By Diana Condolo
Have you noticed that dancers’ bodies are a beautiful thing? They have sculpted muscles and graceful movement, even off the stage – something I admire and aspire to. When a friend mentioned that Barre Beautiful opened in her Yonge & Eglinton neighbourhood, I leaped (and possibly pirouetted!) at the chance to try it out.
The classes combine classical dance training moves with strength training using resistance bands and weighted balls and Pilates that challenge your cardio system and muscle endurance while promoting good posture and alignment. The workout mainly targets legs and glutes, but definitely incorporates some abs and upper-body exercises.
The small group size allows Rochelle LaBrecque, our instructor, to give us personal attention and correct our technique. She challenged us to keep up with the routine to really feel their effects.
My first class was the Cardio Barre: This is a workout designed to get your heart pumping! This challenging interval class blends cardio and sculpting routines to burn calories and challenge muscles. This energizing combination of exercises is unlike anything you’ve experienced before.
The Classic Barre is Barre Beautiful’s signature class and I am so glad that Voula Floros, the owner of Barre Beautiful, suggested this class to me! It is designed to keep your heart, mind and butt happy. This class involves muscle sculpting and core conditioning, which also works the cardio – always keeping an emphasis on posture and alignment – using the feedback from the instructor and the mirror on two walls. I left feeling tall and graceful.
Part of the reason we go to studios is for the ambiance, and the studio at Barre Beautiful is exactly what I look for. As you enter the beautifully-styled lounge area that looks like a stylish apartment living room, you are greeted by the receptionist and are invited to get comfortable, go to the bar for water and enjoy the lounge area as you wait for your class. The studio has full service change rooms, child minding (when booked in advance) and complimentary postural analysis by appointment.
The classes at Barre Beautiful are challenging, dynamic, and invigorating. It is a great way to work on balance, grace, strength and muscle tone. I can’t wait for my next class!
2156 Yonge Street, Toronto