Last weekend, a fellow Buffalo Mom and I met at the barre bright and early. No, we weren’t sipping bloody Marys and mimosas. We started our Saturday morning sweating and sipping water at at The Barre Studio in Hamburg!
I have been wanting to try out a barre class for a while now, but I was always nervous to try it. I haven’t taken ballet since an intro class in college and before that, since I was a dorky little 6th grader! I had a few reservations before signing up for the class, and a whole lot of questions:
Do I have to wear a leotard? What do I wear? Should plan on going barefoot? Do I need to buy those special socks? Do I have to remember ballet positions and terminology? Will people judge me if I’m out of practice and inexperienced?
So. Many. Things.
Luckily, all of my fears were quickly squashed thanks to a few quick Google searches. (In case you’re wondering, most studios prefer their students to wear socks, barre/grippy socks, or go barefoot; leggings and tight tank tops/workout tops are recommended; and you don’t need to be an experienced dancer to enjoy the classes).
The morning of our scheduled class, I was anxious to see if barre lived up to the hype I’ve heard. And I am here to tell you, it did.
The class was intense – 45 minutes of almost non-stop movement, exercise, stretching, and a whole lot of repetitions (but not in a redundant/boring way). There was actually one point of the class where I wasn’t sure if I was actually moving my legs the way I was intending to, I was so tired! By the end of the class, my legs were shaking and I was hoping that I would be able to lift my feet high enough to put my rain boots back on! But don’t let that scare you away. I took my fair share of breaks and “breathers” and was able to make it through the entire class with relative ease.
Here’s a quick recap of the flow of the class, for those of you who might be curious: You will be using a set of hand-weights, either 2-3 pounds depending on your physical ability (I chose to be macho and go with the three pound weights. Trust me, if you’re in doubt, you might want to start with the two pounders!). The class consists of a series of exercises set to upbeat music. Each class is likely varied a bit, but at the session we attended, we did a lot of pliés (basically ballet squats) in first and second position, relevés (rolling to your toes), and arabesques; lunges/lifts; and core work with planks and overall posture control throughout all of the exercises. The last few minutes of the class were reserved for mat work – sit-ups and twists followed by a nice cool-down session with yoga stretches and relaxing music.
Although it was helpful to know some of my ballet terms such as first position, second position, arabesque, plié, and relevé, I did not feel like I needed to be a prima ballerina to understand what was expected during the class. The instructor was great at being sure to help those who needed it with positioning and was in the center of the room the entire time – demonstrating and doing the exercises alongside us. And I never once felt like I was being judged in the class, even though it was apparent that quite a few of the women there were experienced “regulars” to the program. Everyone at the barre was very welcoming, and it was a wonderful way to start a Saturday morning!
Despite having a bit of a difficult time walking up stairs, bending over to pick up the kids’ toys, and move in general for the day or two after class, I will definitely be heading back to the barre again soon! The class was the perfect length – 45 minutes – not too long to be completely and utterly exhausting or to take up too much of your day, but long enough to work your muscles, break a good sweat, and feel accomplished! The space at The Barre Studio was beautifully done, the instructor was super sweet and helpful, and I definitely want to go back for a “Barre-tending” class one of these Friday nights! (A fun workout and wine? Sign me up!)
Special thanks to The Barre Studio for letting us check out your program!
WRITTEN BY SAMANTHA JO
Samantha is the founder and owner of BuffaloMoms.com. Her friends call her Sam, Sammi, or Sammi Jo. Her two favorite people call her “Mommy.” Follow along with her ramblings @SJ_Gill.
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