The Austin Studio Where NFL Players Take Barre Class

Jennifer McCamish has been a dancer her entire life. From performing as a Radio City Rockette to training at some of the most legendary institutes in the country, she knows her way around a stage. But after a hip surgery in 2005 – McCamish realized she needed more than just dancing – she needed a variety of exercise to recover.

So when she moved to Austin, Texas, she decided to open Dancers Shape – a studio that combines elements of Pilates, yoga, dance and circuit training into their classes. What she didn’t expect was to train Olympic athletes, triathletes – and NFL players who wanted to get on the barre.

In honor of the start of 2015 season, McCamish opened up about why barre is great for guys and how professional players have used this exercise to become better competitors off of the barre and on the field:

ClassPass: Wow! NFL players. What has it been like to work with these athletes?
Jennifer McCamish: Fozzy Whitaker, running back for the Carolina Panthers and former University of Texas Longhorn was the first football player to take a barre class at my studio. And in the two and a half years since, he has convinced other former UT football players and current NFL players to take a class.

I’ve worked with Brian Orakpo, linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, Keenan Robinson of the Washington Redskins, Derrick Johnson of the Kansas City Chiefs and Emmanuel Acho, linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles. It was interesting to see how they quickly experienced the benefits of barre and learned that it actually was a lot harder than they had originally anticipated.

CP: What’s the class like?
JM: The specific barre technique and athletic conditioning class that I created for them targets the core and connective tissue surrounding the joints, promoting optimal sports performance. By training the deep stabilizer muscles to work in conjunction with the larger muscle groups, the players continue to experience improved balance, control and coordination on and off the field.

CP: What are some benefits that men experience by taking a barre class?
JM: Barre offers both men and women amazing results. Men who regularly take classes in conjunction with their regular fitness routine – whether it’s lifting weights, running, or playing golf – will notice increased flexibility, body awareness, strength, and fewer aches and pains during daily activities.

Sign up for a class at Dancers Shape in Austin today. 

Lindsay Tigar is the editorial director for ClassPass in New York. She’s an aspiring boxer, wannabe yogi and lover of cardio dance (though she has no rhythm). She loves traveling, handwritten cards, live music and good vibes. She believes in a healthy balance of veggies and champagne, and can usually be found exploring the city with her cute pup, Lucy.