part-time and full-time contracts you may be expected to lead different fitness classes too, in order to fulfil multiple roles at the gym/fitness centre. For example, take a look at this example from FRESH:

How to become a BARRE instructor FRESH

Here you can see that Barre is just one responsibility, and that applicants will also have to lead classes in Pilates and Flexitone Release too.

From this, it can be concluded that if you wish to become a Barre instructor in the UK you will need to consider various factors before rushing the application process. This will provide you with time to determine whether the position is suitable for you specifically.

Step Four: Progress Your Career After Becoming A BARRE Instructor

Progress Your Career After Becoming a BARRE Instructor

Of course, your career development doesn’t have to end once you’ve obtained a Barre instructor certification. Which is why this section will explore potential options you can explore to progress professionally.

#1 – Take On Clients In 1-to-1 Personal Training In Addition To Teaching Barre Classes

#1 - Take on Clients in 1-to-1 Personal Training in Addition to Teaching Barre Classes

If you want to take a break from group fitness instruction, why not choose to become a personal trainer and work with clients on a 1-to-1 basis?

The first step in this new career option is to earn a Level 3 personal training qualification. As stated in the introductory section, this will qualify you to create bespoke training programmes for individualistic clients.

This is a fantastic career advancement opportunity for Barre instructors, as you will already have a large client base to recruit from your classes. For example, if a student comes to you after their session looking to advance their practice, you can recommend enrolling them on a personal training programme . 

Barre Instructor Courses

You will also be able to advertise these PT services at the start of every session, by simply reminding your students that it’s on offer to them should they require it.

According to research conducted by Indeed, the average salary of a personal trainer in the UK is £21.60 per hour, which is a considerable increase from the standard Fitness Instructor example we provided in the previous section.

This is only an example too, as you can realistically set your own wage as a personal trainer, charging rates that reflect your experience in the industry. 

For example, you could realistically charge more as a personal trainer by developing a niche. This is achieved through completing specialist training, such as one of OriGym’s accredited nutrition courses (UK).

Through earning this qualification you could realistically charge more for your PT services, as you can add meal plans onto a client’s programmes that help to facilitate their goals. 

#2 – Get Qualified To Teach Other Les Mills Classes As A Barre Instructor 

Les Mills how to become a BARRE instructor UK Courses

One great way to advance your fitness career is to get qualified to teach other Les Mills courses. The company has a variety of different classes you can explore, allowing you to incorporate a wide range of skills and experience into your repertoire.

If you chose to study with Les Mills for your Barre qualification then your chances of passing this new course increases, as you will already know what attributes they look for in instructors.

But even if you didn’t earn your Barre instructor certification with Les Mills, this doesn’t have to stop you from making use of the company’s other qualifications. 

As long as you meet their prerequisites, you can realistically enrol on any of their courses.

Adding Les Mills certifications to your CV you’re increasing your desirability as an employee, which can open more doors for you as your career progresses.

#3 – Advance Your Barre Instructor Job Prospects By Becoming A Gym Manager 

Advance Your Barre Instructor Job Prospects by Becoming a Gym Manager

If you’re looking to progress your career and take on more responsibility you could learn to become a gym manager.

When researching the job description of a gym manager, you will see that you will be required to fulfil roles and responsibilities such as:

  • Managing Staff
  • Scheduling Shift Rotas
  • Controlling the Gym’s Budget
  • Maintaining Equipment

Being a gym manager is a huge responsibility because you’re in charge of bringing the company vision to life and providing an excellent experience for all gym goers – the role will challenge you, but can be incredibly rewarding.

As you can see in the example below, you’ll need your Level 3 qualification in personal training that we’ve previously mentioned for this role. 

Level 3 Gym Manager Job become a Barre Instructor UK

This is a requirement as it means you’re qualified to fulfil any role should a member of staff be unable to complete their duties. 

Plus, if you’re a gym manager who holds a BARRE instructor certification you will be able to schedule regular classes that you can personally lead. This will ensure that you’re still making use of your Les Mills qualification, whilst working in a higher position.

Before You Go! 

Now that you know how to become a Barre instructor you will be able to pursue this career option with confidence. In achieving this qualification, you will be officially regarded as an expert within this field. 

Remember, a personal training diploma can greatly help with this entire process. Once you’ve graduated OriGym’s team of expert tutors will be on hand to provide you with career advice to ensure you thrive as a Barre instructor. 

OriGym’s course prospectus is also available to download for FREE! 

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About the Author: Rachel Stevens

rachel stevens origym authour
Rachel is a freelance content writer and fitness enthusiast based in Liverpool. She completed her BA (Hons) in Egyptology and Ancient History, followed by a MA in Ancient History, at the University of Liverpool. She has a keen interest in many water-based sports, like kayaking, in which she holds a 1-star qualification with the intention of progressing further. She is an avid reader, runner and yoga enthusiast.

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