Barre classes are great for anyone who is looking to improve their fitness, strength and posture. Not only for dancers, barre exercises provide an athletic workout for the glutes, legs, thighs, arms, abdominal muscles, and many other parts of the body. Also practiced in San Francisco ballet classes, barre exercises provide a multitude of benefits, such as improving core strength and increasing flexibility, and more. Barre classes at Studiomix are terrific for anyone who is determined to lose weight or anyone who just wants to feel better. The term ‘barre’ can refer to exercises, and also to the handrail that is used for the exercises. Conditioning using the barre burns calories and releases endorphins. An important aspect of SF dance classes, barre exercises also help to improve balance and equilibrium.

In SF dance classes, barre exercises are a main part of beginning ballet training, as well as advanced practice. Routines for dance or exercise can incorporate slower exercises that stretch and warm up the muscles, along with rapid exercises, which help strengthen muscles and perfect the techniques. The various barre exercises work muscles throughout the body, including the obliques, hips, shoulders, hamstrings, quadriceps, and more. Working with a barre for seated core training helps to strengthen the lower core muscles. With barre work, correct positioning of feet and arms is reinforced in all exercises. Barre training is also used to develop pointe dance techniques, by providing a support to work on strengthening the ankles.

Barre work is incorporated into different types of SF dance classes, as a way to practice on partner dance steps. A major element of barre work in ballet classes is a ‘plié,’ which involves knee bends that strengthen the abdomen and lower body. Pliés also involve practicing a variety of positions for the feet, therefore these barre exercises are a very useful foundation for anyone who is interested in taking SF dance classes. For ballet, the plié is essential to learn, because most jumps and steps start and finish in a plié position. Plié routines also often incorporate a mixture of ‘demi-pliés’ or ‘grande-pliés,’ which are smaller and larger knee bends.

Other barre movements and their benefits include:

  • Tendu – an exercise that emphasizes foot positioning. Working the abdomen muscles and buttocks, it also helps with improving balance and equilibrium.
  • Rond de jambe – a movement that builds on the tendu, by moving in a semicircular motion, with one leg completely still, supported by the hips and core.
  • Battement dégagé – much like tendu, except the movement is carried further by lifting the foot a short distance from the floor in bursts. Works the muscles in the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes.
  • Relevés – involves standing with the ball of the foot flat on the floor, while lifting the heels. This exercise tones the calves and hamstring muscles.

Barre training at Studiomix offers students the opportunity to practice and perfect all of these types of movements and more, with the guidance of an instructor. Dancers have used the ballet barre for centuries for conditioning, stretching, and to assist with maintaining stability. In the 1950s, a retired dancer, Lotte Berk, created a fitness program that utilized the ballet barre. That was the start of many barre exercise programs. SF dance classes offer participants the opportunity to gain the many physical benefits of barre training, in addition to preparing them to perfect their dance moves.