BarreConcept – Day 46
Please believe me when I tell you that I am not purposely looking for ways of making a prat of myself but it does just seem to be a theme running throughout this challenge. I have developed a slight immunity to it and if anything, I am embracing my inner prat. Therefore, when I heard about a class called BarreConcept and found out that it was a mixture of Pilates, yoga and ballet; I rushed to find my tutu. Yes, I have a tutu.
I arrived at Cornwall College and met the ladies who mostly worked at the college and come to the class after work. My heart dropped as I saw the floor-to-ceiling mirrors on each of the walls. As previously noted, I find mirrors judgemental and overly honest, which is why I spend my life avoiding such encounters. I prefer the company of disinterested and non-judgemental walls. Our lovely instructor, Jess glided in, looking poised and graceful and advised me how to ensure that I don’t hurt my back further, which was kind of her.
The class got underway and, boom, straight into some Pliés. I was feeling a bit ouchy in my legs already and there I was thinking that there would just be a lot of frolicking! We moved to the ballet bar at the side of the room. This isn’t my usual type of bar and I disliked it intensely, especially as it was placed right next to my nemesis, the mirror.
We faced forward and extended out our legs, pointing them and then back to Plié and instead of having the backing music of Swan Lake, we were working in time to some fantastic 90s tunes, which I was really enjoying. You can see in their physique how hard ballerinas train: they’re lean and toned but their grace belies the power and strength they possess and my God, wasn’t it becoming clear to me how hard they must train!
In all of the classes I’ve taken so far and I include Insanity in that, I don’t think my legs have burnt like this. Jess shouted encouragement to us as we all gritted our teeth and shook it out after the set had finished. She demonstrated an exercise whereby your knees went together and then you bent one leg and moved it out to the side. It all looked very elegant. We faced the mirror and tried to replicate the move. Unfortunately, I got to stare at my beetroot-red face, as I attempted to mimic the move and looked like a dog cocking its leg.
Next, we worked on our arms, as we pushed forward on the bar and back and repeat, then hold and then pause. The burn factor was high and everybody had a groan throughout. It was pleasing to see everybody wincing - not just me - as we moved to the floor and the dreaded core. I had a get out of jail card, on account of my back. So when everybody else was crunching, I followed without raising my head far off the floor.
Once the core was fully worked on, we got to our feet for a warm-down to a chill-out track. We ended with some yoga poses and the downward dog (not the previously adopted "urinating dog” position.)
I found the class to be very challenging but the girls said that the first one or two sessions were hard and to have a hot bath after. I didn’t wear my tutu in the end, as I felt that quite rightly, it would flatter to deceive and this class proves that I am no Darcey Bussell. Give it a few classes though and maybe I will be up for The Nutcracker... or not!
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