Raising the barre

Workout blends yoga, ballet

  • By
  • | 12:45 p.m. May 18, 2011
Photo by: Isaac Babcock - Participants do a yoga pose at a barre54 class on May 12. The new studio teaches the barre method, which also incorporates ballet barres.
Photo by: Isaac Babcock - Participants do a yoga pose at a barre54 class on May 12. The new studio teaches the barre method, which also incorporates ballet barres.
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
  • Neighborhood
  • Share

There’s a new bar opening in Winter Park this weekend — but it’s one that doesn’t serve alcohol.

At this “barre” you can pick up some yoga gear, weights and an exercise ball and leave knowing your muscles will be sore the next day in lieu of your exercise hangover.

Barre54, which will hold its grand opening Saturday, May 21, in Hannibal Square, will be the first workout studio to introduce the barre workout method to Central Florida — the method is popular in New York and California and among celebrities such as Madonna and Kelly Ripa.

The barre method combines elements of yoga, pilates and ballet in each 54-minute class using isometric exercises and stretches, combined with the use of a ballet barre, for a full-body workout.

“It’s a completely different workout because it fuses a few other workouts together,” said owner Carrie DeLozier of Winter Park. “It blends the stretching of yoga, the core workout of pilates and using the ballet barre.”

Mind and body

First-timers at barre54 — the name is a play on the infamous Studio 54 — are advised to drop their egos at the large glass doors and their shoes in the wall of cubbyholes, and enter the window-and-mirror-lined studio with an open mind, ready for a workout that will challenge them both mentally and physically.

“I can come in and have decided for the day that I’m not really that into it and that I’ll just come in to work up a sweat,” DeLozier said. “But then another day, I can come in and really connect my mind with my body and get a great workout. It’s about what I’m going to put into it as well.”

From the warm-up with hand weights and yoga mats, to the main workout on the barre with stretching and flexing, to the cool-down back on the mats — this time with the addition of kickball-sized exercise balls and karate-belt-like straps to aid stretching — the classes at barre54 follow a standard format but are never identical, DeLozier said.

For everyone

General Manager Debbie Gray Hall said even with her extensive dance background, the barre workout challenges her in ways other aerobics classes never could. “It gets you to try workouts you might not try on your own,” she said.

Jason King, a fitness instructor in Orlando, said he’s taken both yoga and pilates classes but neither have tested his core strength like his first barre54 session.

“It hits areas you don’t hit when you’re in a gym,” he said.

King, the only male in his first class, kept up with the pack throughout the workout — proving DeLozier correct when she says the class is great for any gender or age. He falters outwardly only when his classmates drop down to stretch in the splits.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say my favorite part was when [the instructor] said stop,” he said with a laugh.

DeLozier said barre54 in Winter Park is the first location of many she plans to open, with a second location already in the works in Dr. Phillips.

Learn more

Barre54 is located at 444 W. New England Ave. Suite 101, Winter Park. The studio is offering special monthly pricing for new clients, as well as students, and a “Baby Bounce Back” program for new mothers. Visit www.barre54.com or call 407-622-7014 for more information.