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Summer Pop Up Series Pt. 3: Karen and Playlists

Meet Karen R!

A lifelong fan of music and movement, Karen

has brought joy to South Jersey gym goers for over 13 years, and recently started her own virtual fitness studio! Currently she teaches Barre Above, Balletone, WARRIOR Rhythm, and Zumba, and is also an NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Karen's favorite parts about fitness are instilling confidence in attendees and proving that fitness can be fun!

You can find Karen on IG @fitlifewithkarenr and join her online studio here:

She also has some live pop-up classes this week if you're in the South Jersey area:

Saturday 8/20 at 11am at Mechanical Brewery, Cherry Hill, NJ

Karen, like me loves a good themed playlist, and themed classes can make great pop-up classes on their own, or they can further enhance a pop-up class. What about a barre at the bar class where every song is about drinking or alcohol? Or beach class with a beach or summer music playlist?

My number one tip for themed playlists?

Make sure the theme doesn't override the function of the class!

The music should still have good bpm or tempo for the class and for each section- think about your warm-up music, the body of the class, and the cool down! For more on crafting a playlist (and how to use bpm in class) check out my Music 101 for Fitness Instructors course!

Now- On to Karen's Questions:


I'm thrilled to offer two Barre at the Bar in-person events this summer! Both occur at local breweries in Southern New Jersey (just outside of Philadelphia).

In some cases I use the inside space with the actual bar or stools for support, and in other cases it's outside in the beer garden for a center-floor only class with no barre...hello balance challenge!


I do all the legwork (market the event, collect funds, bring my own music, communicate with attendees about what to expect, etc.) so it's a slam dunk for the host site.All they do is unlock the door and collect $8 per person from me for a token that attendees can cash in immediately or at a future time for a pint or flight (sampler) of beer.

Attendees bring their own mats and sometimes weights; I've been known to supply bands, balls and gliding disks if my choreography calls for them.


This process started by asking the brewery for their events/tasting room manager if I could offer a class before they open for the day.

I proposed a weekend, starting and ending my 45-minute class before the actual brewery opened so it would not impact their business... except that they'd have 10-20 customers sitting at the bar at noon!


It's fun sharing this challenging format with people I don't usually see in my classes. I particularly love when BFFs, siblings or mom/daughters attend together!

There's less pressure for new people to try barre compared to classes at a gym (you're exercising in a beer garden or brewery for crying out loud!) After snapping group photo, most attendees sit around after class ends chatting while enjoying some fresh, cold beer; some even invite their families to join them. Like many other instructors, I work a full-time job, teach classes on the evening/weekends, and have family responsibilities, so I rarely have time to just "hang out" with friends. This event allows me to do just that while continually growing my reach with fitness fans in the area!

BONUS: I make a nice amount of money since it's just the ticket price minus the beer token cost, without a gym or a rental fee involved.

Stay Tuned for part 4! We'll meet another amazing instructor!

For more job resources check out: or check out @takethestagefitness on IG!

Til next time!


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