The Bar (Barré) Method

I realized the other day, in close conjunction to my birthday, that being twenty-eight and frequently having bad back pain, the number of migraine that I do, etc, is not normal for a person of my age and general health levels. I’m not wasting away or anything by any means, but I do work a desk job and without serious attention to what I’m eating, my weight could spiral back out of control. I’m already higher then I was in August, and although I’m not obsessed with a specific look, I have a target weight I’d like to safely get back to -and then maintain.

Once again I’ve been looking at available dance classes, specifically ballet – and the sad fact of the matter is there are just no classes for adults who are not either stay-at-home moms or people who work for themselves (and thus, set their own schedules). Almost all of the classes I’ve looked at start no earlier then 10 am, after all the kids are off to school. Not useful for those of us who work during the day – and forget finding an adult class that is offered at night, that’s when the kids are taking lessons. And I don’t have that kind of stamina anymore.

So I’ve expanded my “search terms” a little, and went back to an idea I’d had before: “The Bar Method.” This is basically an exercise class that was originally built around the first half of a ballet class, when you’re standing at the barré and all the various stretches that go along with it. I took my first class on Wednesday and knew by the time I got home that I’d be ‘in pain’ for the next few days – and I was right. Won’t stop me from going back however, and there’s a pretty decent “new members” deal that I think I’m going to grab, which will hopefully force me to continue to go…

The class itself was well paced, and the exercises weren’t overly complicated – my biggest challenges came in the form of cramping (due, I suspect to a lack of water, *other* kinds of cramps from the day before) and attempting to put my legs into certain positions they do not naturally take – namely, trying to ‘turn-in’. As someone who’s taken ballet classes for about 20 years, this is a huge challenge and something I’d like to speak to one of the instructors about, because I don’t know how serious of an issue it would be if I did follow the way my body wants to do things and turn out in certain exercises. Hard to untrain 20 years in one class of course, but I’ll need to know for sure.

To be clear, this is an exercise class, not a dance class (unfortunately) though the influence of dance is very recognizable, and while I definitely will go back (got a great work out!) it’s still not fulfilling the itch to dance. But it with strengthen my core/upper body, which I desperately need if I ever DO go back to dancing, so it’s a win-win situation no matter what. There are multiple locations in WA and the closest on is at RTC, which is perfect since that’s either on my way home, or if I could get myself up earlier (HA!!!), on my way to work. A side bonus is the fact that because the location is just dedicated to those classes, they have a crazy amount of options available for times – and that suits me quite well. There are a couple of interesting looking DVD’s (specifically one targeted to dancers) which appeals to me as well. Might have finally found a use for some of that money e gets for “exercise” related things.

(An aside: If anyone is interested, apparently I can get you a free ‘introductory’ class, to check things out. Won’t work if you’ve ever gone before, but still…)