Kenna is an independent contemporary dance/yoga/barre teacher, trainer and performing artist based in the USA and Europe. ~ She grew up dancing ballet (Royal Academy of Dance), jazz, tap and lyrical in the San Francisco Bay Area of California at the San Juan School of Dance and with Keith Banks. Having attended UC San Diego from 2004-2008, Kenna holds Bachelor’s of Arts degrees in both Dance & Sociology. This is where her interest for contemporary dance sparked, which she further progressed thereafter her graduation, in particular with the Patricia Rincon Dance Collective. Kenna danced with Patricia for six full seasons in the San Diego area from 2008-2014, and assisted her Europe summer teaching tour to Germany from 2010-2014. She has also toured with the collective in Argentina and Switzerland. The LA Times described Kenna as “powerfully balletic” (October, 2013); she directed, choreographed and performed in I Only Know (What I Don’t Know), a 40-min. dance concert as a part of PRDC's Salon Dance Series at the Encinitas Library in May, 2014. In 2016, she went independent and taught a weekend Spring + Fall tour to teach barre & yoga technique + contemporary dance choreography at Ballettwerkstatt in Heidelberg, Germany. She is grateful for all the opportunities that she has around the world to share her first true love and passion: dance.
Kenna’s interest in yoga developed around age 20. As a dancer, yoga seemed to come naturally as well as cultivate a much needed strength and awareness; but it was the full feeling of integrity of Being that she experienced on the mat, present with her breath, that made Kenna’s love for Yoga profound and consistent over time. Kenna completed 200-hr. yoga teacher training in 2010 with Sherry Shreck, in the Anusara style, in Encinitas, CA. Through out the years, Kenna’s teaching career has flourished around her heart-felt yoga classes, skilled workshops, inspiring retreats and therapeutic corporate and private practice. In 2015, she traveled to Kerala in southern India for a month to further her yoga studies in Rajanaka Tantra and Vinyasa with Danny Arguetty and Lora Heiner. Yin yoga has also been the subject of recent inquiry and interest after Kenna studied with Joe Barnett in May 2016 in Zurich; she is now officially a 500-hr. trained yoga teacher with nearly a decade of teaching experience, mainly in California, but also Italy, Germany and Switzerland. Now involved in the Yoga Six Teacher Training program, Kenna is thrilled to inspire and sharpen the skills of new teachers in the field, and motivated by all she learns along the way of her never-ending path in Yoga.
During the above periods, Kenna began to refine her own style of the barre work out. She brought her in-depth knowledge of ballet, contemporary dance and yoga into her classes to strike the perfect balance of a technical and effective, dance-inspired exercise regimen: Ballet Sculpt—a natural bridge between dance, yoga and fitness. It takes some of the best aspects of each and brings them together into a fresh discipline that produces results. Having taught thousands of classes and developed a beginning level teacher training, Kenna strives to strengthen the connection between barre practices and the original classical dance forms from which they evolved, and adapt them to safely fit the diverse, physical needs of every body. Kenna has trained teachers in Dubai, UAE, as well as in San Diego, CA.
Kenna is an Ambassador with ToeSox since 2014, spreading toes and love through yoga, dance and barre, all across the globe. She is also an Independent Distributor of Young Living Essential Oils, an amazing product she discovered early on in her yoga career and continues to explore and find valuable for her students and self-care. Kenna loves to surf, Mother Nature, in general, and travel. Healthy cooking, music, reading, Netflix and her loving husband are other prime components of Kenna's happiness in life.
