Ballerinas are associated with many things; beauty, grace, elegance and power. I came to learn first-hand just how powerful they are after my first barre workout class at Barre Effect.
Barre Effect is a fitness studio in Dubai, where women can be part of a safe, empowered, active and strong community. I had little knowledge about barre workouts prior to my class. I knew that the barre was used in ballet training, but it wasn’t clear as to how those exercises had been adapted to accommodate those who were not classically trained. However I decided that I was not going to look it up as I wanted to be surprised by the experience at Barre Effect… and boy, was I surprised.
My class was to be led by the founder and former ballerina, Nora Hameidani. I was greeted warmly as I stepped into the luxe studio nervously anticipating the class. After checking in, I was taken to the locker room where I slipped on my complimentary grip socks. After taking a deep breath I walked into the studio and took my place amongst seven other women. These women seemed to be no strangers to barre and just by looking at them, you could tell. I do not think I’d ever seen that many abs in one room! Even though I was visibly the odd one out, I did not feel like I belonged any less than anyone else in the room, we were just there to work out.
We started the 50-minute class with a 5-minute stretch. It was a good way to ease into the class, and if you practice yoga or are familiar with the poses then this part will be a breeze, though I cannot say the same for the next 40 minutes.
If those following 40 minutes could be summed up into one word, it would be ‘gruelling’. We were taken through a non-stop, full-body resistance training session, featuring plié squats, Russian twists and lunges, to name a few. It was one of the most intense workouts I had ever done, leading me to silently curse myself for going there in the first place. After all, I could have been enjoying my Friday morning lying in bed instead of lying on a yoga mat torturing myself.
However, those 40 minutes were up much quicker than I’d realised. It was followed up with a 5-minute cooldown stretch. While the warm-up focused more on building up strength and momentum, the cooldown put more emphasis on releasing tension and regaining control of our breath.
And that was it! All in all it was an amazing class. Even though it was tough, I could not help but leave with a sense of achievement and pride. So if there are any women
looking to get fit, meet with other incredible women and connect with your inner ballerina, then Barre Effect is the place for you. They run classes all week and offer both group and private classes. You can book a class through their website or app..
*All equipment required in class is provided, however due to COVID-19 precautions you are required to bring your own mat, towels and water bottles.