So You Want To Take a Barre Class….Your Questions Answered

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This post was inspired by two things.  One was hearing about so many Barre gals who follow this little ole space of mine….sorry y’all I promise this one is for you.  See us Barre girls….once you get your first taste of class you are pretty much hooked. Then when you find a fellow Barre gal….sorry significant other you might as well post up…’s going to be while.

Second.  As I started my class last night (mind you full like 35 people full).  I was showing a quick set up of a move we would be doing late when someone in the front asked “So what does hold and freeze mean?

I paused.

Because there were now 35 faces staring straight at me.

I quickly explained “hold” and “freeze” meant the same thing and quickly got right into class.  Then I realized we need to get some basic lingo out there as well as some advance technique for those veterans out there.  I have been taking and teaching for well over a year and each class still challenges me.  I promise you, you will not be bored.

Okay so I get asked on a daily basis when people find out that I teach Barre Classes what to expect when you take one.  I think people get really intimidated about new kinds of workout classes.  I know I do!  So I wanted to give everyone some tips or answers to their questions about what to expect when taking a Barre Class.


Barre classes are a total body workout that are really tailored to target all the hard to work areas thighs, hips, seat, abdominal area and arms.  It is low impact (no jumping around), you target the muscles to fatigue and then stretch them out to create long lean muscles.  There are women (and men!) that take these classes who span across many age ranges.  A lot of women ask me “isn’t it a bunch of skinny Lululemon wearing 20 year olds in these classes?”  My answer is no!  There are women in their 20’s, 30s, 40, 50’s 60’s and beyond.  Women of all different body types and structures.  Everybody is friendly and open.  It is such a warm and welcoming environment.  You think I’m joking when I say it feels like a family or small community but once you get hooked you will totally get when I mean!

These are a few tips I would have for you if it was your first time taking the class.

Arrive 15 Minutes at Least Before the Class Starts.

The majority of studios have their schedules online.  I would check the times or even stop by and grab a schedule.  Then arrive at least 15 minutes before so you can fill out paperwork and get acquainted with the studio.  You don’t want to feel rushed at your first class if you arrive a few minutes before class starts.  Trust me when you are teaching a class at 6 in the morning and you are the only one there opening and closing…..we really appreciate it.

Take a Friend.

If you are nervous about going to class on your own convince one of your friends to come with you.  Or what is the best recommendation, if you have a friend who already takes classes, have them bring you to your first class. They can walk you through the setups and help you feel more comfortable.  My friend Amber took me to my first class and I was hooked immediately.

Let the Instructor Know About Any Limitations.
If you have any pain or previous injuries let the instructor know.  That way we can keep an eye out to make sure you are staying in the form that is the safest for you.  There are always modifications if you need them.  Listen to your body if you need to come out of a position do it and then try to get back into it when you are ready.

You Don’t Have to be a Ballerina or Have Prior Dance Experience.

The Ballet bar is there just for balance don’t let it intimidate you.

Listen to the Cues Throughout the Class.
Throughout class the instructor will set up every move and then listen for cues and additional feedback. Think about the muscle or area you are working and focus all your energy there.  Think about very small movements and range of motion.  Try not to swing or use momentum instead think about squeezing and pressing from that area.  Focus on your form.  If you have a question just grab one of the teachers after class.  I promise you we are not scary and I love giving individual feedback!

Expect Your Legs to Shake.
You work your legs and seat muscles till they fatigue so they make shake and that is normal!  Shaking muscles means you are changing muscles.  After each area that is worked you will stretch it creating long lean muscles.

What to Wear.
Wear long pants or capris so you can keep your muscles warm.  You don’t have to wear sticky socks but they do help you not slip during plank work.  You can get them at the studio or online.  Also most studios carry amazing retail that you can check out when you are there.  Here are a few of my picks!  I’m not going to lie, sometimes when I can’t even muster the energy to go to class I think about the cute outfit I can put together and that helps push me over the edge to go.  Don’t lie….you do it as well right?  Here are a few of my favs right now!

