A friend of mine, Lauren, loves ballet as much as I do. She couldn't find a class near her, but did find a Barre class. The one she attends is a Barre/Pilates class. For me, Barre was one of my favourite parts of ballet. It's where you worked your butt off and had the time to really isolate your muscles, feeling the burn. We didn't have any class like the one she was attending here until recently. While at Starbucks there was a sign for Barre Body Studio on the bulletin board. I snapped a picture so I could remember to look it up later.
The facility is beautiful. The room has beautiful floors, large mirrors, lots of light through the large windows and gorgeous exposed brick and ceiling. The change rooms have lockers (with key) and a couple showers. As well as a few private change rooms since the large area is unisex. (Yes, men CAN take barre class.) They have a quick access card scanner so you don't have to wait to sign in. Just scan your card and off you go!
After some research on their website, I signed up for a drop-in class early Saturday morning (9am!) to give it a try. I dragged my butt out of bed, drove to the studio (which is only 15 min from my house) and spent an hour sweating and turning my legs into jello. There are definitely some elements of ballet but you wouldn't have to know ballet at all in order to get a workout in this class. We used the barre, first and second position, plies and a few other ballet moves (again, you don't need to know ballet to get it.) After a good warm up that had my heart pumping we moved to the barre. The equivalent of squats and calf raises in different leg positions was intense. My legs were shaking and I was sweating. We moved into some upper body work with bands which is more my style, although there is a different class that uses weights. Chest, biceps, and triceps got a great workout through this section. Lastly we dig out some mats and work on our core. I would have liked a little more on this section, but that is simply a personal thing. I prefer my abs to my arms only because I am still in chiro and massage to get my arms into working order. We ended with a quick cool down and I had a giant smile leaving class.
I bought a 10 pack of classes and immediately signed up for next Saturday at 9. I even had a chance to talk to the instructor about my arm and back and she was great about telling me to just modify if I need. I know for sure I got an amazing workout from the class. Sunday I was incredibly sore, but it felt great! After some stretching a long slow walk I felt much looser.
I can't wait to do it again! My legs and abs are going to be incredibly toned for summer!