Barre, Anyone?

IMG_4418For quite a while now, I’ve been hearing about one of the latest exercise crazes, known as Barre.

If you’re unfamiliar with Barre, it’s based upon ballet movements…and yes, you guessed right, using a ballet bar.

It is a combination of strength-training, dance, orthopedic back exercises, and Hatha yoga all rolled into an intense, hour-long mind-body workout.

Founded by Lotte Berke,

A dancer and teacher, Barre promises to deliver a sensual and satisfying fitness system that firm, lengthen, and shape muscles to their most optimal form: high rounded seats, flat outer thighs, lean long torsos and defined waistlines…every woman’s dream, no wonder the popularity!

I was quite geeked when my coworker informed me of a free introductory class tonight at one of Charlottesville’s premier Barre studios, appropriately called barre.[d]

In eager anticipation, I hurried through my work day to ensure I could make the 6:30pm start time.

Upon arrival, I quickly discovered why the class was offered for free – because it was being instructed by a brand new teacher, and we would be her guinea pigs.

I also did not know that I had to pre-register! The class was packed full, with no space for me sadly.

Disappointed, I asked the owner if I could watch from the side.  She was very nice and excited to see her new pupil earn her wings, and welcomed me to observe as she explained to me the Barre philosophy.

The class began as the novice instructor beckoned the participants to stand and initiate a warm up stretch.

Instructor: “Get into 2nd position, bring your arms up over your head,” as she unabashedly flung her arms up over her head.

And just like that, the class was over!

Unfortunately, when the instructor swung her arms up over head, she knocked out one of the long, low hanging cord lights. The bulb broke sending shards of glass flying everywhere!

Now these weren’t your run-of-the-mill lights mind you.  They were beautiful, old, mercury filled Edison bulbs.

Although these bulbs may have been strategically placed to contribute to the overall aesthetics and allure of the studio, I would be very surprised if this was not the first time this had happened!

With horror on the instructor ‘s face, and the class nervously not knowing what to do, the owner announced the class was cancelled.  The broken mercuried bulbs had to go through a thorough clean up process to avoid contamination.

The new instructor offered embarrassed apologies and assurances that her 2nd attempt would yield better results, and a make up session would be sure to follow.

And as soon as the class started, it was over.  I guess sometimes you get what you pay for (tee hee).

On a serious note, I wish her well, and in the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back.”

The owner invited those who were interested, to come back around 7:45pm for the next class, in which she would be instructing.  Of course, this class was not free, but one of her regularly scheduled classes.

Still somewhat interested, and remembering that I had already paid for parking, I decided to hang around and take myself to a nice dinner, and perhaps a drink.  It’s rare, that I get time to myself, so why not, I thought.

I chose a cute little outdoor restaurant two doors down called Mono Loco.  I ordered a fantastic watermelon margarita, and some surprisingly good, but strange shrimp tacos that came with, believe-it-or-not, barbecued potato chips as a topper (yeah, I know).

I finished my meal, headed back over to barre.[d], thinking I was only going back to watch.  The class had already started, and to my surprise, the owner called me by name, and asked me to come join them.

I’d consider myself to be in pretty good physical shape, I mean I do workout (to tute my own horn), but this was perhaps the most physically challenging, muscle burning, multiple rest break requiring exercise activity that I have done in a very long time.  I could barely hang!

I am super excited to accept this challenge and can’t wait to return again in the future.

Word of advice, don’t go to the bar, then go to the Barre.


  1. I was thinking that may have been a no-no, going to the bar plus eating that meal then exercising. I want to try it though. Good article Rachael.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Low-hanging bulbs in a class that requires raised arms sounds crazy. I’ve always heard great things about barre & pilates, both slimming/strength-building workouts for dancers. Maybe I’ll try one day.

    Liked by 1 person

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