We caught up with Nathalie Errandonea-Mewes after our pop up at her Kentish Town studio last month to discuss her past as a ballerina, and how she balances her own business with being a mum of 2. Having studied at the Conservatoire Rosella Hightower from the age of 3 to 19, she went on to study and work in marketing and fashion, before moving to London and ultimately opening her intimate and beautiful North London studio, N-RG Barrebody.
Q: Having lived in both Paris and London, which city would you say you prefer?
A: I love both cities for different reasons. At the moment, I feel at home in London, my life is here, my kids were both born here. But my heart belongs in France, especially Cannes and Paris. They both made me who I am now. I love Cannes for all the memories and the warm weather, I love Paris for the soul and the way it makes me feel every time I visit, but London is my city now -- it's buzzing with life, culture, and excitement.
Q: What is your idea of a perfect day in London?
A: As I am a mum of two young children -- Romy and Gabriel -- my current perfect day in London is visiting the Natural History Museum in South Kensington with the kids, having lunch at our local pub in Hampstead, and having a long walk with our husky, Ray, on Hampstead Heath.
Q: You used to be a ballerina -- what are some lessons you learned in ballet that you use in your barre practice now, and generally in your every day life?
A: The conservatoire was a pretty tough school, but I wouldn't change it for the world. It taught me discipline and consistency, which I am trying to share with my students. Nothing happens overnight, but if you put your heart into it and don't give up, eventually you will reach the goals you have set for yourself. Routine and hard work is key so you know how to relax and enjoy life.
Q: What are some misconceptions people may have about ballet barre?
A: I would say that people think they need to have done ballet before attending a barre class. It's not true, of course. Ballet barre helps you tone various muscle groups, and with a healthy diet, you will eventually transform your figure -- but it's not just about losing weight. Finally, some people believe barre is too hard, and will never get easier. But as I like to say to my clients, perseverance is key.
Q: What are your top 3 tips for someone starting out with barre?
A: 1. Find a teacher who inspires you, a teacher you click with, and who makes barre fun.
2. Believe your instructor when they say it will get easier.
3. Do it at least twice a week to see results.
Q: You must live in activewear, and you have a beautiful collection. How do you incorporate it into your every day wardrobe?
A: I try to mix it up more and more. When I am tired, and not feeling 100 percent, I go for a black legging and bra, the same way someone goes for their comfy jeans and a tee. Most days though, I incorporate a stylish or trendy item with a more timeless piece. Feeling comfortable is always the X factor for me.
Q: How would you describe a ballerina's style in 3 words?
A: Timeless, understated, and elegant.
Thank you to Nathalie again for hosting us at her beautiful and welcoming London studio. You can learn more about Nathalie's method and classes on her website, n-rg.co.uk.