This past week my favorite format to teach was featured on WRAL as a new and upcoming exercise routine. I had such a great time filming the piece and WRAL did such a wonderful job with the feature. For those who have not had an opportunity to try Corebarre (or any other type of Barre Pilates style class), here’s a brief rundown of the newest trend in fitness.
Barre Pilates, as I said in my interview and as its name says, is a fusion of basic ballet poses and fundamentals drawn straight from Pilates. As I have blogged about in the past, Pilates is a style of exercises that focus on the core as the foundation for all movement. The movements are purposeful, deliberate and smooth. The incorporation of barre into that format allows for more training in balance, flexibility, and offers a phenomenal leg workout.
I started my journey with barre only 2 years ago when I wanted to start training in something that I had always had an interest in and something I thought was increasing in popularity. Since I had no formal ballet training, I decided to start with a certification by a classically trained ballerina. Monica Hoekstra of Corebarre offered exactly what I was looking for. She focused on perfect form, elegant movement, and of course the ballet lingo. I spent 3 intensive days learning all I needed to know about teaching a barre class the way Monica would want it taught. But that wasn’t all. When I was done with my training, I had to submit a video of myself teaching a Corebarre class. Yikes. That was nerve-wracking. And when I was done, Monica would analyze the video and determine if I was ready to teach. Unfortunately, my first time through, she had a lot of feedback and asked that I learn from her suggestions and resubmit the video. The second time I submitted it, she congratulated me and told me I was ready to teach it with her backing.
Corebarre’s basic format is 5 minutes of a dynamic warmup, using basic ballet poses. The second part incorporates light hand weights in a 5 minute strength training segment. The third part of the class is the barre portion where we teach basic ballet poses using port de bras or “carriage of the arms”. Many classically trained dancers will recognize the poses and the lingo and those who are not classically trained will learn basic ballet fundamentals and some French. The final segment of the class takes participants to the floor for some basic Pilates mat work and also some inverted ballet poses. And by inverted I don’t mean upside-down, I simply mean with the legs elevated.
My favorite thing about Corebarre is its inclusivity. It’s not just a format for those who have ballet training, it’s not just for those who are young and agile, and it’s certainly not just for women. Some of my most devoted participants are men looking to improve hip flexibility and balance. It’s a growing trend that anyone can do. One only has to have the nerve to try something new.
If you missed the WRAL broadcast, click on the link below to watch.