I know what it feels like to want huge changes in 60 minutes. I know what it feels like to have fears about getting back to your life, your sport, your dance after an injury. I know what it feels like to be bored when asked to deepen your breath.
Tell a ballet loving 6-year old she can’t be a dancer because her knees "knock" and watch determination unfold. That was me. I loved that I could be graceful and strong in class. I don’t have the perfect ballet body so I focused on working harder (than anyone else) and joyfully expressing myself. I studied at The Royal Ballet School,The Sarasota Ballet, and the Nutmeg Conservatory. I danced with Liz Lerman's Dance Exchange, Emily Johnson’s Catalyst and Fuzion Dance Artists.
During a graduate program in dance I injured myself while in a modern dance class. The professor of Kinesiology suggested I do Pilates to rehab my knee and my neck. The exercises and principles rehabilitated my injuries and taught me how to accentuate my strengths and fortify my weaknesses.
I began my teaching career at Kirov Academy of Dance in Washington, DC. teaching mat to professional dancers 6 hours a day. I went on to teach as a professor at the University of Virginia, and then to NYC to work in a physical therapist’s office in The City Center. From there, I was hired by Erika Bloom Pilates Plus to teach celebrity clientele and train teachers in her well respected method.
In 10 years of teaching, my certifications and trainings include Mount Sinai’s Cadaver Lab, Equinox, Teri Steele Pilates, STOTT Pilates, CPR, Kane School of Core Integration, Pilates for Scoliosis, Pre and Post Natal Pilates, Anatomy Trains Structural Integration, Gary Ward’s Anatomy in Motion and Pilates for Golfers. Having studied and performed Improv comedy acting for years, I will make you laugh when appropriate (while your abs are burning) and listen to your stories.
I opened Jessica Barzell Pilates in the Spring of 2017 to offer my clients a more intimate and personal experience while continuing to guest teach at Equinox.
Today, I feel like I have a secret when I engage in Ballet, Yoga, running, high intensity interval training, and Pilates. The secret is, I know how to align my joints and engage deeper muscles so I can challenge myself and avoid injury. I believe this is teachable. I do it for myself and my clients every day.