Bringing out the ballerina in us all

Latest fitness craze at the Panorama Recreation Centre, Barre, is all about having fun.

  • Dec. 11, 2014 3:00 p.m.

Barre program instructor Kristen Jensen encourages her students to get a leg up on the latest fitness craze

The class is a trifecta of fitness fundamentals based upon the principles of basic ballet moves but also incorporating elements of yoga and pilates. But according to Melanie Alsdorf, the Fitness Weights and Rehab Coordinator at the Panorama Recreation Centre, this latest fitness craze is all about fun.

“It’s certainly challenging,” said Alsdorf about the Barre program. “But it’s also really interesting, because it does incorporate some ballet positions. It makes you realize what gifted athletes ballerinas really are.”

The classes are run in a mirrored studio with the ballet barres lining the walls, but in case you think that a tutu is required, think again.

“No, no tutus,” said Kristen Jensen, the Recreation Centre’s Barre instructor. “Class participants just need to wear comfortable clothing. There are no dance outfits required, and you definitely don’t need any dance background.”

Jensen said that while the class has ballet movements at its base, it seamlessly incorporates yoga positions and pilates routines within its routines.

“It’s a killer workout, for sure,” said Jensen. “But it’s also very low impact so it doesn’t put that strain on joints, and won’t be likely to cause injury. The classes really are for anyone.”

Barre classes have been sweeping North America in recent times but made their debut at Panorama in the spring of 2014.

“It’s really been one of our more popular fitness classes,” said Alsdorf. “We filled our spring and summer sessions but still have a few spots remaining for the upcoming session.

And in case you think that the Barre classes are held to the strains of nothing but Tchaikovsky and Bach, Jensen is quick to point out that the classes take a far more contemporary approach.

“We set the class to modern dance music and some top 40 music to make it very energized and stimulating,” she said.

The classes are geared for adults, with a minimum age of 15, but Jensen stresses that the activity is suitable for adults of all ages.

“I would definitely say that people in their 50s and 60s could take this class and get a lot of benefit too,” she said. “It really works on core strength and maintaining posture … so it’s great.”

In the end, the ballet aspect of the class provides an added component.

“I guess that it tends to bring out the ballerina in all of us,” said Jensen.

— Tim Collins/News staff

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