• Su Crossland

Feature Friday - Barre Fit (from 04/12/2020)

Welcome to Feature Friday. This week we will be looking at our Barre Fit class in a bit more detail.

Barre Fit is one of our adult classes aimed at strengthening and toning the whole body. It’s an exercise class loosely (very loosely!) based on ballet barre exercises.

One of the key things about Barre Fit is posture. Our core is the balance centre of the body; if our core is strong and stable then the brain can concentrate on the finer coordination of our limbs, if our core is not stable then we will struggle to control our limbs enough to maintain our balance. You can check out the “core values” of our Barre Fit posture here:

During class we start off with a warm up to get our blood flowing and our muscles nice and warm and prepared for exercise. This is followed by a series of exercises to music, each focusing on a different muscle group. These exercises are performed at the ‘barre’; a support rail that dancers use during technical exercises to aid balance. Each exercise in class can be graded to account for different levels of ability and stamina so the class is accessible to all, from complete beginners to seasoned dancers. No previous experience is required, I promise!

One of my current Barre Fit class members is a wonderful example of how regular exercise can help with strength and balance. Wendy first came to our Keep on Moving class 3 years ago, at this point she was using walking poles for support to get around. When this class finished Wendy then began attending Barre Fit, her strength, stamina and balance have all improved greatly since we first met. Wendy has recently returned to class after a few weeks off and on receipt of the pre-recorded class link she says: “Thank you so much for finding the original session. It will be a great help in enabling me to catch up and build up my stamina. I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done since I first came to your Keep on Moving class relying on walking poles to help me get around.”

Following our main exercises, we complete a full cool-down and stretch routine to keep our muscles healthy and flexible, again, this can be adapted to any level. It is important to stretch the muscles after exercise so they do not become overly tight and painful, following a good stretch we then ensure the blood is flowing to flush out any toxins that have built up in the muscles during the workout.

This is my one class that is currently remaining online as we are unable to return to the room we use at the moment. This makes it a great opportunity to have a go from the comfort of your own home. No specialist equipment is required, just something stable to hold on to (like the back of a chair, a worktop or a mantlepiece) and a little space to be able to move around in without banging yourself.

As a little Christmas gift to you all here is the link to a pre-recorded class that was filmed for our first lockdown. Please have a go and see what we get up to every Monday morning:

If you like what you see and would like to sign up for Barre Fit classes then you can do this via the registration page of the MESH Ballet website:

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