I've never been very light on my feet.
I was the clumsiest ballerina in the class when I was young, always treading on some slight little urchin's ballet points. I even took out a whole line of dainty dancers once when attempting a "graceful" turn. I think 'Elephant Ballerina' may have been muttered in my direction! Even when I lived at home mum always said that she could follow me around the house just by listening to the heavy thuds of my feet stomping around the ceiling above her.
So when Helen from The DanceIT Group invited me and some friends along to experience a new workout craze called BarreConcept, my initial thought was that mum will find it hilarious when I tell her I'm getting my elephant trotters out again for old times sake. But luckily for me (and everyone else in the class), this latest workout trend requires no previous ballet experience. Phew!
Created by fitness guru and Pilates master Emma Newman, Barre Concept is the hottest new workout across the pond with celebrity followers such as Madonna, Kelly Osbourne, Drew Barrymore and Natalie Portman, and is quickly becoming popular over here in the UK. The exercise regime is a combination of key components from Pilates, Yoga, Core Conditioning and of course, Ballet. All aimed at stretching and sculpting the muscles, whilst burning fat. The classes are broken down into Warm Up, The Barre Workout, Resistance Training (ouch, this was tough), Floor Section (combining Pilates, Yoga and Abdominal work), followed by the Stretch. The workout is suitable to all abilities as variations are offered throughout the class.
|Love my new workout top from Next|
We arrived full of beans, which was surprising really for a freezing cold Thursday night, when usually all we'd want to do is curl up with a hot meal and Eastenders. But no, I had a new workout top and I was ready to sweat!
My only initial concern about the class was (other than being expected to pirouette) was that I would get cramp in my toes from all the pointing. You may think this is a random concern, but I get terrible cramp in my toes. If my poor tootsies get the slightest bit chilly, one false move sends them shooting in all different directions, leaving me hobbling around the place as if my toes had just been put back on with cocktail sticks. Lovely image, I know, but it was the best I could come up with! But throughout the class, your feet are constantly moving, keeping the blood flowing, so thankfully there were no crazy cramp moments.
The workout itself was really good and the perfect ease back into exercise after a winter break (that sounds better than saying I've been in lazy-butt-mode for over a month!) and I honestly enjoyed the class. You were constantly working and thinking about your posture,body positioning and most of all balance (which I struggle with) and I left feeling refreshed, like I had a total body and mind workout. But, as with most things I do, there were moments of hysteria and embarrassment when I got my leg stuck on the barre and had to be helped down by a friend. Luckily I didn't take anyone out, or pass wind, otherwise this blog feature would have taken a different angle completely.
The achy aftermath kicked in two days after the workout (which I don't think was helped much by a night out dancing like a crazy person) but it felt good to feel the burn again. As with all workouts, you need to put in the time to see the results as dramatic changes wont occur overnight. Helen suggests doing at least one session a week of BarreConcept for about ten weeks to gain the full effectiveness from the workout. We spoke to members of her class who had been regularly attending the sessions and they said that they can really feel the improvement on their core muscles and their postures.
|This is where I got a little stuck...!|
|So serious Rachel...!|
|Hit the floor!|
|Look at those legs Frances!|
Having a successful career as both a dance teacher and fitness instructor, Helen is extremely passionate about her work and believes that dance has the possibility to enhance your life. Her enthusiasm and encouragement is what makes the class fun and accessible for all abilities. Held in Wallington, Surrey, the courses run monthly and are charged at £32.00 for four sessions. The same lessons are charged for as much as £28.00 per session in London, so you really are in for a good deal on a hot new trend! Places are limited and need to be booked in advance. You can find out more about what the DanceIT Group offer, including classes, lesson plans and parties here.
|Helen is a brilliant instructor!|
I would definately reccommend this class to anyone looking to try out a new trend on the workout scene and for those of you who are already fans of Pilates or Yogo, then this class will tick all your exercise boxes! As for me, I'm hoping to attend the class again soon...
Thank you so much to Helen and everyone at the DanceIT Group for welcoming us into your class!
Until next time,
With Love & Pointy Toes,
Disclosure: I was given a complimentary class in exchange for writing this review. All opinions are my own. Information and facts relating to BarreConcept have been taken from DanceIt Body Fit