An Interview with OpenBarre Owner Maryam Diaab

Maryam OpenBarre

Maryam Diaab, proud owner of OpenBarre.

Maryam Diaab is the proud owner of OpenBarre Studio, located at The High Grove and specializing in ballet barre and aerial yoga group fitness classes. We wanted to ask her a few questions about her business, what she loves about teaching, and how she feels about The High Grove and Baton Rouge.

 

The High Grove: Why did you open OpenBarre? Tell us a bit about your, and the studio’s, story.

Maryam Diaab: Well, before opening OpenBarre, I was an elementary school teacher and administrator for 12 years. As my three children (two sons and one daughter) got older and involved in more activities I felt the need to be home more so that I was available to them. Having taken some barre classes at various studios, I realized that I loved the workout, but could not find a studio that gave me a variety of options that appealed to me. I am the type of person that if I can’t find what I want, I make it myself. That is how OpenBarre was born.

I wanted to develop a studio that was intentionally small, welcoming, and that offered unique fitness options that couldn’t be found in other Baton Rouge studios. At our core we are a barre studio, and there are several in the Baton Rouge area, but our barre program is the only one in Baton Rouge that incorporates a glide board for added cardio, lateral strength training, and additional opportunities to build core strength. We are also the only studio in the city of Baton Rouge offering aerial yoga and POUND, a drumming workout that burns 600-800 calories in a single class.

 

THG: Why did you decide to open your studio at The High Grove?

MD: The High Grove provided an awesome opportunity for OpenBarre. The location (across from The Mall of Louisiana and right off I-10) was so convenient and, like OpenBarre, The High Grove provides a unique living experience for its residents. With the planned expansion and the opportunity for other businesses to move into the retail spaces, The High Grove will be front and center as a premier upscale living and retail community in Baton Rouge.

 

Flying high during aerial yoga.

Flying high during aerial yoga.

 

THG: What’s the best part of your day at OpenBarre? What do you enjoy the most?

MD: The best part of my day at OpenBarre is when I’m teaching a class. I love using that time getting to know my clients and pushing them to their limits. It’s so rewarding to see my clients come back week after week and do things that they couldn’t do the week before. It’s definitely awesome to see our clients become stronger, more confident, and reach their fitness goals.

 

THG: What inspires you?

MD: I am inspired by our OpenBarre clients. What I love about OpenBarre is that our clients aren’t just clients. they become our friends and family. Being that we’re a small studio, we have the unique opportunity to really build relationships with our clients — learn their names, ask about their families, jobs, weekends … this really helps us build a connection with them, and it’s even better when our clients meet each other at OpenBarre and end up great friends. It’s an awesome feeling to bring people together!

 

A group class in the studio.

A group class in the studio.

 

THG: What’s your favorite memory since opening?

MD: My favorite memory since opening is when a client (and High Grove resident) reached a milestone in our aerial yoga class. She had been working toward pulling herself up into an aerial split and had been unable to for weeks. She would try each class, but wasn’t strong enough to pull herself up into position. Then, during one class, the time came to do the move. With a look of determination she went through the same steps to raising herself up into position, and was able to do it! The entire class cheered and she smiled from ear to ear. It was an awesome moment!

 

THG: How do you see the future of The Grove, and of Baton Rouge in general?

MD: The Grove is an awesome addition to Baton Rouge because there is really no place like it in the city. The location is great, there is opportunity for additional growth and development, and it’s on the cutting edge of environmental-friendliness. It definitely has the potential to change the way Baton Rouge citizens live, shop, and enjoy the city.

 

Aerial yoga partners!

Aerial yoga partners!

 

OpenBarre is located at 10222 The Grove Blvd. You can find them online and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

OpenBarre is currently holding sign-up/registration for the fall Skinny Jeans Challenge. The Challenge runs from September 1-30. For $105, participants receive a 30 class pass, plus four 75-minute Sunday Boot{y} camp sessions to be used during the challenge dates. A first, second, and third place winner will be selected to earn prizes from OpenBarre, Woodhouse Spa, The Big Squeezy, Krave Juice Bar, Fresh Kitchen, Indie Plate, and Lucky Brand Jeans.