The rhythm of a flow yoga class has its roots in Vinyasa; as the breath guides and supports the body's natural motion in time and space, it serves as a continuous thread, linking each asana (posture) of the practice into a fluid dance. Flow moves energy in dynamic ways, igniting inner fire with Surya Namaskar (salute to the sun) and strong movements such as chaturanga dandasana (high to low push-up) and variations. Pulsation, as well as active stillness, supported by pranayama (breathing technique), continue to build heat. Typically, a flow class will work up to a more challenging peak pose, such as an inversion or balancing posture, incorporating twists, backbends, forward folds, side stretches and hip openers to prepare the body for this particular apex. Spiritual themes may be incorporated through out the class as opportunities for inspiration, meditation, self-reflection, celebration, and love. Creatively opening and aligning the body and its energy centers (chakras) in an organic and seamless sequence of poses, no one flow class is exactly the same, and this is part of its complex beauty. The vast depth of possible exploration into the laboratory of the human body, mind and spirit, equipped with the tools of Yoga, is infinite!
A lighter, slower-paced yoga class, incorporating props (blocks, straps, bolsters, blankets, the wall) to support well-structured alignment and enhance the pose's healing qualities. Initially, the body builds heat via a gentle, rhythmic pulsation linked to the breath (pratipana), so that blood and prana (life force energy) circulate naturally and prepare the body for deep release. This gentler class contains fewer postures than a typical flow class, and they are explored for longer periods of time. The class aims to balance deep stretching with light strength-building and intelligent therapeutics for the body, promoting safe and sustainable flexibility and joint mobility, as well as a deep release of tension and stress, body and mind.
When the body is completely supported, it can truly surrender and let go, even into the connective tissue and the emotional-energetic body. Deep relaxation promotes healing and it is especially helpful for relieving chronic stress and slowing down. Consistent engagement with the physically more subtle yoga practices can positively address less than ideal, long-term postural habits, physical asymmetries, old injuries, and trauma of all forms held in the body.
As each person has a unique body, background and experience, there are no one-size-fits-all yogic remedies. A private yoga session, however, can address specific, unique needs and tailor the practice around them, refining alignment and breath, strengthening particular muscles and/or relieving others, like a form of bodywork. A deeper examination of the client through visual assessment of muscultoskeltal structure, dialogue on injuries and/or habitual movements/posture, prop use as well as manual assistment and adjustment bring a very detailed and personalized element to this practice and altogether realize the wonderfully rehabilitative & therapeutic aspects of Yoga on the individual level. Mental yoga, meditation, breath work, lifestyle and philosophy discussion may be included here.
Ballet Sculpt~Barre Fitness is inspired by dance, yoga, fitness, and music! The class begins with variations of Salute to the Sun, followed by an intense series of ballet-based warm-up/training exercises at the barre, strengthening and lengthening the muscles while getting the heart rate going. Light weights may be used through out the class in order to enhance the burn and promote toning. The tempo is upbeat and the movements rhythmic; strong, yet smooth. It is a full blast workout for the legs, gluteus and core, with deep stretches interspersed through out for recovery and conditioning. Discover new muscles while moving through the building blocks of classical dance technique, develop musicality and coordination, lift and shapen, balance strength with flexibility, own it... and work it!
With a strong Ballet foundation, for overall quality and balance of strength and lightness, Kenna's style of contemporary dance is innate and influenced by various elements of her life experience in movement: Yoga, classic Modern, Jazz, West African, Latin, Hip-Hop and Funk/Street. She explores the fusion of dance genres, gesture, structured improvisation and real life inspiration to create movement that is physically cutting edge, dynamic, and authentic. Music remains an integral and influential aspect. Kenna believes that a trained & passionate contemporary dancer ideally embodies the blend of an all-around athlete, intellectual, investigator and artist. Her work reflects this and is her medium with which she engages the world.
Compassionate, authentic, and inspirational are three words I would use to describe Kenna. I have been her student since 2010, and have participated in many of her classes including Vinyasa, Hatha, ballet sculpt, and contemporary dance. Kenna's use of spontaneity and evolution to the "peak pose/movement" always leaves me inspired and eager to learn more. Ballet sculpt with her is a fun and powerful exercise that worked my little booty into shape. Kenna's emphasis on proper technique and alignment has helped my yoga practice evolve immensely and guides students of all levels in practicing safely. I favor her flows because she incorporates dance in a way that not only feels good in my body, but is filled with Kenna's passion and playful spirit. Through movement and stillness, strength and flexibility, Kenna has helped me embrace the fact balance is key -- on the yoga mat, dance floor, and everyday life.
