What is a Barre Class?

Basically it is a fabulous smoosh of Ballet Barre exercises and Pilates so think Ballet with Pilates principles rather than ballet principles. I teach Bootybarre™ and we use a form of movement that is more biomechanically suited to normal bods rather than that of a prima ballerina! So think of feet in turn out in a Pilates stance rather than the full turn out of a ballet dancer, and Releve (tippy toes) thinking of wearing a kitten heel keeping the whole of the ball of the foot on the floor not balancing on the toes, so we use the whole foot and back of the leg not the toes.

 During your class your teacher will skilfully move you through a range of ballet exercises using a ballet barre or the back of a chair so you work all around the whole body toning and working and challenging all at the same time to find that barre burn!

Barre fitness is a fun class usually done to music that is either there to match the movements or sometimes as a background to the class. Barre instructors love finding playlists that their clients love and they can really set the tone of the class – singing along, breakout dancing and a bit of freestyle as the music takes you is always welcome in my classes!) The beat and the tempo can help you do squeeze those few extra reps when it feels a bit tough, and to get you to shake that Booty! (I know how very unBritish) but hey sometimes the music just takes you!


Sometimes people think it’s for the young ones, the fit ones, the thin ones, or you need to be a dancer – all of which are rubbish you just need to start, if you love Pilates this might be a great addition to your practice as it pulls on your Pilates Principles but gives you a different challenge.

But beware it is ADDICTIVE – it’s hard to say what makes a Barre Babe addicted but I think it is in part the fantastic dose of endorphins that are released, the happy smiley glowing faces with shiny eyes at the end of class are testament to that! It is a fabulous stress reliever as you have to concentrate on what you are doing, trying to improve, listening to your teacher – meaning you have no choice but to be present and mindful. Getting your heart rate up and shaking off all the stresses of the day leaving you wonderfully worked out with an inner calm definitely helps.


I hear this loads…… Yes it can be but it is also fabulously scalable. This is something my long term barre babes will attest to – when they started they didn’t use any weights at all, and had to do the whole class with their feet flat on the floor all the way through and then you start to get stronger and imperceptibly your movements change, your flexibility improves and this is why it works so well because you can always draw it back to suit your energy levels.

We need to allow ourselves to start where we are now, to be beginners and to just start and as with everything success is never linear – something this class allows for, but it is consistency that pays off I promise you.


This does not mean what you think it means – low impact does not equal easy! Low impact means it is low impact on your joints, which means no jumping.  A cleverly planned and choreographed barre class will leave all work muscles feeling worked but will not jar your joints.

Another reason you may favour a low impact class might be if you are not happy leaping about as you might not be comfortable if you feel your pelvic floor needs some work. We use pelvic floor connections and breath to get your pelvic floor working as a deep stabiliser to your whole body. Sometimes it is hard to find a class with a cardio element that does not involve leaping around!

We center and balance throughout the whole class, have a giggle a great workout and a bit of banter what is not to love - OH YES THE RESULTS ARE GREAT!