by Shelley Budd
Dita Von Teese equates having confidence with the ability to seduce whoever you want. We agree – how good can you really feel about your body if you don’t want to flaunt it around a little here and there, get a few eyes popping at the least. But, how do you get the body to feel that killer confidence?
Tucked into the dense row of shops and restaurants on Mainland St in Yaletown, lies a white room with a wooden floor, high ceilings, light pouring in from the front to a mirrored studio with a ballet barre running the length of the room. That’s Barre Fitness.
I ventured into the brand new studio’s launch party last week and was greeted warmly by Barre’s PR rep, who promptly introduced me to the founders. First time entrepreneurs, Ella, professional dancer, choreographer and fitness instructor, and co-founder Michele, former high-tech exec turned fitness guru, assured me that the class is both fun and intense. They introduced me to the group of four friendly instructors, some of whom are dancers or fitness aficionados, and they gave me the rundown on the class.
Opened early last week to the public, the cardio class is an import from 1950’s England and more recently the US. Combining pilates and weight training with elements of ballet (hence the “barre”), the routine gets you in shape by slowly building muscles to keep you strong for everyday living, toning your body subtly like a dancers. “Even carrying groceries is easier after this class.” The regimen is paced so that in that aerobic-instant where you’re sure you can’t continue and you just need to collapse onto the ground, the intensity switches down to a low key stretch, giving you the chance to catch your breath and work it out.
This morning I went back for real. I’ve just come in from the 9:15am class and all I can say is I feel like dancing! The intensity was low enough that I could do almost everything in the first class, but that’s not to say I wasn’t challenged; tomorrow I will be greeted by the old thigh burn, a little, “Hello! Remember me?” from the legs, “Ya Jerk. It’s been too long,” from the abs. I was surprised how the actions felt fairly small, but then you gradually feel this burn and know it’s working…then you discover the muscles you’re working don’t actually exist yet on your body, and it feels good to be forging forth but oh-so-tough, eguhah! Hehe! Ehhk! then Boom! Onto your knees for a relieving downward dog. Ahhh. The whole body, feeling good. I’m just glad as hell I didn’t have my contacts in to make out Tommy Europe’s face when he stopped into the studio for a peek.
This hour-long class is a great way to start the day or blow of steam from work, and the studio also offers a shorter lunchtime class to squeeze into a break if you need it. First class is free! It’s my new Bikram’s; this will be a fantastic way to get strong and raise that confidence “barre” to a new height!