Fitness review: BootyBarre Plus at Virgin Active
Called to the barre
The lowdown: Classical ballet is saddled with time-honoured rules. The Arabesque demands for the raised leg to be extended in a straight line, a dancer's long tresses must be secured in a bun and hairnet, and the music of Chopin and Mendelssohn play on as ballerinas flit from one position to another.
None of these rules apply at Virgin Active's BootyBarre Plus. Instead, the fitness class is charged with high-energy dance tunes à la RuPaul's Drag Race and classical ballet positions serve merely as springboards from which yoga and pilates moves are built upon. Created by celebrity trainer Tracey Mallett in 2009, BootyBarre has since gotten women in 25 countries moving and sweating to remixes of Top 40 tunes.
What I loved about the class: Unlike Zumba or other aerobic dance workouts, BootyBarre Plus is forgiving towards those with two left feet. Choreography is kept to the minimum. The focus isn't on keeping up with dance moves. Instead, maintaining good form is key as you work through leg extensions, leg lifts, and butt-busting moves to tighter glutes.
Besides barre work focused on conditioning the muscles in your lower body, a segment of the class is dedicated to working out the back, shoulder, and arm muscles with the aid of 1 to 2.5kg dumbbells. A good chunk of the moves are executed as you stand on your toes, and while you're not quite en pointe, the burn sets in quickly. The class wraps up with a series of gentle stretches and ab-focused crunches on the mat, by which time your quads and glutes will be crying out for mercy.
What to bring: The class is conducted barefoot, so grab a sweat towel and a bottle of water with you. If you have compression tights tucked away in the depths of your wardrobe, now's a good time to pull them out.
Good to know: Post-workout, unwind at the Himalayan Salt inhalation room before heading to the steam room to give your muscles a much-needed warm hug.
Name of session: BootyBarre Plus
Try it out here: Virgin Active (Tanjong Pagar)
Duration of session: 60 minutes
Difficulty: Anyone who's moderately fit will pull through the session. You don't require any background in ballet or pilates to join this group class.