Meet Super Trainer Elise Joan

Meet Super Trainer Elise Joan


I’m Elise Joan. And I am the creator
of Barre Blend. And I’m just excited to be the newest
Beachbody Super Trainer. Are we ready
to start Barre Blend? Let’s do it. You know, my journey
toward becoming a trainer is kind of
a long and windy road. And for me,
I really think it’s evidence that whatever plans we have, you know, God and the universe
may have different plans. I was born in Manhattan,
New York City. And I remember from a young age, just loving
the magic of the city. I grew up just loving movement. I started ballet
at the age of three. You know, it resonated
with me right away, this idea
of freedom of expression and moving my body in a way
that felt like celebration, even from a young age. When I went to college,
there was no ballet program, just modern dance. So I decided to audition
for Guys and Dolls, which was the first musical they were doing
my freshman year, and I was hooked right away. I graduated with a degree
in theater and history. Then I packed a bag
and moved to New York City and went and pound the
pavement, I mean, old school. I got the backstage newspapers
circled, the auditions
that were right for me, waited in line for hours
at a time to be seen by a director. But I got lucky enough
to have some good breaks that led me to some
early success in theater. I just remember that spotlight
hitting me and feeling like, “Yes, this is where
I’m meant to be.” I was on a tour,
a Broadway tour, and I started to realize my voice was becoming
less and less reliable, I was straining more and more. And it turns out
I had pre-nodular polyps on my vocal cords,
which became vocal nodules. That was a career ender. I lost most of my singing range. And in the
New York theater world, as soon as your voice goes,
that’s it. I, you know, was faced
with this time where I couldn’t speak at all. So I was feeling
kind of down about that, and I remember very vividly
walking down Ninth Avenue and seeing a sign, it said, “Three months unlimited yoga
for $100.” And I’m thinking,
“I’m a professional dancer, I can totally do yoga. I’ll do that, instead.” I was surprised
that within moments of opening my heart
into this practice, everything I was feeling
about the end of my career, about having no idea what’s
next, just poured out of me. I was faced with a crossroads, truly,
to either let that define me and spiral downward
into a “why me” mentality, or instead to choose it
as an opportunity. That’s when I realized
the power of Mindful Movement. You know,
my yoga teacher noticed, you know, this
emotional response I had to yoga and thought
that I might have something to share as a teacher. So I got certified, and I just felt like
a part of me came alive again. I often think about it
as losing my voice in order to find a truer,
newer voice. I started teaching barre
in about 2005, and I was tapped by a group fitness manager
for Equinox, who came to one of my classic barre classes
at a different studio and asked me
to come over to teach barre. I was really drawn to Equinox because they trusted me
with their programming. So I was able to teach
a classic barre class but add my own flair. I started to add in
cardio intervals, I started to add in
some dance movements, some movements
that were inspired from yoga. And the class was a main studio
class at the time and it took off. I actually trained
some other teachers to teach it at different clubs in Equinox
throughout Southern California. To see those programs come alive and to see how people responded
to them was really fun. So many of you might know me
as one of the yoga experts from the 3 Week Yoga Retreat. For me, moving
from one of four yoga experts to becoming
a Super Trainer and creator of the Barre Blend program just felt, honestly,
like a dream come true. But I can honestly say
that the day I got the call to create this new barre program
for Beachbody, literally pivoted my life
in a moment. So I recently entered my 40s. And I feel
more powerful than ever. But, you know, it’s presented
some challenges as well in that, I have an amazing husband Nolan. And we got married
a few years ago, and we’ve been trying
for many years to have a baby. We spent a lot of time, energy,
and money and doing acupuncture and eating healthy
and drinking all the teas and taking my temperature
and doing all of these things, and it just wasn’t happening
for us. I was starting to experience
my own self-doubt. We decided that
we would give it one more go and we would try IVF. I was getting so excited. I was a great candidate,
everything was looking amazing. And then it turns out that all of the embryos had multiple chromosomal
abnormalities. And I really felt like– I really felt like
I was a failure as a woman. I started to feel like I wasn’t able to be
a good wife if I wasn’t gonna have
this capacity to be a mom. I really feel like
having this opportunity to nurture in a different way is really
what I was longing for. It wasn’t necessarily
gonna show up as my own child. But for me, everyone out there
who trusts me with their physical
and emotional journey, and who is open
to trying Barre Blend, I mean, I honestly came alive. I moved into my creative space. My husband was like, “Oh my gosh,
I have my wife back again.” And I think
it’s really changed my life. So I couldn’t be more thankful
for this program on a personal level. And I honestly
couldn’t imagine a better path. I couldn’t be happier. And I couldn’t feel
more absolutely in my purpose. And I am so thankful
for all of you, who give me the opportunity
to come into your living rooms and help you
overcome challenges, help you overcome adversity, and help you believe that even if things aren’t quite
going according to your plan, there might be a better plan
out there for you. I am ready to guide you
through this 60-day program where you elevate your spirit,
your heart, and your mind. I think it’s important to share the challenges that I go through because I think they help me
become a more understanding, more compassionate trainer, more compassionate
wife and human. And I think it’s clear that there’s more than one way
to leave a legacy. And for me, Barre Blend
is literally the culmination of so many of my passions, and sharing it feels like I get to share something, a little piece of myself,
with the world that I hope will be here
long after I’m gone.