The following is a guest post from Zenergy instructor Peter Burke.
A ballet dancer for 16 years now, I have done Barre more times than I could possibly count. From studios in Los Angeles and New York to Lincoln Center and Steps on Broadway to a six-story walk-up in Amsterdam, I’ve experienced Ballet Barre in a variety of settings, new and old. Like yoga, there are variations on a theme.
Its roots date back to the 1600s, when it was a precursor to center work and eventually choreography rehearsals or performances. Some of that sentiment remains in that the Barre is still intended for the individual. It is the warm up, it is the work out, it is the self-reflection and correction. It is not the performance.
The movement is isolated and set to music in a way that transcends time and space—Ballet Barre as an isolated group fitness class, incorporates pilates, dance, yoga and functional training, with an occasional cardio challenge, time permitted. The workout stresses the importance of core strength and support as well as building long lean muscle through tension over time.
Barre class also helps to strengthen coordination, flexibility, presence, range of motion and endurance. Class is structured across 55 minutes with a 10-minute warm-up comprised of stretching and core conditioning, followed by a series of classical ballet combinations at The Barre and isolated weight training, across the floor, cardio and jump sequences to conclude.
Never tried ballet? No worries. You need not have a dance background or be particularly limber or graceful to reap the benefits—Ballet Barre is for everyone!
Truth be told, I have found the Barre to be the most challenging and simultaneously rewarding workout, both physically and mentally. I have come to rely on the Barre—it is my quiet place, my zen. I hope you’ll join me — Sunday mornings at 10a.m.
Through the month of October, Zenergy members can bring a friend for FREE to Ballet Barre class on Sundays at 10am. So grab a buddy and come check out Peter's class!