As part of my carpool mom duties, I drive my daughter to Frisco three times per week to take classes at Next Step Dance. Recently, I noticed a bright orange barre3 sign as I was exiting Frisco Square. I thought to myself that it is great to now have a place to take barre classes so close to the studio we frequent! As many dance (and other sports moms) can attest to, kids sports usually involve lots of sitting around, waiting and watching practices. It is convenient to have the option of doing something active, dropping in for a class, while being able to make it back to the studio by the time they are finished. Looking up the class schedule online, I was happy to see that barre3 offers a supervised “play lounge” for babies and kids! That is a huge plus for me, as I have an almost three year old as well. Upon entering the studio for the first time, I thought it was warm and welcoming. Check-in for class and the play lounge was simple. Tammy Hischke, who also happens to be the owner of the studio, was the instructor for both classes I attended. She is knowledgeable and friendly, and does an awesome job leading the class.
For the class, you use the ballet barre, a small ball, mat, and light hand weights (they have 1-5 lbs). I usually chuckle to myself when I take barre classes and have to grab the 2 pounders, because I am always trying to increase the amount of weight I am lifting, not decrease! Using two pound dumbbells seems counterintuitive to me, but the type of exercises and number of repetitions you use them for always produces “the burn”, and I most definitely feel it the next day! The class starts with a short warm-up, then progresses through movements, working the entire body. For each movement you start off holding still in the pose. Then, you do small up and down movements (“the barre3 inch”) in the pose for a set time. You finish off each exercise with a larger range of motion of the movement. For example, you hold a lunge position while lightly supporting yourself with the barre, do small movements in the lunge position, then finish off doing a fuller range lunge. The wonderful thing about this workout is that modifications are offered for every movement, so everyone is accommodated, from beginners to advanced students. Throughout the workout you are encouraged to maintain good posture and honor your body in how far you push yourself.
I asked Tammy is to describe the “barre 3 inch” in detail. This is how she explained it: “It is part of our three step sequence that delivers a balanced total body workout. We start off with our isometric holds. This allows us to strengthen the body while we pay careful attention to correct alignment. Once we are sure you are working deep and correctly aligned, we add a small amount of movement, the barre3 inch, which is a much smaller movement then most people think. By adding on controlled, one-inch movements, you create just enough relief in the muscle to maintain the integrity of the posture without losing the strength and endurance benefits of a hold. Then our final step: functional large range of motion. Incorporating large range of motion also energizes the body and sends fresh oxygen and nutrients to our muscles, which allows us to burn more calories and increase our endurance.” Following this process throughout the entire workout is what makes it a such challenge!
I enjoyed the two classes I attended at barre3, and look forward to my next one! If you are near a studio, try a class! They have a 3 pack of classes for new students for $30, which is a great deal! If you can’t make it to the studio, also check out their website, barre3.com. It has lots of great resources, and you can take classes online. Either way, give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed!