RAISING THE BARRE
Classes Tone, Trim and Sculpt
Barre comprises a group of movements performed while clasping a horizontal wooden bar fastened to the wall, turning classical dance moves into modern exercises once reserved for the training of ballet dancers. Today, barre is being offered at Pure Pilates, in Gulf Breeze and Pensacola, which have opened classes to those with the goal of the slim, strong, sculpted body of famous dancers like Mikhail Baryshnikov.
“Barre classes are in demand.,” says Susan Clark, owner of Pure Pilates. “People want a fun class that tones their hips and thighs and is safe for their joints. Fun, fast-paced music is played [during the session] to help keep the movements precise, and many different props, such as yoga straps, exercise balls and hand weights, are used in conjunction with the exercises to help target muscle groups for strengthening and flexibility. For rehabilitation, barre is great for strengthening the back and the core in order to help relieve back pain. The standing work not only focuses on the core, but also improves balance.” In barre, there is an emphasis on form and alignment, as well as breathing and the mind-body connection.
Christina Snuffin, a former dancer and current barre instructor, says she uses it to broaden her fitness interests. “Barre has been the perfect combination of strength building, movement and coordination. It has allowed me as a student and an instructor to incorporate my passion for ballet while also implementing fun and effective sculpting moves to achieve a fantastic workout. I taught all throughout my recent pregnancy and have returned to teaching postpartum; it has been such an excellent method for staying in shape, as well as getting back in shape."
“By incorporating barre with the other modalities offered by Pure Pilates, such as Pilates, Kangoo Jumps, TRX, yoga and aerial yoga, people receive a full body workout with an overall focus on posture, strengthening, and control,” says Clark. “Our clients love barre. They leave knowing they had a good workout and always come back for more.”
Locations: 221 Gulf Breeze Pkwy., Gulf Breeze, 850-932-3424; 426 S. Palafox, Pensacola; 850-607-2772. For more information, visit PurePilatesPensacola.com.