Unique barre body fitness routine combines yoga, pilates and ballet barre

A unique Hollywood workout called barre body fitness is making its way into Canada and Calgary is among the few cities in the country to introduce this experience to fitness enthusiasts.

Marlo Brausse opened up Barre Body Fit in Calgary this past June, making it the first barre fitness class offered in Calgary.

Fitness instructor Marlo Brausse displays the different uses of the ballet barre in her recently opened Barre Body Fit class. Barre fitness is a unique workout combining dance, yoga and pilates and is the first of its kind in Calgary.

Photo By Courtney Urbani

“The classes incorporate elements of dance, yoga and pilates,” Brausse said. “I speak about the core during the entire hour-long class and the core of the body is really the foundation throughout the entire workout.”

Barre body fitness is popular throughout Hollywood and other areas of the United States.

“The response has been really positive,” Brausse said. “Lots of people are aware of what barre fitness is from the media attention it has received in the United States.”

Calgary sisters enjoy barre class

Sara Fernandez, 22, was looking for a new kind of workout in Calgary that was in a group fitness setting. When she stumbled upon barre body fitness, she knew it was the right match for her.

Fernandez said that she read an article about the growing popularity of the fitness class in Vancouver and was interested in taking a class in Calgary.

“I found out about this barre workout and I thought it looked really fun,” Fernandez said. “It also appealed to me because I sometimes have issues with my knees and ankles and barre fitness is a good, low-impact workout.”

Sara recruited her younger sister Amanda to take part in the classes with her as well.

Produced by Kyla Bodley

“My sister called me and told me about the barre fitness class and after watching some videos on it, I thought it looked like a great workout that was a lot more exciting than just running for an hour,” Amanda said.

The barre body fit class focuses on stretching and muscle toning through lengthening and leaning of the muscles.

“It gives you a dancer’s body without needing all of the skills and co-ordination of a professional dancer,” Sara said. “The combination of the ballet barre along with yoga and pilates moves really helps lengthen and lean muscles like a dancer.”

A unique experience

Brausse, who has been a fitness instructor in Calgary for over three years, stated that the barre body fit class is for people of all fitness levels and no dance experience is needed.

“Each class starts with a warm up, then we move to small weights to work on upper body strength,” Brausse said. “We use two to three pound weights, so it’s not really intimidating. Then we use the ballet barre to work on balance and to engage certain muscles in the lower body in order to lengthen the leg muscles.”

Brausse explained that it is important to offer people a fitness class that was different from other workouts that people may be getting tired of.Fitness instructor Marlo Brausse displays the different uses of the ballet barre in her recently opened Barre Body Fit class. Barre fitness is a unique workout combining dance, yoga and pilates and is the first of its kind in Calgary.

Photo By Courtney Urbani

“I just wanted to offer Calgarians something new and unique,” she said. “Also, after incorporating these barre moves into my routine I loved the result and that was a real motivator in wanting to share that feeling with other people.”

Amanda Fernandez agrees that the barre fitness classes are a great way to have a fun, high-quality workout.

“I really like going because I find that the classes are always upbeat and fun and are a great self-motivator for me.”

Brausse is confident that the workout routine will become more popular in Calgary as her classes are filling quickly.

Barre Body Fit offers different varieties of drop-in classes and is located at the West Hillhurst Fitness Centre.

curbani@cjournal.ca