Let’s just get this out of the way – I am far from graceful! I was never the little girl dancing around in a pink tutu. I much preferred riding my purple bike over muddy hills and playing 'British Bulldog' with the kids on my street. And as an adult, I still prefer cycling and running around to anything slow and controlled. So can you teach an old dog new tricks? I went along to a BarreConcept class to find out!
BarreConcept finally made it to Eindhoven, thanks to Studio Zuid. But what is it? Put simply – pilates meets ballet. You don’t need to know anything about either one, but if you do, you certainly won’t get bored. What you will get is a fantastic workout, and you’re sure to walk out of the class a little straighter, a little taller, and maybe even a little more gracefully.
Corine, instructor extraordinaire, led our group of nine through a general warm up, followed by different ballet moves at the barre. Unlike Pilates, most of the class is done standing up, but unlike ballet, the barre work makes up the bulk of the lesson. As you can imagine, this means a lot of exercise for the legs and butt, and there were many shaking legs as the muscles there were really getting activated! Corine also incorporated some basic ballet arm work, and the latter part of the lesson was spent on the floor with more of a pilates focus. The class wrapped up with stretching and a cool down.
I don’t think I’ll ever become as graceful and as flexible as a ballet dancer, but I really enjoyed learning something new and using different muscles and movements. To use my friend Amanda’s favourite expression, “there’s a time and a place for everything”. There is indeed! Sometimes you need to go fast and crazy, and other times it’s good to slow down and concentrate. And this is no different for exercise.
The BarreConcept classes run for 10 week blocks, and the next are scheduled to begin in late August. For further information and contact details, check out the Studio Zuid website (in Dutch and English).