Any new exercise program can be scary. We get it! Barre is no exception. But we are here to tell you there is no need to be scared and give you some bare essential tips for your first barre experience.
- Arrive early and meet your instructor. If you are new try to give yourself time to get there with time to spare. It will make you much calmer than rushing into class seconds before the start. Arriving early will also allow you to introduce yourself to your instructor. Most barre instructors will give newbies a quick tour and an intro to how class will work. Some will even go over a few cues that might be confusing to a new barre goer, such as the tuck technique. This also will allow you to share any concerns and injuries you might need to share with your instructor. Some new barre goers might also reach out to the studio or gym via phone or email to get a little bit of information beforehand too.
- Dress for success. Most barre classes are done in socks and long pants. We also recommend fitted clothing as it will help an instructor be able to see the position of your body, and better able to inform you of correct technique.
- Know it is OK to be challenged! No one walked into their first class a pro. There will likely be unfamiliar territory. It is OK to have moments of confusion and moments that challenge your body in new ways. In time the exercises will make more sense and you will be looking for ways to take these exercises to the next level. For your first class though just remember you are learning something new and starting as a beginner is your first step towards becoming an expert.
- If you need a break take a break! Barre is meant to work the body hard! With that said, you know your body. If you are pulsing, tucking, and pushing through the exercise but at some point your body is saying “no”, it is ok to take a break. Rest for a second and get back into the exercise when you are ready. You will work your way towards being stronger every class and being able to push through each exercise longer and longer. Always, no matter what fitness level you are at, listen to your body.
- If the class you took was not for you, try another. This might sound crazy but maybe a different instructor, a different studio, maybe just trying it a second time might change your mind about barre. A different instructor and studio might work because every one has at the least a slightly different style. You might click better at a different studio or with a different instructor. You also might have been hard on yourself your first class, and just need to give it a second go to realize you do enjoy barre. Everyone has their own preferences for their workout program, but it is always worth a few attempts before throwing in the towel.
- The rest of the class is just like you. The vast majority are not prima ballerinas! There are some preconceived notions about barre that only ex-ballerinas are the ones that do it or that dance experience is required. Not the case at all. There is most definitely inspiration drawn from classical ballet exercises, but those exercises are shared in an accessible way so even non-dancers types can excel. Everyone in the room is working hard and everyone likely has a different exercise that is their kryptonite. At the same time everyone has a different exercise that is their favorite that they feel a rockstar at. After a few barre classes you too will have those exercises that you feel like you could demo for the whole class and exercises that challenge your body in ways that you never knew. Remember everyone is on their own fitness journey and everyone’s body is unique meaning everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Focus on yourself in class and don’t worry about anyone else’s fitness level or dance background or what not. Your class time is about you, so go ahead and be selfish and enjoy your barre class!