5 Questions with Center Stage Founder Sam Strager


“If you want to do just ONE workout a day that is going to put everything together and improve strength and stamina in 55-minutes, then BARRE is definitely where it’s at. NOTHING ELSE IS COMPARABLE!”- SS

When you walk into Center Stage, chances are you’ll be greeted by founder Sam Strager. That’s because Sam’s at her studio all day every day. Despite the loooong hours, Sam’s knack for having fun and her high energy is definitely contagious, and you can feel it permeate the room in all of her classes.

It’s not uncommon for Sam to push her students to the point that their bodies wobble and their legs feel like they’re about to give out (Jell-O legs as she likes to call it). There is no half-assing it with Sam or any of her highly skilled teachers. She is so very passionate about barre and it excites her to share that passion with anyone brave enough to throw caution to the wind and give her barre classes a try. But what else drives this 24-year-old studio owner? To find out, we combed the depths of Sam Strager’s soul to bring you this Q&A.

QUESTION: Why is alignment so important to you and your studio?

SAM: Alignment is the foundation of our practice. We eat, breathe and sleep alignment. Because if something is out of whack, it’s basically going to have a domino effect on your body. If your hips are misaligned it’s putting stress on the low back and once that starts going, all bets are off. So this why we stress, stress, stress proper alignment and will even make sure in every class that our students are getting it down. We refuse to leave anyone behind and once they’ve mastered their alignment for their body the rest just falls into place when you’re in class AND doing regular, everyday stuff. When you’re driving, at your desk, even eating, having the proper alignment follows you in all of your day-to-day activities and it will get to a point where you’re not even thinking about it, it’s just what happens naturally over time and with enough practice.

Q: Who should try barre?

S: Anyone with a desire to reach their maximum potential. We’re talking people who want to build strength and increase flexibility, elite athletes, cardio cravers or just people looking for a fun and challenging workout. We truly have something for everyone, and no matter your skill level, we all leave class feeling the same: Sore, stronger than we were 55-minutes earlier and rocking a big smile 😁.

Q:  How does barre get the blood going, like when it comes to cardiovascular health?  

S: I want to be clear: Barre can be an intense cardio workout. Our team will take you on a high intensity interval workout where the heart is going to get pumping and the blood is going to be flowing. If you’re a runner this class is going to be right up your alley. And if you’re not a runner, it’s going to help get your cardiovascular system where it should be one interval at a time — but If you want to do just ONE workout a day that is going to put everything together and improve strength and stamina in 55-minutes, then our Intensity class is definitely where it’s at. Nothing else is comparable.

Q: How does barre help you in other phases of exercise, like if I’m a runner, triathlete or pro athlete?

S: Barre is based off of core exercises and that immediately lends itself to other sports. Tennis, golf, running, swimming, biking, even dudes in the NFL use a little secret ingredient called barre to step up their game. But in my experiences, I’ve helped quite a few athletes fine tune their skill set. For example, If you’re a tennis player, it will help with your explosiveness. And for golfers, barre fixes their alignment that can be destroyed by their swings. And runners, barre assists with their longevity since we are a high intensity low impact workout that not only focuses on the larger muscles but the smaller stabilizing muscles to support their stride. There is not a lot of pounding here at the barre, so we’re giving them the workout they need without tearing up their joints and ligaments to support what they love outside the studio. 

Q: How do you want people to feel after class, physically and mentally?  

S: Like they just pushed themselves to a place they never thought was possible and had so much fun doing it that they forgot they were working out. After all if you love what you’re doing, you’re going to be more inclined to keep coming back time and time again. 

Soooo, basically like they just got off the most intense roller coaster ever, except they didn’t have to wait in line and got to wear really cool workout clothes and listen to heart pumping music in the process.

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Do you have a question for Sam? Drop her a line and she’ll get back to in no time. 😉