Barre vs. Ballet: My First Barre Experience | Seersucker Sass

Friday, February 20, 2015

Barre vs. Ballet: My First Barre Experience


I started taking ballet lessons at two and a half years old, and I continued until I was seventeen.  Out of all of the classes that I was able to take, ballet continued to be my favorite.  I loved the fluidity of movement, and the discipline and poise that it taught me.

When I started hearing about the "barre class" trend, I was psyched.  It took awhile for a barre class to come to my area, and I almost joined the most expensive gym in town just for access to the weekly barre class.  After a rough day at work, I went to yoga for the first time in months and found out that my class pass now covered barre class too!  I spent the rest of the week excited about it and was the first to arrive to my class early Saturday morning.

The biggest thing for me to get used to was just how unlike barre was to actual ballet.

I had no idea what a social activity barre is!  I was the only person in the class that came alone, and instead of stretching before class, everyone stood around and chatted with their friends while waiting for the instructor.  Two women showed up 20 minutes tardy for the 60 minute class and then piled up on top of the attendees that had already staked out our spots.  They were unapologetic, and no side eye was given by anyone.  (Except for me... Sorry, I have personal space issues!)

I also didn't realize that barre was such a fashion show!  Everyone showed up in adorable workout gear that was definitely in "their color", seemingly unnecessary matching headbands, and having done everything possible to look great without makeup.  (I was at that moment thankful that my friend Chicago Prepster had told me how amazing Lululemon is, and that I had worn it that day.  I also really wished I had a headband to cover up my hair that hadn't been washed since 6 am Thursday morning.)  Water breaks were frequent and encouraged, and some of the women had the cutest little glass water bottles!  (Another big change from ballet class - we were given water breaks as a class, and we all lined up at the old water fountain in the hallway.)  The biggest thing that shocked me was that women wore their rings!  In ballet, we weren't allowed to wear any jewelry, with the exception of one student who was Catholic and wore a necklace with a Saint on it.

The thing that it was hardest for me to grasp was that the barre was actually used!  I was always taught that the barre was just kind of there as backup.  Your hand rested lightly on it, and you expected your teacher to come by and lift your hand off at any time as a little balance test.  But in my class, women were putting all of their weight on the barre, even just to stretch out after a series of exercises, and the barre shook and buckled the entire class.  I think this is the biggest thing that I will have to adapt to!

After the class, my legs were jello.  I couldn't figure out if I was going to vomit or pass out first.  (Luckily, neither happened.  But I did sit in the car for 10 minutes before attempting to drive, drove the 1.5 miles home, and then plopped down on my couch and drank a gallon of water.)  On Tuesday afternoon, the soreness in my legs finally started to subside.  (Am I the only one who has a love/hate relationship with being sore?!)

Will I go back?  Absolutely!  My first class was a big learning experience, but I enjoyed actually understanding a workout.  I'll be taking four yoga classes before my next scheduled class, so I hope that will help me to be a little more prepared.  Other things I will do to prepare:  eat breakfast before I go, remember my water bottle, have my boyfriend drop me off/pick me up, and scope out an end spot at the barre to hopefully eliminate being at the "buckling" spot at the barre.

Have you been to barre class before?  What did you think?!

XX,

SS

Note:  I paid for my barre class pass with my own money.  All opinions are my own and are just that - opinions.  :)  I'm sure all barre classes are different, and this specific review is the barre class where I hold my class pass.

20 comments:

  1. I've been wanting to try a barre class, except for the unfortunate fact that my gym is in a teeny tiny town and I bet we'll never get it :(
    I have to admit, your review made me giggle-because it was so honest!
    I loved it though :)

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

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    1. I always thought the same thing, so I was amazed when we got it! I'll be crossing my fingers for you :)

      Glad you liked it! Xo

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  2. One of my friends just tried a barre class for the first time the other day and said it was a surprisingly intense workout. There aren't any classes offered where I live but it sounds so fun!

    xo
    Alex | Mrs. Mason Dixon

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    1. Ahh, I hope that barre moves into your area soon! I was surprised that it was offered where I live, as well. Have a great weekend! Xo

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  3. This sounds awesome! I've been wanting to try out a barre class as well but they are still pretty expensive in my neck of the woods. Glad you went and enjoyed! :)

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    1. Thank you! Some places will let you take your first class free or give you a discounted first class... It can't hurt to look into :) I know my studio gave me a free week of classes before I committed. Xo

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  4. I've never taken barre (I'm a Zumba girl, and that is also a very social class) but it sounds like a fun experience! If you're looking for cute workout clothes I LOVE Athletica. It's within the Banana Republic/Gap family and a little more reasonably price than Lulu.


    Vanessa
    Vanessa Lang Design

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    1. All of the Zumba classes here are offered during the day :( I will have to check out Athletica! Thank you for the tip :)

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  5. I've been wanting to try a barre class for a while now. I think I will sign up soon!

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    1. Oh girl, you so should! Let me know how you feel about it :)

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  6. I've heard fantastic things about barre before but haven't tried it. I'm so happy I read this post because it definitely seems like something I would enjoy.
    -Alex
    www.monstermisa.blogspot.com

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    1. If you try it, you'll have to let me know what you thought! Xo

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  7. Interesting! I have heard of it before but haven't actually come across any classes in my area. I would probably quite enjoy it!

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    1. I feel like you would! The class that I took was much more fast paced than pilates.

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  8. Interesting post! I've been taking The Bar Method here in the Bay Area... it's kind of boring to me. I need something a little bit more fast paced

    xo | The Fashion Forecast

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    1. Maybe we should trade classes! Haha. I feel like the class I took moved a little too quickly!

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  9. I have a dance background also and love Barre classes! I am picky on my instructors and the way some of the girls move in class drive me crazy! One a dance, always a dancer! :) Regardless, it is a great work out and I do think our dance background gives us an advantage in the class about how to properly do the moves!

    xoxo,
    Kim
    www.champagneista.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one with a dance background who feels a little stressed out in the classes! Where I live, there are two instructors who rotate between ALL of the classes. I definitely agree that we have an advantage - we know our bodies & we know how to get the biggest impact out of our moves! So glad that you stopped by my blog :)

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  10. Really fantastic blog very nice for information .
    for more you can check my link .
    thanks

    Ballet fitness classes | Getting fit using ballet

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  11. Loved reading your comparison! You are so right about barre fashion! I always wear jewelry and when my hair is dirty I throw on a cute headband to cover up the grease (ewww!), haha! I have also spent more on workout clothes in the past 6 months of doing barre than probably, ummm...ever before! It is definitely addicting!

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