Let me begin by saying, I have only taken one class at Pure Barre Highlands (Denver), so this experience I write about is based on that. :) Also, I typically teach and take classes all week at Qi in Denver, so I always compare my new experiences to the training center I call home! ;)
I signed up for the 12PM class to help separate my day full of deep cleaning my house! Upon signing up and paying for class online, I received an email telling me what to bring, what to wear, etc. Super helpful since I was a newbie!
The website mentioned I would need to purchase their socks which have grippies on the bottom. I ended up trying not to break the rules by bringing my own (I don't own grippies). We will get to that later!
I arrive to the studio 15 minutes before class time start as recommended in order to complete paperwork, purchase socks, and grab all of the props needed for class. I came to learn that they had just ran out of socks, and I didn't have a back up!! The girl at the front desk said I should be find for my first class, so I just went with it.
After filling out paperwork, I refilled my water bottle left my shoes on the floor in front of the cubbies and my bag in the cubbies at reception and then sauntered up to the Barre studio. The receptionist showed me exactly what I needed:
-1 set of weights ... 2 or 3lbs or both (At Qi, I use 5lb weights for Yoga Sculpt, so this seemed strange..but I grabbed the 3s.)
-1 stretchy band
-1 squeeze ball
I found a spot in the studio; there were probably about 8 other students in the room. The teacher greeted me by name before the class began.
Dance beats blared from the stereo system and we got started. We began with a cardio warm-up consisting of knee lifts and a few other poses. Then we were told to "Tuck." As in tuck the hips. I believe I was doing this correctly since I used to dance, but I honestly am not so sure. We tucked throughout class, so I believed this probably should have been demonstrated and described a bit more than it was!!
Following the warm-up / tuck stuff, we worked our arms using the 3lb weights. I still think I could have gone up in weight, because nothing fatigued for me. Although going up in weight really wasn't an option unless I doubled the weights I was holding.
Later, we completed some plyo work at the bar which definitely fatigued my leg muscles and made me shake. Yes!!
We continued to use the barre and switched from the floor to the barre to work different muscle groups.
One part I remember well is we were given mats to use against the wall under the ballet barre. We basically rolled half of the mat at the wall and placed our backs close to the wall. WE then practiced some tucking exercises and leg lifts with flex-pointe-tucks. I liked this part, but I also felt the "crouching" position was not very good for my posture or my spine (especially cervical). I just felt super out of alignment for too long... This position did help us engage our deep within our bellies and we did avoid using the lower back, but I still believe something wasn't correct about the body positioning.
We moved to our mats on the floor and completed some leg lift works, practicing moving away from midline with one leg up and moving the leg back into center. Later on, we completed abdominal work which was definitely a bit challenging. Lots of prayer twists on our back and pulsing back and forth, up and down.
We ended with cobra pose - 2 sets - and child's pose in order to open up the front sides of our bodies after all of the compression. Cobra pose breath was taught opposite from what I am used to ... exhales on the up and inhales on the release. Finally, we stretched together and class was over.
In general, I thought this was a great class... The music was awesome - sounded like a continuous dance party and this kept me going in times when my muscles were tiring. I am definitely feeling sore today in new places especially, which I cannot complain about!
I do believe the instructor could have had more energy. She walked around with a headset most of the time and did *some* of the workouts with us, but not all. She continually held her IPod and clicked it to lower the volume to indicate we were moving on to the next exercise. I thought this was strange, but I have a completely different background. I am open to trying a few more classes in order learn more about each instructor's personal teaching style.
I am pretty sore today, which is wonderful, and I also feel I have legitimately shocked my body throwing in a completely new routine into my typical routine.
I'd love to hear your feedback on your barre class experiences...
What did you love about class ?
Were the movements explained to you well ?
Would you go back and why?