Setting the Barre High

Colette Combs, Editor

Are you a dancer? How about a fan of yoga and pilates? Are you more interested in strength or weight training? If your answer is yes to at least one of these questions, then you’re in luck! Pingree’s newest afterschool athletic activity, barre class, is a hybrid of all of these activities and more. Barre classes focus on small isolated movements that build muscle strength. Dancers might find it similar to the beginning of ballet classes, where instruction is based on focused muscle groups. Barre class has grown in popularity in the past few years, similar to other new workout trends like spin class and hot yoga. Now, students at Pingree are getting the opportunity to participate.  

Some common exercises during the beginning of barre classes include upper-body exercises, like planks, pushups, and free weights. Usually, after these exercises that focus on biceps, triceps, chest, and back muscles, classes will shift to focus on exercises using the ballet barre to develop thigh and core muscles. By the end of a session, barre class is a fantastic full body workout. Emma Greaves ‘20 is one of the many students currently enrolled in Pingree’s barre class. When asked about the exercises done in Pingree’s barre class, Greaves 19’ noted that, “It’s different every day but we always do a lot of core and legs—it’s always little movements to isolate muscles we don’t use in our day-to-day lives. The barre supports us for balance, but a lot of the sets don’t even use it.” As pointed out by Greaves 19’, barre class is a lot more than just barre- it’s about finding new ways to better your entire body and overall strength.

Barre is new to Pingree this Spring, and response to it so far has been overwhelmingly positive. When asking participating students about the class, most responded saying they thoroughly enjoyed the class, but found it extremely difficult. They described the experience as being rewarding and worthwhile. Students commented that they were happy to have a new afterschool activity to give them the opportunity to participate in something they may have never tried before.

Pingree’s barre class is taught by an outside instructor and has about 18 students enrolled in it. The instructor’s name is Emma Delphin, and she works as a yoga instructor in the South Hamilton area. Pingree’s barre class meets five days a week Monday through Friday in the Pingree dance studio for one hour sessions. According to Greaves 19’, “It’s an intense hour, but our instructor is really mindful about everyone’s skill levels and makes sure to give us options so that we can pace ourselves if we need to.” Regardless of skill or previous experience, barre class is a great after-school activity for everyone.

If you’re interested in trying a new workout or expanding on one of your favorites, barre class is the Spring activity for you! Barre class will likely be offered again next Spring, so don’t miss the opportunity to get involved and get stronger!