Barre3, Where Ballet Barre meets Yoga and Pilates

Barre3 is a relatively new dance resistance technique where ballet, yoga and Pilates are combined. As the tagline goes – Barre3 is designed to shape, lift and lengthen your body in a compact 60 minute workout. Women have become addicted to this new technique as it has changed the shape of their bodies; even if they haven’t lost weight but they are at least a dress size smaller because they have become leaner. Madonna’s on it, Zoey Deschanel’s on it, and so is Kim Katrall. Sadie Lincoln, a fitness instructor of twenty years, launched the Barre3 programme in 2008. Her aim is to incorporate the wisdom of yoga, the strength of Pilates and the grace of ballet barre work. Sadie has worked with different dance and yoga instructors, and also with doctors and physicians to develop this programme which is still evolving.

There are foundation, open-level and advanced classes so people of all different fitness levels can try it out. One of the benefits that Barre3 can claim is that some members have actually measured taller! Members have claimed to have a flat stomach for the first time in their lives. The class combines the grace of ballet, the spirituality of yoga and the intensity of Pilates. There is also a fast paced cardio warm up so that weight loss is possible. Resistance bands are used to make the muscles work even harder. Following a tough muscle workout there is a long stretch to lengthen the muscles out afterwards. There is an emphasis on correct alignment as it this important to ballet, so your posture inevitably improves. The best thing about the class is that you don’t have to be a dancer in order to get that dancer’s body you always wanted.

Experts say that the best way to see results is to complete a workout at least three times a week. The new buzzword Functional Training is all about exercise that works to improve daily routine and reduce personal injury. Barre3 is functional as it is improving all aspects of health, mind body and soul. There are members in their twenties and also in their seventies working out beside each other who are each challenged to work at their individual level. You are advised to work in fitted sweats, bare feet or gripped socks and to bring a bottle of water to class. Those who have injuries or are pregnant need to check with physicians as to whether they are able for such a workout.

Among the very many positive responses to the class, it has been stated that Barre3 is a very centring workout and works to make you feel restored by the end of the class. For a class that is all the rage in the US and is making waves in the UK, there are not too many classes available in Ireland as of yet. Classes have started in Dublin – in Red Kite in Sandyford and Dance Ireland in Foley Street. There is also a DVD called Total Body Lift that you can try while you wait, to get you in shape for the real thing. Apparently the class is quite addictive; once you start to notice your bum getting perkier, that stomach getting flatter and those limbs getting leaner it’ll be hard to stay away. What’s not to love?

Kathryn Reynolds