Last week I was getting my sweat on at Pure Barre Virginia Beach. I have been wanting to get into this spot for weeks and was so excited when my schedule finally opened up and permitted time for me to pop in on a class this past Thursday.
At first I wasn’t sure what to think of this place. When they first opened, I couldn’t even pronounce their name correctly. Bar or Barre’? It is pronounced BAR. But this one isn’t serving up cocktails, it is serving up a serious burn to your backside. This hour long class utilizes the ballet bar during the workout. Keep in mind that as a runner, most of these classes involving a “skill set” are usually difficult for me. When I run, I only have to worry about one thing…moving forward. During this class I was concentrating on my posture, my feet, and tucking. “Tucking” is when you tilt your pelvis down towards the ground, similar to the feeling of neutral spine in Pilates, but at Pure Barre you are standing. The focus I was giving to the exercises made me tune out all of life’s craziness and concentrate strictly on the class. That alone was priceless.
Before taking the class, my mind was picturing slow, steady, graceful, ballerina like movements with low music in the background. I was pleasantly surprised that NONE of this turned out to be true. This class was jamming!!! Great music, great girls, and great instruction. Thursday’s class was taught by Ericka Foster. She was amazing! She noticed that there were several new gals in the class and tailored her instruction accordingly. This is so important as an instructor to be able to catch on to this. Your first experience exercising somewhere can make or break the likelihood that you return, especially when you are trying something new. Ericka circled the room regularly offering suggestions, corrections, and praise when needed. She was very in tune with her students. Besides Ericka’s attentiveness, another tool to help you during the class are the floor to ceiling mirrors on the wall. It was a great way to watch your form and measure yourself against some of the more veteran girls in the class. Don’t worry about the mirrors though, everyone is so busy focusing on their own form that they are too busy to watch you! I followed along with the instruction and moved my body to mimic the girls next to me. Small, dedicated movements were the key to a great burn. I was using different muscles than I normally do which caused my body to work harder. We stayed on the bar for the majority of the class. Afterwards, we moved to the floor on some mats for some dedicated core work. That was one of my favorite parts of the class because as a runner, I know the importance of having a strong core. The hour zipped right along and before I new it, the session was over. A “fast class” is a sign of a “great class” in my book.
The Fit Petite Opinion:
I loved this class! I can’t wait to get back in for another session. I think this may be a great way to get through some hum drum cold fall/winter weeknights. The burn was amazing! The class was just challenging enough. I was focused on what I was doing which made the time pass quickly. The music was amazing with some hip hop favorites and even some mashups. The key to a great class for me is usually the instructor and in this case, Ericka was spot on.
This class may be the hardest for me to describe: ballet bar+ jamming music+no shoes=burn!!! If you like a challenging and fun workout with a welcoming atmosphere then I suggest you get to the Barre soon. But sign up early, these classes fill up fast so you need to reserve your spot. I am already checking my schedule to see when I can go next.
This class in completed shoeless. Love that! You wear skid free socks. Socks are available for purchase or rent at the counter when you sign in for class. I suggest your wear tight yoga pants/leggings to this class with a tank or flowy top. The popular backless tops out right now are great for Pure Barre.