For the past 7 months I have been exploring what Toronto has to offer in the world of Exercise Classes with the help of ClassPass, whether being Yoga, Pilates, Dance, or Barre Classes, there is definitely something out there for everyone and anyone. My personal favourite is Barre, which is the perfect mixture of traditional Ballet movements and postures with Pilates and Yoga. Not only have these classes brought back my love for Dance it has also helped me create long lean muscles, strengthen my core, and enhance my flexibility by repetition, small triggered movements, and props, which are all part of your 50-60 minute class. If, like me 7 months ago, you're a Barre Class virgin you will definitely want to head to the Barre at one, or all, of the Studios/Classes listed below.
Image Credit: Barreworks Favourite Barre Classes in Toronto
1. The Extension Room (Corktown): EM Barre 101 – Think Ballet Barre with a fitness twist. You will be guided through a 1 hour traditional Ballet Barre class while holding onto a weight. This class is perfect for everyone, whether having previous dance experience or not. You will be challenging balance, flexibility, strength, and concentration of alignment, using repetition to fine tune muscles in isolation. Weights are provided, all you need to bring is a water bottle and grip-socks if desired.
2. Barre3 (Downtown) – Yoga and Pilates mesh well when being inspired by Ballet Barre. Using props such as weights, toning bands, and a squishy ball, these movements will take you through high-intensity cardio, basic weight training, and micro-movements at the barre. The focus throughout class is to achieve toned, lengthened muscles while bringing up your heart rate and strengthening from head to toe. Mats and all props are provided, all you need to bring is a water bottle and grip-socks if desired.
3. Barreworks (Queen West): BAAARRE – Arms, Abs. and Ass, seems pretty self explanatory… no? If you have yet to try this class, what are you waiting for? A reduced cardio/low-impact workout is designed for maximum sculpting of multiple muscle groups. Using toning balls, a squishy ball, a toning band, and a mat, this class will engage muscles you didn’t even know you had and leaving them “leaner, longer, and stronger”. Mats and all props are provided, all you need to bring is a water bottle and grip-socks if desired
4. Mindful Movement Centre (Yorkville): Core Ballet – Pilates meets Dance is what to except when you come for class Tuesday nights. Every week you’ll experience a standard dancers warm-up, a plié series, and a collection of different exercises both standing and on the mat. Not to mention that Shelley is absolutely amazing, she has a great sense of humour, is very knowledgeable, provides modifications and corrections when needed, and is hands on. Mats and all props are provided, all you need to bring is a water bottle and grip-socks if desired.
5. YOGAthletix (Leslieville): Barre Fit – A more dance-like Barre workout complete with développes, retirés, demi-pliés, and grands battements. Class begins with a cardio-inspired aerobic warm-up followed by bringing out your inner ballerina at the barre for approx 20 mins. The last part of class is spent in the centre with a UGI ball or toning bands to sculpt the upper body and a yoga mat to tone and strengthen your core and lower back. Mats are not provided, however all other props are. Also, bring a water bottle and grip-socks if desired
6. Beach Pilates (Beaches): Booty Barre Plus – Toronto’s only studio offering the bootybarre® method, which incorporates elements of Dance and Yoga into a total body workout. Using fluid movements to allow the muscles to stretch and lengthen and cardio to elevate your heart rate. Weights are used to tone and strengthen the upper body, while squishy balls and discs are used to tone and strengthen the lower body, and mat-work at the end of class to strengthen your core and back body. Mats and all props are provided, all you need to bring is a water bottle and grip-socks if desired.
7. Pure Barre (Queen West) – Being Toronto’s newest Barre Studio, Pure Barre sure does have a history of success behind it. With numerous studios across the US, Pure Barre could be called the original or go-to Barre Studio. Built around low impact, small isometric movements targeting certain areas creating long/lean muscles. I can guarantee your butt, tights, arms, and abs will be feeling it the following day. If results are guaranteed after only 10 classes isn’t reason enough to go back maybe the up-beat fun music played throughout the class will be. Mats and all props are provided, all you need to bring is a water bottle and grip-socks.