When I first began my yoga practice, I was physically and psychologically stiff at best. Hoping to loosen up a bit, I dropped into one of Kenna's classes by recommendation. That was a game-changer. One class with Kenna taught me what a truly graceful, poised, and fluid yoga practice looked like, and I became mesmerized. Kenna made me feel welcomed and comfortable, guiding me patiently through pose modifications and adjustments. Over the last few years taking Kenna's classes, I have become stronger, more flexible, and more fluid in my approach to both yoga and life. For this, I thank Kenna for helping me to continue to become the best version of myself both on and off the mat.
Several years ago, while living in L.A., I began taking classes in the Lotte Burke method of exercise. It was an isometric series of movements that were very subtle & strengthened the core. Living in San Diego, I read about the Barre method & enrolled in various classes @ Rancho Valencia Resort & a national franchise. The concept was similar to Lotte Burke. However, after awhile, I was getting bored & going through the motions. That is, until I began taking Kenna Crouch's classes. Kenna is a professional dancer who brought her own unique method to Barre with a strong influence in dance - ballet in particular. No two classes were the same & I always looked forward to attending the classes. In a short time, I noticed a stronger core, better posture & more graceful movements in my overall exercise program. Kenna & I now live on two different continents but I'm keeping in close contact so we can hook up somewhere in order for me to participate in her classes. As hard as I try, I cannot find anyone who comes close to the excellence in which she teaches!
I am a professor of literature and the author of three books, but writing a testimonial for Kenna Crouch is very hard for me. Kenna changed my life, and this is not hyperbole. She became one of the most important people to me, and she did this through movement, touch, a spiritual sense of self, and her lovely smile. I have no “yoga fixed my back” or “after finding yoga I quit my job and became a new person” story. I met Kenna when I was in a good place in my life, in healthy physical condition, and maintaining a basic yoga practice. But, Kenna introduced me to the beauty and power of yoga, and this gift has changed me for the better. Kenna is a dancer, a beautiful being for whom yoga is not a series of poses and postures but a way of moving and being. I often think of the famous statement from Ernest Fenollosa, the nineteenth-century American sinologist: “A true noun, an isolated thing, does not exist in nature” (“The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry” 1919). Kenna shows this to be true. She teaches yoga as natural movement. She lives and loves the hybrid of dance and asanas. She is creative in her practice and pedagogy. Kenna teaches her students to find joy in yoga so that they can find joy in their bodies and space in their lives. I can think of no greater gift. I am thankful for Kenna’s guidance every day and wish that every day I could be next to her on my mat.
Kenna is rare in so many ways; she performs dance with beautifully artistry, she is a yogini with few peers, she is an expert in the use of the Barre, she is exceptionally well versed in kinesiology, and, oh boy, can she teach! And to top it off, she is one of the kindest, most sincere, and genuine people you will ever meet. Kenna’s multidisciplinary training in yoga, modern dance, ballet, and body movement is evident in the way she moves, as well as in the manner in which she instructs. She is not only aware of the limitations of her students, she is able to assist them in making each asana, dance movement, or training exercise work for their unique body-style and structural limitations. I am able speak to Kenna’s expertise, as a professor of both academics (sociology) and athletics (jiu-jitsu), a former ballet dancer, a struggling yogi and a broken, but still competitive, jiu-jitsu player. Kenna’s instruction and guidance have helped me stay functional, limber, strong, and yes… competitive. Kenna has aggregated much of her knowledge in the foundations of ballet, modern dance, yoga and the human body into a system of movement based on the use of the Barre. Long an apparatus used to warm up for ballet practice, Kenna has brought together a number of strength and stretching techniques used at the Barre and added techniques more closely identified with other systems of movement (yoga and modern dance) to create a holistic Barre exercise system. It is truly unique, just not as unique as Kenna!