"Up an inch, down an inch. Find your home-base. Squeeze your heels."
Mindfully watching her students amidst the sound of thumping bass in the background, the instructor subtly scans the room to correct placement and technique while speaking into the microphone. With music and occasional laughter, you may mistake the atmosphere for that of a hip wine bar. The furrowed brows, intense concentration and shaking legs say otherwise.
"People will be sorely disappointed if they are looking for a dance class," laughs co-owner of BARRE Kamloops, Geralyn Alain.“ Barre classes are completely in a league of their own. You really need to experience one to understand."
In operation now for almost two years, BARRE Kamloops is working hard to get their message out to the community. “People think that barre is going to be a ballet class, and that’s, of course, where the workout method’s name originated” Alain says.
Barre classes, however, are more fitness-based focusing on small, isometric movements designed to strengthen and fatigue muscles, followed by a lengthening yoga-inspired stretch. "Everything from your legs, to your glutes, to your core and arms will be worked. It is a true full-body workout that absolutely anyone can do regardless of their fitness ability… No dance experience is needed," says Alain.
From fitness newbies to marathon runners and everyone in between, classes are accessible and challenging in different ways. “Barre’s roots are in pilates, dance and yoga which shows in the workout, but at the same time, our classes have evolved into more than that. We might do the same type of movement from day to day, but no two classes are ever the same with evolving playlists, different props and different exercises. We are always looking to switch things up to make things interesting and fun for our clients”
For those who aren’t a fan of a typical gym with massive machines and heavy weights, BARRE Kamloops offers an alternative option in a welcoming and inclusive environment. “We work at building relationships and friendships. That’s what it’s all about. People stick around after class, chatting and getting to really know each other. You’re not a nameless body, coming in and going on your own. Others notice when you’re not there.”
With large windows and modern breezy décor, props like “squishy balls” as Alain likes to call them, resistance bands and light weights are common place in the studio and provide a welcome change for people looking to challenge their body in a different way.
In addition to regular classes, BARRE Kamloops also offers both pre-natal and Mom & Baby programs led by certified “Fit for Two” instructors. “We are very mindful that there are things that we need to be very careful of with pregnant women and post-natal moms,” says Alain. “We deal with our clients individually to make sure we know where they’re at and build modifications through the class to make sure they’re safe. That’s very important to us.”
Co-owners Kristen and Geralyn know how hard it can be to maintain a regular fitness schedule as moms themselves, so they recently introduced a new child-minding room for those attending regular classes with their kids in tow.
On September 15th, BARRE Kamloops is kicking off it’s 60-Day “Back to the BARRE” Challenge encouraging people to get back into the spirit of working out and a regular routine. Participants take 3 classes a week for 60 days, earning prizes and a coveted tank top for reaching their goals. “It’s just a fun time to get everyone back on track and focused on fitness.”
Anyone can participate and see what classes at BARRE Kamloops can do for their body. “Our classes are for anyone—you definitely do not need to be flexible or coordinated. We’ll talk you through everything you need to know,” says Alain. “I can promise you’ll have a lot of fun, and get a good burn out of it too.”
- Written by CFJC Today staff with files and information supplied by BARRE Kamloops.
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