As a little girl, you probably loved watching the ballerinas on stage (even if it was just at the annual local performance of The Nutcracker), and as a teen, you might have drooled over the moves (and cute male ballerinas!) in Centerstage. But as an adult – you’ve probably pursued dreams in stilettos instead of point shoes – but that doesn’t mean you can’t work out like a ballerina!
At many studios, you can take classes based on classical ballet with instructors who have lived and breathed dance for years. Plus, you’ll learn the ballerina lingo and even maybe master each position!
San Francisco studio owner, Nick Wen gave us the behind-the-plie scoop on the workout:
ClassPass: What’s your background in health and fitness?
Nick Wen: I did gymnastics when I was young, nothing too competitive, just for fun. I did sports in college, and after I graduated started to do pilates and pilates plus SPX. I had a wrist injury and did not enjoy many parts of pilates where you are using your wrist on the reformer. So then, I discovered barre workouts, and I tried all of them. That’s when I really fell in love!
CP: Why is cardio barre your favorite?
NW: The workout is much harder and more advanced than the others, and I liked how the moves are derived from dance. The moves and posture are more natural: like our spine is not tucked under (Lotte Berk), it is in a neutral position (without our butts sticking out). I also think it gives you a nicer body since the muscles you are targeting are more in-line with what most people like (we do things in turn-out, you work your inner thighs as opposed to your quads). Our motivation and inspiration in class is also different, it is more focused on a high level of emphasizing why you are here and working out than telling you to do things.
CP: What three things would surprise first-time ClassPassers at trying cardio barre?
NW: The speed and difficulty for one. It is extremely hard to do the moves to the beat of the music with precision. For those who have taken barre classes, they’ll notice that it’s very different from other Barre workouts, as described above. Also, our iconic studios are laid out differently, with the workout room is in the front as opposed to the back. Best of all though, we make you feel empowered, elegant, beautiful, strong and passionate!
CP: Walk me through a class. How will users feel as they walk out the door?
NW: Everything is done in 8 counts like dance, the sections are:
Warm up- stretching and warm up moves done at the barre
Plie– toning and workout moves at the barre in first and second positions
Ballet – ballet moves, Tendú at barre; and Battement at or off the barre, depending on the format
Waist – torso twist and crunch twist on mat
Cardio – crunches and flex lef lifts on mat
Barre thigh – leg lifts with attitude and extensions
Upper body – arm work with weights
Abdominals – various abdominal moves
Inner thigh – leg lifts turned out
Cool down – ten minutes of stretching