Why Ballet and Why Ballet Barre?
Classical ballet is an aesthetically beautiful artform which originated in the 15th century Italian Renaissance courts, later becoming further developed in France, England, and Russia. It is a technically intricate and challenging performance art which incorporates body movement, mime, acting, and is set to music both in practice and in performance.
- The practice of ballet in formal classes includes:
Barre Work: Stretching all major and minor muscle groups at the barre until properly “warmed up” by repeating various types of body positions, movements, and sequences
- Center Work: Practicing and drilling movements and combinations in the center of the floor and across the floor (turns, jumps, leaps, multi-step combinations)
The ballet barre, for dancers, is vital - the barre provides stable support for the dancer to perfect his/her balance, learn and achieve proper body alignment, gain core and all-over muscle conditioning, and is the place where dancers hone the basic skills and strength needed to achieve full movements in the center of the floor and ultimately, to become advanced in practice. The barre has a special place in dancers’ hearts - as it is the place where countless hours are spent deep in practice through one’s dance life!
Ballet lessons for both children and adults provide so many wellness benefits - from increased flexibility, coordination, and muscle strength, to boosting concentration, developing an understanding for music and timing, and enhancing body awareness and physical self-control.
Ballet Barre Workouts
Ballet barre as a modern fitness regimen has become a phenomena of sorts over the last number of years - attracting adherents from all walks of life who seek an extremely fun, dynamic, and intense workout that is exciting and uplifting and produces wonderful results. It helps for those of us who have fond memories of ballet lessons as children (or who just love to dance), as the workouts take place primarily at the ballet barre, and then move out to the floor.
Ballet barre workouts combine many fitness practices into each class, and every class, every instructor, and every ballet barre approach is different. The variety is endless in terms of what dance elements are incorporated into ballet barre class (at-the-barre stretching/weights/using fitness balls and resistance bands of many sorts, and doing mat-work on the floor).
Even the mood and “themes” of the classes can be whatever you may like them to be - from working out to the trendiest electronic and club music for a really high-impact workout, to using more jazzed-out and chill-vibe music to have a more subtle, less intense workout.
Health benefits that come from incorporating these workouts into your life will result in an overall increase in cardiovascular health, muscle strength, stamina, flexibility, balance, core strength, and a toning of the body without the ‘bulk’ of weightlifting or other kinds of fitness regimens.