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Dustin Isom: Breaking Boundaries in Barre
Wellness
Published Friday Jun 29, 2018 by Erica Arvanitis

Dustin Isom: Breaking Boundaries in Barre

Barre
Personal Growth

Dancer by trade, Dustin Isom’s pure talent and positive personality radiates off the walls of Barre3 in Henderson, NV. As a barre instructor and advocate for the LGBTQ community, Dustin leads all of his classes with inclusivity and acceptance—blending confidence and conviction during every workout.

We asked Dustin to tell us about how his life experiences have shaped how he teaches (and relates to) each student who steps into the studio. 

 

What brought you to barre and how has being part of the LGBTQ community shaped you over the years? 

I grew up as an extremely active child. I played sports all through middle school, but as I transitioned to high school, I developed a love for dance. One of my teachers was an instructor at a local studio and invited some of her students to take a class. That was about five years ago. A few years after that, a friend brought me to Barre3 Henderson, and I instantly fell in love.
 
With barre, I am not afraid to test my masculinity. I continue to step into a barre class—even being the only male in the room—simply because of how the LGBTQ community has shaped me. I will throw myself into a class of mostly women, and confidently walk out proudly sporting my Barre3 gear.


 
How has Barre3 championed you and the diverse experiences you bring to your classes?

Barre3 Henderson has become my studio of choice because of their core values. With a focus on balance, Barre3 teaches people how to find harmony in their minds and bodies, which is extremely beneficial to a dancer and athlete like me. 

Being the first and only male instructor at my studio, my goal is to get more men into a barre class. I want them to enter feeling just as comfortable and confident as all my female clients, and leave feeling accomplished. I challenge more men to break barriers, try something new, and dive deeper into what connects their mind and body.


 
Your class schedule changes daily, but what does your day look like when you’re not teaching?

When I am not teaching, I stay as active as possible. I train at a local gym or even take other Barre3 classes from fellow instructors. When I’m not relaxing by the pool, I keep my afternoons light before heading to the Las Vegas Strip for an evening of performances. 


 
Barre can seem intimidating for someone just starting out. If you had one piece of advice for facing the fear of taking a new class, what would it be?

When I have new clients in my class, I like to end with a quote from Denis Waitley, “It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.”  This quote really resonates because the only thing standing in your way is you. What holds us back and makes us feel discouraged or intimidated is all up to us. Allowing ourselves to feel vulnerable and open is the only way we can allow for change in our mind, body, and soul.


 
Pride Month is all about celebrating diversity. What tips would you give on being an ally to the LGBTQ community all year long?

My number one tip is to be open and accepting. Find acceptance in yourself, acceptance in others and acceptance in change. Nothing in life is ever accomplished through denial and self-hatred.
 

Erica Arvanitis MINDBODY
Written by
Erica Arvanitis
Copywriter
About the author
A copywriter by day, Erica spends her free time mastering the art of puzzles while forcing her 10-year-old Chow mix to wear sweaters. With experience in PR, social media, marketing, and copywriting, Erica lives and breathes the written word. Warning: don’t test her on Friends trivia - she will win every time.
Pregnant Kim Haile and her daughter
The Latest
Published Wednesday Apr 01, 2020 by Kim Haile

Finding Peace: Pregnant in a Pandemic

Perspective
Personal Growth

I’m celebrating week 21 of pregnancy. Baby is the size of a banana or bell pepper. I don’t know why it’s so fun to compare a growing fetus to a fruit or veggie, but it gives me a much-needed laugh while I make note to avoid consuming bananas for the week.  This is also ultrasound week. I’m no longer able to bring my husband and daughter to the appointment, but we understand that these restrictions are put in place to protect us. Like so many pregnant women and mothers across the world, I’m doing my best to adapt to the new norm and changes that COVID-19 has introduced to my already stressful life. 
 
Pregnant women across various metro cities are beginning to face fears of delivering their baby without a birthing partner by their side for the duration of the hospital stay. Family members and friends may not be able to meet baby in-person for quite some time, so those special first meetings happen over FaceTime. New mommy groups switch to virtual meetups. I’m feeling the weight of it all (and I’m not referring to the extra weight I’ve gained from WFH snacking), the heaviness of the unknown that we all carry as we navigate through all of this change. 

Tuning into nightly news or googling the latest COVID-19 death tolls is a surefire way to lose sleep, but we do it anyway because we want to stay informed as we wrap our heads around how much this pandemic will change our world. Maybe your anxiety and personal despair grow as you hear from a friend who recently lost their job or read about your favorite restaurant unable to keep its doors open. Canceled events, long-anticipated vacations, and temporarily closed fitness studios are not only inconvenient, but force us to reframe our attitudes. 

I can hear my mother’s voice telling me to relax. She tells me that the baby can feel my stress, and that isn’t good for anyone. I begin to feel guilty about my inability to quiet the negative feelings and decide that something needs to change. We can’t change what the media reports, the pressure at work, or predict how long it will take for the economy to recover. But what if we reminded ourselves to do the best with what we have and keep moving forward—one day at a time. Amidst the chaos, we’re becoming a stronger, kinder community, and that is truly a beautiful thing to see. 

The journey to my second trimester wasn’t an easy one. I suffered a heartbreaking miscarriage a few years ago. I made time for my body and mind to heal after the loss. Float tank sessions, meditation, vinyasa power flow, and frequent facials helped me connect with my body. I can’t say self-care alone healed my depression, but it certainly helped me discover the importance of self-love and repaired my self-confidence. 

After many pregnancy tests and negative results, I was at peace with accepting that having another child may not be in the cards for me. Fast forward to age 37. I was shocked to see a + symbol on three pregnancy stick tests. Although I’m medically referred to as a geriatric pregnancy, my OB/Gyn said there was no reason for me to go into this pregnancy with a negative mindset. Eat healthy, stay active, and focus on being POSITIVE. Maybe the pursuit of happiness and path to personal wellness was really that simple.  

On my 38th birthday, I celebrated my 20th week of pregnancy—I’ll refer to it as the “Pregnant in a Pandemic Party.” I blew out a candle on a warm chocolate chip cookie that my husband and daughter baked together. They were my only party guests, but I didn’t need a room full of people at a fancy restaurant to feel pure gratitude. People across the world continue to test positive for COVID-19. I was safe in my home with my family. I was right where I needed to be.

Although the past few weeks have brought a wide range of emotions for all of us, I’m choosing to use this extra time to self-reflect and bond with family. I’m mentally recording my five-year-old daughter as she whispers to my stomach and tells her baby sister that August couldn’t come soon enough. This is life. So perfectly imperfect at times, but beautiful in more ways than we know. We may be housebound, down to the last few rolls of toilet paper, and our hair hasn’t seen a salon in over a month. The loss of control and routine over our daily lives can make us feel like failures. Trust me; we’re not. We were never meant to get through this alone. Together, we will get through this—one day at a time. 

Kim Haile Headshot
Written by
Kim Haile
Senior Corporate Communications Specialist
About the author
Hailing from the East Coast, Kim loves the challenge of Marketing and the fast-paced tech industry. She earned her undergraduate degree in Business from Northeastern University in Boston, where she endured brutal New England winters and avoided smiling while riding the T. Now a happy Californian, Kim loves the beach, HIIT workouts, and traveling with her husband and young daughter.