Cardio Barre

What: fast paced one-hour workouts using a barre and strengthening ballet moves like plié, tendu and relevé.



Who: masochists. Gazelle-like dancer types. Ridiculously fit and perky instructors. Normal people who learn and execute choreography much, much faster than me.

When & Where: everywhere, and all the time. Seriously, these places seem to be popping up all over the place. In Southern California, there are already 12 locations, and they have plans to expand further. And their schedules are pretty comprehensive – you can probably find a class any time that works for you.

Why: intensity and results.  I’ve gone three times, now, and it’s consistently been a vigorous workout and I’ve been at least a little sore about 24 hours later. And I have a friend who’s been doing it for a few months and it really helped her break through a weight loss plateau (and her ass and waist now look phenomenal).

The verdict? If you like ballet and you’re up for a challenge, give it a try! The first class I took was a beginner level, and I felt like it was difficult but I stumbled my way through it. About eight months later, I took an advanced class (not because I thought I was all that and a bag of Pop Chips, but because friends were going and that was what fit best with our schedules) and it killed me. I was bright red and dripping sweat, I felt like I did maybe half the work (most of it wrong), and I could see the pity in the instructor’s face when she came by my spot repeatedly to help me make adjustments. Most recently, I did the advanced class a week later – still red and sweaty, probably did three quarters of the work (some of it wrong, but a lot of it right…ish), and was largely ignored by the same instructor, so what I was doing must have been at least passable.

If you try it, be gentle with yourself.


I was not gentle with myself. I felt like an elephant.

Realize that all your perfect classmates probably started out not knowing what they were doing, or being able to keep up, either. When a move does finally click, or you get to a point where you’ve built enough strength to do something well, or you see some changes in your physique, you’ll feel awesome.


3 thoughts on “Cardio Barre

  1. I absolutely looked only at options for intro level classes focused on form. Even when I have decent form in dance classes, I’m not well trained to pick up choreography quickly. Gymnasts will spend a whole year or more on a single 90 sec routine on floor, and another on beam, so short term choreography absorption not required…

    • I agree, good form should be #1 priority.

      “Choreography” may be a poor choice of words on my part. It’s not really like dancing; it’s more like doing one move repeatedly for several counts of 8, and then moving on. But the rapidness with which the move is performed, and then changed, is hard for me to keep up with. I’ll still be going “Ok, now what was an attitude plié again? Oh yeah, ok, now let me correct my posture and bring myself up to speed. Oh, crap, now we’re doing a different move…”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s