You can thank Barrecore founder Niki Rein for ushering ballet fitness across the Atlantic. She now heads up an empire of eight London barre studios (with four other outposts in other UK cities). Each 60-minute session is a series of small toning movements, designed to improve posture and sculpt a ballet-dancer body. Sound simple? After the twentieth repetition, it really isn’t – you’ll stagger out with shaky thighs and the prospect of a seriously sore bum for the next couple of days. Classes are small, meaning more attention from your teacher and a slimmer chance of booting your neighbour in the face as you attempt an arabesque.
Even in rush hour you can spot those who have pranced and flexed in the name of barre-fitness. They stand strong amongst a sea of slumped, slouched commuters. Barre classes use the same techniques and postures as traditional ballet, but with a focus on strength and conditioning rather than pirouettes and pliés. So watch ‘Black Swan’, grab your gym kit and get ready to stand tall amongst the crowds.
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