I started taking barre classes three months ago on a whim – one of my best friends was a barre devotee in Michigan, and she thought I might like it too. At first, it’s one of those classes that are really intimidating: there is a ballet barre (YIKES), lots of mirrors, and you want me to be wearing little socks? With dimmed lights and candles? Where is the Rihanna music and someone barking orders in my face? That’s how I pictured a workout class.
But in reality, it’s all about focusing on small movements that will make a big difference – isolating a part of your body and working it (basically) until exhaustion. It’s not like hot yoga or spinning where you leave drenched with sweat (although those classes are SO great too!); this is slower, more deliberate – and I always feel it the next day.
Some real talk here – when I was younger (for twelve years), I did competitive cheerleading which can really mess your body up good. When I exercise, especially if I run, my body basically is like, “Oh! We are cheerleading again! We’ll hold on to the weight around your thighs and help your arms get really strong and big!” NOPE. NOT WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR, THANK YOU! I’ve heard this from some of my friends who were high school athletes too – when you start a dedicated routine again, your body wants to revert back to the sport you spent years focusing on…and if since my sport relied on me having thighs like tree trunks, I was not so interested in a sequel. Barre helps my body stay long and leanish (I mean, it’s still me – I’m never going to have legs for days) – like the true, uncoordinated ballerina I am.
I have recommended barre to my friends who do run a lot – I think of barre as the love child between pilates and yoga, which is helpful for people who do a lot of hard cardio (not this girl). Hands down – that studio is my happy place. I would go five times a week if I could! Getting out and moving was a big priority for me this year (I’m not going to say a New Years Resolution…maybe a “28th Year Resolution?”) – I wanted to find a routine that truly fit into my lifestyle and honestly, replenished me. I didn’t want something that would stress me out or make me feel like I was chasing some kind of weird weight loss goal. And barre – mixed with a consistent routine of walking Gracie 3.5 miles at least 3x a week – just makes me feel sane.
For local readers, I take class at Southport Barre twice a week, which is a small boutique-style studio in Fairfield County. When I say small, I mean these these classes are TINY (like six to seven people MAX) and the size of the class really makes a huge difference. It is the highlight of my week! I’ve never thought of it as working out – it’s more like two hours where I can’t think about work or the house or anything else. Just small tiny movements and how ridiculous I look as a pretend ballerina ; ) If you are local, I would recommend Southport Barre wholeheartedly.
Happy Saturday! I am literally off to barre right now. xo