Meet Our #VIF Leigh

Meet Our #VIF Leigh

Meet Very Important Friend and self-proclaimed fitness instructor born out of the ashes of a party producer, Leigh Barton.  We caught up with her on what she’d eat for the rest of her life and three things she would recommend to avoid being a potato during the pandemic.  Plus learn more on why she chose The Coalition for the Homeless as her non-profit benefactor for this month’s VIF partnership! Shop Leigh's Top 20 here and use her code LEIGHVIF for 20% off + 5% of every order goes toward CFTH!

leigh barton in friends nyc

Currently living: inside of your Zoom meeting window, but specifically NYC
Insta Handle: @ohaileigh

Preferred Pronouns: she/her

I am a: fitness instructor + trainer born out of the ashes of a party producer, DJ, merch slinger, marketing manager...currently teach a program of yoga-inspired strength + cardio classes called Goth Flow, in addition to cycle-at home, flexibility, and HIIT classes,

Go to self care service: Massages, specifically the part where they say "what's wrong with you" after spending 5 minutes with my back.

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?: Diner style grilled cheese sandwiches.

Next vacation destination: I was supposed to go to Dublin to see My Chemical Romance and then Paris to meet my partner's father this summer, so ideally that, but more realistically and in the near future...upstate for spooky season activities!

Fashion trend I’m crushing on: I absolutely love the yeehaw moment, but also comfortable shoes. slides, Crocs, slip ons, anything that doesn't require effort to put on my feet after being a long-time boots person. Yee haw on top, feet out of frame.
leigh barton fitness instructor

Who is your female muse / major inspo?: I have a folder of photos of Lucy Liu and Gaga in suits and I can't get enough of 70's Cher. but honestly my day to day is generally the exact vibe of what comes up when you google "Gaga in metal shirt", even though I've taken a break from platinum life. My mental fantasy inspo is absolutely Lucy in Charlie's Angels and Gaga in AHS.

3 essentials you can’t live without:
- cold brew iced coffee every single day regardless of temperature
- the wifi password
- biofreeze. seriously helps me exist daily with longtime injuries. If I am going to sweat, I'll use a CBD cream instead...don't make the mistake of working out right after slapping some Biofreeze on if it's near your nose + mouth!

If it was Rupaul’s Best Friend Race, which Queen would be your BFF?
Shangela. I love that she's just always popping up out of nowhere and that she just kept GOING. In this house we hustle!!!!

Favorite Girl Group of All Time: Josie and the Pussycats!

Last instagram account I followed?: @nonalimmen -- one of my friends shared her work with me, stunning, haunting photography.

Hate when: Definitely when people who work hard, have to push and fight to get compensated for their time and effort, or are devalued / taken advantage of. Also when people take up more than one parking spot. Rude.

Love when: people put each other on, not for clout to claim association with something but out of genuine respect / friendship / appreciation! Also when streaming sites release the entire season at once and not week by week. All or nothing.

ohaileigh leigh barton

Tell us about why you picked Coalition for the Homeless
When NYC began to quarantine, the houseless were at risk because they couldn't just "stay home"....now that people are releasing themselves back into the wild to have brunch in the street because they are tired of "staying home", the houseless are also at risk (on top of all that other risk!) because they can't isolate from being around other people. So many of us have dedicated time, energy, money, our bodies, to causes over the past few months and it's been great to see, but since the infrastructure of our city government isn't really supporting this group, I think it's important for us to not forget them. We are all shouting ACAB with our chests, but no one REALLY knows how to "abolish the police" with an immediate action plan---Coalition for the Homeless has programs that perform services that a lot of us feel should be removed from police hands, like crisis intervention and assisting mentally disabled people.

Favorite NYC memory?: So much of the work I have has been tied to events and nightlife--but almost everything has related back to music, work or play. Dance music, punk, hip-hop and hardcore are all special to me for different reasons, seeing my friends play and perform and also DJing myself...every time has been special. When DJing for Cakes Da Killa we played a BARNYARD themed party at Barnard College called..."Home on The Rave", have also played for him at a 3am set while a drunk girl asked if I was Tokimonsta, and for an HBO event where they put me on a 6 ft platform and I was scared of falling off the entire time. My friends and I used to throw an emo party in 2014 in the Lower East Side at Leftfield which was always a good time, where I then later had a club music monthly a few years later. I sleep a LOT more now. Ultimately the most special thing was probably seeing Blink-182, my favorite band since I WAS 8 at St. Vitus, but also the time I was hung over after a Power Trip show and had to be the witness for my friends to get married at City Hall, where I asked the clerk if I could sign as Kenny Loggins because "danger zone"

As a fitness instructor, what are 3 things you’d recommend for pandemic potato-ness?:
- let the potato happen sometimes and don't beat yourself up for it. Potato can be healthy.
- every movement counts -- even if it's just a walk down the block and back, a 15 min break from your couch-desk to stretch, or dancing while cleaning your apt, take it as a win.
- try new things. we're gonna be stuck inside for a while, trust people over product and search around for different ways to move, people who have philosophies that mirror your own (like sweating bc it feels good and not just to fit into a pair of jeans you won't even need to wear until...who knows when? Jeans? Why???) or music tastes like yours, etc....there is an entire industry of people who aren't connected to a massive tech corporation and can really connect with you <3
Shop Leigh's top picks here and use her code LEIGHVIF for 20% off! 5% of all sales will be donated to Coalition For the Homeless.

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