The Barre is a studio on Newcastle Quayside, near the Swing Bridge and the humble destination has just turned 6 this weekend. The studio has a very minimalist decor with the open brickwork, wood and hanging lightbulbs, not to mention the huge ‘b’ you can’t miss when you walk in.
With all classes at The Barre, you don’t need your trainers, so slip off your shoes and leave them on the rack outside the changing rooms (which are all separate cubicles, great if you’re not one for communal changing) Any belongings can be stored in the lockers provided and there’s plenty of seating if you’re extra eager and arrive early for your class, like we did!
Our barre class was a 30 minute introduction, unlike the usual 1 hour classes. Maxine, our instructor made us work hard and I really enjoyed how different it was to my usual workout classes (the likes of spinning, metafit etc.) Barre classes have their roots in the resistance training found in classical ballet. While it’s not like 30 seconds of burpees, you will break a sweat and get that wobbly leg feeling. Using targeted movements designed to really work your muscle groups, you’ll lengthen and stretch them before you feel that burn with your pliés. The class uses the barre, mats and free weights, though we’re only talking 1-3kg so don’t expect deadlifts…
If like me, you’ve never given ballet a go, don’t be put off trying out a barre class. I’ve wished I had taken up ballet for a few years now and I’m yet to find a local adult class I could get myself along to (recommendations please, tutu optional). Barre workouts are open to all abilities, 1st Barre being the ideal option for beginners and your instructor will let you know when you’re ready to move up to 2nd and 3rd barre where the moves get more challenging! There’s also Open Barre classes where there’s a range of moves to test you. Whilst we were there Plié Relays were happening, Plank Challenges and a whole load of cake and treats too – well it was their birthday – it’s definitely a fun place to be and I’m so pleased to finally find somewhere in the North East offering barre classes! All the instructors I spoke to were lovely, Maxine was really encouraging and supportive and there was a great atmosphere in the class.