Balletbody fitness review: A head-to-toe workout that trains with grace and endurance
Not a barre class
The lowdown: While the studio's mien and association with ballet might lead one to presume it's just like any other barre class, it's not. Balletbody was birthed with the vision of giving the art of ballet an accessible avenue. A place for ex-ballet dancers or adults who have never done ballet as kids to finally pick it up. Unlike the many barre classes that's mainly about short spurts of cardio revolving around ballet poses, a class here is slowed down and narrows in on the many different ballet postures and movements that a barre class doesn't teach. Co-owner and instructor Allison Caroll first led us through a vigorous sequence of movements while we held a plié, glissé, relevé — with poise and posture by the bar. Also to make it more of a workout, we had wrist weights strapped on. So much of the class depended on grounding a strong core, which affects how accessible and graceful the movements of the limbs are. All this accompanied with classical, soothing music — a pleasing contrast compared to the upbeat and fast-paced music often heard in a barre class. Believe us, we were sweating in no time even without the pulsing and cardio-led exercises. After bar time was over, the whole class gathered to the center of the class to continue with a set of different movements, as we all synced in harmony facing the mirror. It then concluded with some mat time, with pilates exercises challenging the glutes, abs, and lower body strength.
What I loved about the class: You don't have to have a ballet background in order to survive the class. While it wasn't the adrenaline-charged workout I was typically used to while punching my emotions into a bag, the ballet class let on a form of release that was slow, calculated, and graceful. And while I lacked coordination in some parts of the class, it wasn't a main requirement in order to reap the most from a session here.
What to bring: If you don't already own ballet flats, wear grip socks. This will help with establishing a firm footing on the ground. As well as a bottle of water to stay hydrated.
Good to know: Having prior barre experience will help your performance in this class, whether it be holding a certain pose or balancing the body's weight. However it is not a pre-requisite. A class at Balletbody is entirely different from a barre class, and it stands in its own workout category as far as boutique studios go. Those who have no barre or ballet experience, opt for Balletbody Basics (a class suited for first-timers) before going for the Classic.
Name of session: Balletbody Classic
Try it out here: Balletbody
Duration of session: 60 minutes
Difficulty: Easy to grasp, with repeated movements involved. Suitable for beginners.