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Barre Class 101--Part I: 6 Things To Know Before Your First Class

If you’ve never taken a barre class before–you’re in for a fun time. Barre fitness is unlike any other group exercise class and here are a few tips to help you prior to your first pulse:

  1. Be prepared to WORK! Gone are those classes where perfectly coiffed women in leotards and tights stand at the barre and wave their arms gracefully and then call it a day without ever breaking a sweat. In my class (and most classes I’ve taken), barre is hard work. You are often in positions to which you are not accustomed and that will be extra challenging. We work the whole body–including cardio blasts where we get the heart rate up for at least a few moments.

  2. Remind yourself that it’s ok (good even!) to not be great at something right away. And equally as important: don’t give up just because you’re not naturally good at something or that it doesn’t come to you immediately. Every single person has been a beginner. Enjoy the learning!

  3. You don’t need to be a dancer to enjoy barre fitness. You don’t need to know ballet terms. You don’t have to be flexible or thin or wear your hair in a Balanchine bun. All you need to do is come in and try it out.

  4. My music is loud and lives at 126bpm. It’s usually pop or electronic and since it comes from a royalty-free site, it sounds weird because it’s not the original artist. Sorry.

  5. While different teachers teach different methods, my classes consist of: a brief warm up, 2-3 arm circuits with light weights, 4-5 sections at the barre interspersed with some cardio, and then floor, which consists of abdominals work and back extension.

  6. What to wear? Wear whatever is comfortable. Generally speaking, what you might wear to a yoga or Pilates class will be appropriate. One thing I highly recommend would be: grip socks. Regular cotton socks might suffice, but they won’t work as well, and nylon will have you sliding all over the place. Some people need to wear sneakers to protect their feet, and if that’s what you need to do, ok, but sneakers are designed for traction that is too intense for barre class.

So there it is. Stay tuned for Part II: Basic Positions. Ready to dive into something new?

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