Barre Be Damned

‘Tis the season for sworn weight loss, better diets, and more sleep…for most of the world. For dancers- that’s our every day. But don’t think that we don’t dabble in the gym as well. In fact, cross training is huge for dancers. We need it to combat overuse injuries and reduce stress.

Hence, I’ve been looking for said cross training recently. “I know!” says I. The new trend of “Barre Be Fit”. It’s meant to be a ballet-like workout. Perfect!

As I stepped into the building, I was blinded by everyone’s chicklet-white teeth, glowing tans and neon colored workout gear. Woops! Wrong place.

…Nope? This is the ballet thing? Huh.

I signed in and took my place in the room with a remarkably comfortable floor. I had to go to the bathroom, but I was late, so I hopped right in to the “warm-up”. What that meant was that we had to jump high and tuck ourselves into a ball, and then drop into a push-up. Many, many times.

Woof. So many times.

We then did some wonderful yoga-like stretches and finished the warm-up. I was drenched in sweat, but was instructed to stand in a “first position”. Ha!! Pliés? I be dancer. I own this.

FALSE!! Time for cardio. We had to jump and make an ‘x’ in the air for one minute. Right around the 45-second mark I thought, “I’ve had time off, I’ll make it a little smaller and go at my own-”

“I SEE YOU SLACKING OVER THERE!! LIVE BY THE COOOOODEEEEEE!”

How did she–?! Where is the instructor?! Ah- the one with the Britney Spears mic. She’s Britney, b****.

So I’m huffing, and puffing and going to blow her freaking house down. And I look up, and turns out this is within the first ten minutes of the hour long class. I was about to leave and go rethink my life, when the room sat down and began doing ab work. Which I am good at. So I stayed.

I felt a familiar burn and regained some confidence when…

“OKAY SECOND CHANCE TO GET THAT HEART RATE UP!!!”

Stop that.

“GET OFF THE FLOOR- YOU CAN DO THIS!!”

No I can’t.

“MAKE IT BETTER THAN YOU WERE YESTERDAY!!!”

You did this yesterday?!

I felt this sudden rage built up in me like I wanted to kick the guy next to me in his nether regions and go eat salad. I decided I was going to do my own thing, so I started doing ballet stuff.

“WHERE’S YOUR JUMP?”

Where’s yours?!!?!?! 

To my defense, it is hard to hop around when your bladder is about to funnel Niagra Falls through a coffee straw (as I’ve heard it said). Still, I look at these women next to me who, while they are in shape, are clearly not professional dancers, and they are glaring at themselves in the mirror with more determination than my Jack Russell stares at a squirrel, and completing each exercise to the max.

I made it through, loosing some muscle tissue and self-respect along the way, and we cooled down by stretching on the floor for the last few minutes. My hip did this super loud “THUNK” sound, common in dancers, and the people around looked at me in horror. Oh really? I’m the weird one? You guys are the craziest, bionic, neon-colored freaks in town.

Thanks for showing me how it’s done.

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Barre Be Damned

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