Well, it’s all about the ‘barre body’ don’t you know? If you’ve no idea what we’re talking about then read on.
BarreDance is a new form of ballet-inspired dance set up by celeb personal trainer, Niki Rein.
And after working at the famous Tracy Anderson Method studios in California, (who’s trained the likes of Madonna, Shakira and Gwyneth Paltrow), Niki pioneered the first barre-based fitness studio in the UK.
Her first barre-based class was the signature Barrecore. Using a mix of Pilates and ‘small isometric movements’ against the barre, it claims to achieve a ‘lean, toned physique’
So why fuse this with dance? Because, according to expert Niki, mixing this with cardio-pumping aerobics will sculpt, hone and tone your ‘barre body’ within weeks.
So when Belle was invited to attend her Chelsea studios, we were intrigued. I only needed to hear the words ‘fat-blasting,’ ‘fun,’ and guaranteed to give you ‘mood-enhancing endorphins’ and I was hot-footing it down to the Kings Road.
While the Barrecore class uses a whole host of weights and Pilates equipment against the barre, BarreDance is mostly about the cardio and aerobic dance moves.
And as dance teacher Elyse began with some intense repetitive squats, I was feeling the burn already.
At 9 o’clock on a Tuesday morning, the only exercise I’d usually be doing is lifting the spoon out of my cereal bowl. But, seeing the reflection of myself huffing and puffing in front of the huge dance studio mirror, I vowed to battle through the burning pain.
Besides, there was no hiding in this intimate class of seven.
Soon, the intense squatting moved on to some grapevine-type swinging and I began to feel the blood pumping.
Elyse then cleverly took us through a number of different dance-inspired movements that certainly lived up to the ‘fusion’ name. From what I can only describe as hip-hop or street dance to swing and contemporary, we merged head shaking, jumps, arm-swinging and low-squats to a variety of hip-hop tunes. Meanwhile, chirpy Elyse reminded us to ‘suck in the core’ and ‘give it your all’. With the odd ‘well done’ thrown in for good measure, I began to feel like I was in a cheerleader’s dance troupe.
With a whole host of moves to remember, we were led into a fun ‘dance off’ against the other half of the group. Soon, we were ready to put our sequence into a synchronized routine. And as Bruno Mars’ ‘Locked Out Of Heaven’ blared out, the endorphins began to pump. In the space of an hour I’d gone from being lethargic and sluggish to pumped up and ready to embrace the day.
As the pace slowed down, the class finished with some intense stretches putting our feet against the ballet barre, using a pilates band.
This is where the vital ‘grip socks’ come in. Because if you don’t have them, this could prove tricky.
You won’t find the inner ballerina in you at BarreDance. You’ll need to go to Barrecore if intense muscle burning and improved posture is what you’re looking for.
But if you fuse the two together, Niki claims you could achieve a lean, trim bod in just eight weeks.
And after the fun I had, I think I could be converted. And I certainly felt the ‘burn’ the next day.
Goodbye bulky body, hello lean, strengthened ‘barre body’. Maybe that Gwyneth figure isn’t too far from reach after all.
BarreDance is available at Barrecore, 1st Floor, Atlantic Court, 77 Kings Road, London, SW3 4NX, 0207 349 7500.
By Lucy McGuire