You may have heard about or seen on the schedule a few class listings for barre, and we hope you are as excited as we are that BE is offering another way to explore movement. Barre is a new modality to us- but at the elemental level is old hat to the instructors we are blessed to call our friends and class leaders. For an interdisciplinary-based movement studio like BE, barre simply makes sense. Borrowing elements of ballet, Pilates, and yoga, Barre combines the painterly motion of dance with the pace, burn, and repetition you’d expect from a cardio class. Out of curiosity, I dropped into a Wednesday night barre class with Didi Baldwin. Having been a yogi for years and an amateur preacher of the Pilates gospel, I wanted to expand my horizons at the studio. I know many of you reading this might have suggested taking aerials or pole, but I really love feeling gravity when I’m working out if no other reason than I am something of a klutz and want to focus on strength more than not breaking an arm. I was a little apprehensive to try Barre, and I’m still not sure why; I always wanted to be a ballerina when I was a kid but was never in any dance classes, so maybe I wasn’t sure what to expect? At any rate, Didi made me feel very welcome and part of the gang upon arrival. She started the music, and away we went up on our tippy toes.
The only thing I’d warn you of is that you are in a releve for a lot of the class, but there is an option to drop your heels if you’re experiencing fatigue after a certain point. All of us caved about 35 minutes in. If you’ve taken Pilates, Barre feels a lot like the warm up portion of a Pilates reformer class, but with more fluid motions through the arms, some back bending, and a lot of persistence in working the lower body. Additionally, if you’ve taken Pilates reformer but don’t like bracing yourself on your wrists, this is the class for you. As the name might suggest, Barre employs a ballet bar fastened to the wall to give you something to hang onto, but also harnesses resistance bands, ankle and wrist weights, and other tools to fine tune your movements in both your upper and lower body. Barre strengthens your lower body, quickly develops your sense of and strength within balance, connects you to your core strength, and gives a good sweat. Keep an eye out as we add more Barre classes and instructors to the schedule!