Close Your Eyes and Focus on Yourself.
There may be some challenging moves, try to stay in but if you need to take a break listen to your body.  I sometimes close my eyes to try and stay in for that last 30 seconds of hard work.
Let the Music Drive You.
Most classes have specific music for each muscle group.  Try to let the music guide and motivate you throughout class. 
Don’t Worry About What Others Think
Everyone tells me they are scared or intimated by the other people in the class.  Trust me everyone is there to work and take the class time to really focus on yourself.  Nobody is noticing if you can’t stay in a particular move or if your legs are shaking.  This class is all about you.
What the Heck is the Instructor Saying?
It may take you a few classes to get down the lingo.  You may here things like “heavy tailbone” “pull your hips toward your ribcage“.  These are cues to pull in your abs and keep a straight back, pulling your hips under to help protect your lower back.  You may also hear “tuck” which means to pull your hips forward while drawing your abs back in opposing motion.  Or things such as “inch movements” that helps to cue you to make small isometric tiny moments.  
Make Sure to Prepare Prior to Class.
Try to stay well hydrated before class.  Feel free to bring water and a small towel with you.  Every studio is different but at the one I teach at your equipment consists of a tube, ball and light weights….and you…..and getting on your highest tippie toes in some instances :-)
Any Questions?
If you have questions about technique or form don’t be afraid to ask the Instructors!  We love helping you so you are fully maximizing your work!  Also see if your studio has a technique class where they go over the form and answer more of your questions.
Other tips.
Make friends with the people sitting around you!  I have met so many amazing women just by talking to the people next to me before class starts.  If you like the class ask about new client specials or see if you they are running any Groupon or Living Socials in your area.  Also most studios have Facebook pages so “like” the studios to stay up to date with the latest news and specials.
Hope that helps!!!  Have you taken any Barre Classes before?  What advice would you give to others! If you take a class let me know.  Any Barre girls out there please ask me if you have any questions either here or you can shoot me a quick email at  
Have a fabulous day!  xoxoxoxoxoxo
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43 responses to “So You Want To Take a Barre Class….Your Questions Answered”

  1. My favorite part about taking barre classes is the shake my legs get!! I mean there is really no other way to prove that your body is really changing!! Great tips love!!

  2. i need to try a barre class. but the only studio is SO FAR from me :(

    Vodka and Soda

  3. this is perrrrrfect because i’m taking my first class saturday! they are opening a pure barre in the plaza where my apt is – so i just have to walk downstairs. no excuses now! i’m nervous but excited to finally try it :) xo

  4. Joey says:

    You are the cutest ever. I haven’t ever taken a class because there aren’t any near me (hello, middle of nowhere). A year ago it wouldn’t have been something I’m interested in. Now? I’m hugely interested. Maybe when we move next I’ll be near a studio. It’s hard with those types of workouts not to compare ourselves to our instructor or the other veterans in the class. I went to zumba for a few weeks last year before I got sick–I was in the class with all 18 year olds (ugh, college campus) and I was like “I don’t BEND that way anymore!!” haha

  5. Stacy G says:

    You are really starting to intrigue me with these Barre classes.. Iv’e got to research if there is a place around where I live. Do they sell videos at all?

  6. Meagan says:

    I’m so happy you posted this! I’ve been wanting to try one for awhile now. This might have just pushed me over the edge!

  7. P!nky says:

    Awesome post, Amanda. I’ve wanted to try and start a barre class, but wasn’t sure WHAT it fully entailed. You explained everything really well and even got me excited. I mean, new workout clothes, woooop!

  8. Emily says:

    I really need to get my booty to a barre class and stop talking about wanting to do it. This was an awesome post (for people like me who keep making excuses about getting to one)!

  9. Great post! You’re right, it can be intimidating so this was the perfect post to make me feel less nervous!

  10. Unless you are teaching the class, I’m not going lol. I used to go to cardio classes with my friend all of the time until she moved. Would be fun to try something different though, and yeah you definitely cannot worry about what others think about you in those classes!!

  11. Kristen says:

    well i’m still nervous! i’ll just fly to florida and do a class with you. haha.

  12. Aimee Rose says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this! I have been wanting to jump on the train and try barre classes forever! I think I’m afraid I’ll love it, and all the studios are a hike from where I live!

  13. Great post! I’m definitely too scared to go to a class alone but I know once I go I’ll love it! Do you recommend any of the Physique 57 dvds? I was thinking about buying them but wasn’t sure if they were good or not. With my work schedule it’s hard to find time to go to a gym so doing dvd’s at home works for me. I love Tracey Anderson and that’s similar to barre right?
    Life as I know it

  14. Jillian says:

    ok so this post kinda makes me miss my weekly barre dates! xo jillian – cornflake dreams

  15. YAY for barre girls! Such a great post, Amanda! I agree – The class is all for you – No one is judging you and everyone shakes and needs to rest. ps. I’m finally teaching in Hoboken!

