A girl walks into a bar….

Promising to provide all-over body definition, I relived my ‘dancer’s youth’ at Studio Be Pilates Annex and a Barre Class training session.

studio be pilates annex barre class

I’ve read the claims – heck, I’ve written the claims – the new Barre Class at Studio Be Annex is a calorie-burning fusion of ballet, Pilates and weights, and it has been designed to give us a dancer’s body without bulking up. Carla Vercoe, owner at Studio Be says it keeps the five basic principles of Pilates and adds rhythm, dance and fun. The aim is to tone and challenge the body during a cardio workout to music to promote health for the heart, lungs, bones and muscles.

The 55-minute workout includes cardio exercises with traditional Pilates principles, as well as weight training using light weights. There’s dedicated barre work (think pliés, leg lifts and jetés, which begin large and get smaller until you’re pulsing) as well as targeted floor work.

studio be pilates annex barre class

Studio Be’s Barre Classes sculpt your whole body proportionately so that all body parts are equally challenged. It strengthens, lengthens and stretches the body from top-to-toe, improves cardiovascular fitness, coordination and balance. Barre Classes’ many followers tout lean toned upper arms, firm thighs and engaged abs and it’s a great exercise for many different women because the exercises can be modified.

I had to try it – research for the blog, after all….. As I quickly discovered, coordination and balance are a must – there is a lot of holding legs up and balancing on the balls of the feet. You do ‘feel the burn’ especially in your thighs and butt – at one point my bottom went numb, and on several occasions my legs were physically trembling. We were given the option to stand on the balls of our feet for one exercise series, and while everyone else was easily doing this, I had to go flat-footed because the trembling in my legs made the whole room shake. 🙂

The class made me feel really good in my body. With the combination of isometric contractions, where I could really feel the muscle burning, to the bigger moves to release it…..to the focus on the thighs, the butt lifting, the abdominals, the toning of the arms….my whole body just seemed to come together.

studio be pilates annex barre class

By the end of the session, which goes amazingly fast due to such variety (on the barre, on the floor, and in the room with the balls) I’m dripping with sweat and my toes are cramping, but rather than feeling like I could flop, I feel energised. Carla asks how I feel, and I tell her, ‘great – no problem!’ However, I leave the studio to head to my car, and I can barely lift my foot to step over the curb…..let’s keep that our secret, okay?

Later that day I glance in the mirror and I can swear I see more definition in my arms, my butt looks tighter and more lifted…. my imagination? Probably – but give it a few more sessions, and I know I’m not the only one who will be seeing those results.  And I have a feeling I’ll be able to step over the curb just fine.

studio be barre class

11877-B Grand Commons Ave., Fairfax, VA 22030 | Phone: 703-222-0122

studio be pilates annex barre class

Suite 215 | 4211 Fairfax Corner East Ave., Fairfax, VA 22030 | Phone: 703-222-0122


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