As I waited in anticipation, I couldn’t help but notice that most of the other participants were of the slightly more mature variety. This observation, along with the sound of the calming background music and the sight of the comforting studio, had lulled me into a false sense of security, which I was soon to bitterly regret.
I should have paid more attention to the Barreworks website. If I had I would have read the Barreworks class description, which aptly summed up the session as being “A fun, fast-paced and deceptively challenging work-out that improves cardiovascular stamina and tones and sculpts each muscle group.”
And deceptive the class was. My legs shaking ferociously, while attempting to hold a plié on my tiptoes with ankle weights strapped on tightly, were a testament to this.
But if you’re on a quest for a dancer’s body then this is definitely a workout with all the right moves.
Barreworks founder and my instructor for the class, Vicki Anstey, was proof enough, with a toned and lean body that any ballet dancer would be proud of. However, interestingly she has never been a ballet dancer herself.
Instead, Anstey told me before the class, that having always been interested in fitness she discovered the benefits of dancing and went on to train in the Lotte Berk Exercise Method (created over 60 years ago by famous German dancer Lotte Berk). This, along with her training as a New York City Ballet workout instructor, influenced the classes she has since created.
And her class certainly didn’t hold back, as we were taken through a 60-minute, full body workout that focused on arms, shoulders, core, bum and legs. The exercises were made even more intense through the use of the barre, dumbbells, ankle weights and sliders – as if trying to balance on one leg and remain graceful in a class full of mirrors wasn’t hard enough already?
By 45 minutes into the class I could feel myself breaking out in to a sweat, even though the website states that with no jumping around involved there is no need to shower afterwards. I chalked my sudden perspiration down to two factors – firstly the dynamic moves and secondly the amount of stamina I’d had to muster up in order to not give into the leg shaking and fall flat on my face.
Luckily I didn’t fall and as I glanced around the room in pure admiration at the other balancing participants, I rather ashamedly felt as though I hadn’t given them enough credit on my arrival.
We finished off with some brutal floor exercises. As we worked on the core, legs and bum, muscles that I didn’t even know were there began to burn and I started to get the feeling that I might find it difficult to walk the next day, let alone dance. But who needs to actually dance? With a workout that effective I’m sure to have the pert bottom and lean legs of dancer in no time, even if I can’t move them.
Why not try it for yourself? Click to their website to find out more about classes: www.barreworks.co.uk
Written by Laura Hill