  16. Great post! I have always wanted to try this but there is nothing like it in the area! Off subject I just did my first zumba on tues and then joined the class and I was so nervous and intimidated at first! Not sure why! haha you’re right- just have to focus on you and the good you are doing for your body!

  17. Emily says:

    Sounds interesting! I’ve yet to try a barre class but I see them pop up all the time on Groupon so it might be wort a shot.

  18. Ok I’m convinced!! i MUST try this out!!

  19. Love this… now that I am back I am dying to find a studio near by. So intimidated to be the only person in there not knowing that is going on, but I’m going to do it. And beforehand… I really want to stock up on some of that cute Athleta gear!

  20. Thank you for providing such a detail overview! A studio just opened in my town and I’ve been dying to try it out but pretty nervous so this is perfect timing! I think I’m going to take the plunge and finally do it! xoxo

  21. Becky M says:

    I love all the tops you picked out! So pretty! I’m hoping barre will become more popular here and they’ll be a place pop up!

  22. Thank you so much for this! I was just looking at the Barre classes again in Tulsa last week, I would love to just try one out. It’s too far of a drive for me to go to continually, but I’d love to try one. Maybe one day one will open here in my town :)

  23. it’s funny, i always feel so uncomfortable in workout classes EXCEPT barre because i was a ballerina my entire life! i can see how the barre would be intimidating to non-dancers though!

  24. Great tips! I’ve never taken a class, I don’t hear about them around here that often.

  25. Great tips! So funny because I was having this exact conversation with the girl doing my pedicure last night. She claimed she wanted to get in shape before she came to barre class and I just said “isn’t that why you’d come to class, to get in shape?”

  26. Tracey says:

    I have been considering trying this class out FOREVER.
    Our gym also has a “barre type” class call Physique, which is based off Physique 57 (which I think is a barre based class?).
    Anyways, my reservations have to do with flexibility issues. I have super tight hamstrings (which I continue to work on) and can’t do things like touch my toes or stretch my legs super straight….would this cause me to make a fool out of myself in the class??

  27. I LOVE barre! It’s so much fun I just wish it was cheaper LOL! And that I could afford to open my own studio… haha! Oh and thank you for making me want to go shopping for all the new workout clothes… so cute! You always look so cute while doing barre too, it’s not fair.

    <3, Pamela

  28. great post! I have wondered about ALL these things! Now time to sign up for my first barre class as opposed to just youtubing them haha

  29. I have said it before and I will say it again, I would love to try a barre class! I think it would be something I could get hooked to but I just don’t have a studio (or anything remotely cool) near my house. Driving into town is too far to make a work out work for me. I wish I cold just come to class iwth you one day!

  30. I deifinitely enjoyed reading this. I’m intimidated by barre classes but reading that “everyone is there for them self” makes me feel better because you’re so right. I’m thinking about it ;)

  31. Nina B. says:

    this is so helpful…especially because i have a chronic health issue that affects my body and pain and how i have to work out! Thanks!

  32. Rebecca Jo says:

    I would love to find a Barre class around me… down side of living in the country. Not something easily found.
    I love this though. I love trying new things. I’d love to try it… but know my legs would shake the whole room :)

  33. Love this post!! I have always wondered what exactly Pure Barre was and definitely want to try it sometime (when I have a job… I hear it can be quite pricey!). xo

  34. You know I love it! I wish I could afford to do it more often!! It is a great workout and I always leave feeling relaxed yet envigorated:)

  35. I LOVE Pure Barre. It really is a great community! I have been going to a year now and have become so close to the instructors and fellow classmates :)

  36. There isn’t a class where I live which totally sucks!! :-( This class looks like it’ll be a great addition to my workouts.

  37. So interesting! I wish there was something like this near me! I looked online and it looks like the nearest one is over 2 hours away. No thank you! Haha! :)

  38. Krystal R. says:

    This totally makes me want to take a class!! So cool and I wish there was one close to where I live!

  39. I miss barre classes so much!
    If only I lived in FL so I could take your class. That would be so much fun!

  40. Morgan S. says:

    I love barre :) Where do you teach by the way? Would love to take your class. I take them at ESAC right now.
    California To Carolina
    The Gym Bunny

  41. Morgan S. says:

    Ha, oh nevermind..why have I thought you lived in Charleston all this time?

  42. Vicki says:

    I would love to try Barre classes, sadly the closest one is 2 hours away. :(

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