Image: Dimity getting bendy at Barre Body (supplied)
I am ten years old. I am sitting with my dance class watching the tape of last night’s performance.
I am ready for everyone to see just how brilliant I am. There will be talent scouts calling me and inviting me to the Royal Academy of Awesome Dancers soon.
Then the tape starts. I watch my hands awkwardly clap a beat after everyone else’s. I watch my limp arms attempt to be graceful before they give up and flop next to my body.
“Oh my god,” I think, “I’m terrible.”
And with that the dream was over. Although more than a decade on, I still feel like there is a dancing void I need to fill.
Enter: Barre Body.
A combination of Pilates, yoga and ballet where I don’t have to be able to touch my toes to participate? Done and done.
The first class I did was, put simply, bloody hard. I underestimated just how much a slight bend in my legs (that us professional barre body-ers call a ‘plie’) could hurt. That was two years ago. I then dabbled in Barre Body on and off, but six weeks ago, I went to the Australian Ballet. My baby dancing ambition was once again reignited.
Now, I will pass on my wisdom to everyone who, like me, still kind of believes they have a future as a ballerina, and just needs to get one pointe foot in the door, but has a whole lot of reasons why they can’t get started.
"I don’t have time to exercise because WORK and RESPONSIBILITIES"
Nice excuse, I used this one too.
The only time I could find to do a class was 6:45am, before work. To do this I had to wake up at 6am each day. That is waking up in pitch black darkness. Birds do not rise this early. There were a few things that helped me get out of bed, though.
1. I would usually have eaten a huge meal the night before, plus dessert, plus dessert-dessert (that’s second dessert for all you ‘one dessert only’ types out there).
2. I would lay out my clothes and pack my bag the night before.
3. I gently encouraged (read: forcefully made) some friends do the class too, so if I didn’t go, I knew I would have a world of guilt put back on me as a consequence.
"But I’m not fit/flexible/coordinated enough"
Neither am I. Trust me. I still can’t touch my toes and don’t think I’ll ever be able to, but I feel no shame in this class. Also, my sister gave up on dance class because she couldn’t walk in a straight line, and even she is coordinated enough for Barre Body. Once you’ve done it a few times, you will get the hang of the exercises.
"But I don’t know what to wear"
This is a feeble excuse, but I have tried it with many different exercise classes so I figure some of you may too. From what I can tell, Barre Body does have an unofficial dress code. It consists of:
- Neutral coloured, short sleeved top that is not too revealing
- 3?4 length (or longer) leggings
- No socks (but bring them just in case)
- Hair up and in bun or pony tail
Having said this, I have (shock horror!) worn shorts and a cut out singlet, and I’ve been OK. So don’t let this unofficial dress code stop you.
You’ve convinced me, where do I sign up?
I thought I would. You can visit the Barre Body website to register for a two week trial period for $50, where you can go to as many classes as you want. You’re basically making money from it.
I’ll see you there.