Why I’m a barre-convert…
My life changing experience at the barre
By Genevieve Greensted
When I was asked to write something for the Barreworks “Behind the Barre” blog, a flurry of different thoughts immediately came into my head about all the positive things I could say about how barre has impacted my life. Having stumbled across a ‘version’ of barre only 2 years ago, it has quickly become a part of everyday life. With my first barre classes under my belt, and powered by the confidence that my years of ballet training would equip me with the right foundations, I signed up to the Barreworks instructor training programme. Ahead of the course, I came to the studio for my first ever barre class in the Barreworks boutique and specialised studio…and boy was I in for a shock! On arrival, I was greeted by Studio Manager Zhivka, carefully popped my bits and pieces in the changing room and headed into the studio. I was blissfully unaware that what I was about to experience would in the first instance, scare the hell out of me for what I had signed up to on the instructor training course, but secondly, really be a life changing hour for me (and my legs and my glutes, and my abs and my arms…). As I struggled through the never-ending pulses, wobbled through the standing split leg sequence and tried to disguise my thighs shaking uncontrollably during the dancing thighs section, I was surrounded by women who had nothing but determination across their faces. These women were strong, motivated and ready for the next challenge that Zhivka was going to throw their way.
I was so taken aback by the level of challenge in the class that as soon as it had finished, I rushed to get in touch with Studio Owner, Vicki to let her know that I didn’t have the flexible hamstrings, the killer quads and the abs of steel that would be needed for me to be able complete the course. Vicki, being the strong, determined and very persuadable woman that she is, managed to talk me down and only a few weeks later there I was, armed with my new grippy socks, pen and paper, ready to learn from the best in the industry.
Pre-barre, I was definitely a gym goer. I attended all the usual classes, mixing some cardio and strength, adding in boxercise and circuits here and there. I didn’t hate it but I definitely didn’t love it. I was dedicated because I felt I should be, plus I felt I really ought to do something to help burn off indulgent evenings with Franco Manca pizza in front of the latest episode of Love Island. Since discovering barre I can make a statement that, when I heard other people say it I didn’t believe a word of it, but I genuinely LOVE exercising now. Who knew you could look forward to a work out instead of dreading it? Who knew that although your thighs might be shaking more than you ever thought possible whilst in a parallel thigh hold at the barre that you could actually enjoy it at the same time? The best part of it all is that it actually works! In all my years of exercising I have never discovered one thing that genuinely changes how my body looks and feels. I am longer, stronger, leaner and more confident in my body than I have ever been and that is 100% attributable to barre.
What is so brilliant about the Barreworks method specifically is that each class is totally unique. We follow the same format but the content will be different each time. It’s this kind of versatility that keeps people coming back for more. I love when there is someone in my class that is brand new to Barreworks. The look of panic on their faces as everyone breezes through the warm up like a well-rehearsed dance troupe as they do it for the umpteenth time, before moving into the first part of the class and realising that from here on in, no one knows what’s coming next. Every time I leave the studio, I leave on a high (and very ungracefully, cling to the handrails down the stairs as my legs quiver post-class).
Armed with my Barreworks teacher training qualification, I now do something outside of my working week that I am truly passionate about…and I get a great workout in at the same time. It’s a win physically and a win mentally as I can totally switch off and focus purely on a delivering a great class for the lovely members of Barreworks.
So all in all, a big THANK YOU to the team at Barreworks for giving me the opportunities that they have and helping me to be longer, stronger, leaner and meaner (depending on how many pulses I give you whilst you’re holding that parallel thigh ;)).