Barre offers a mix of choreographed moves in the styles of Pilates, dance, yoga and functional training, typically set to music. Students often use tools such as mini-balls and small hand weights to help sculpt the entire body.
Some yoga studios across the U.S. have begun offering barre as a way to offer something unique for yoga students. This includes Betsy’s Studios in Louisville, Kentucky, which has a foundation in hot yoga. The studio began offering barre about a year ago.
“We began offering barre after a studio room opened up [that was] across the hall from the yoga studio,” explained Betsy Jones, the owner of Betsy’s Studios. “We rented it and decided to make it a barre studio, because I feel that it’s something that’s complementary to hot yoga.”
Although it’s complementary, the approach studios take with barre should be slightly different. For example, a different type of teacher is necessary. “You need someone who’s more energetic than yoga, more of a drill sergeant type of person,” said Jones.
In addition, a different certification may be required. Betsy’s Studios partnered with Barre Intensity to certify instructors. The program trains instructors on proper body alignment, the importance of music and beat matching, an overview of props, basic choreography and more. In addition, it is approved by AFAA, ACE, NASM and ACSM as a continuing education provider.
In fact, in the fall, Betsy’s Studios will be hosting a teacher certification training for Barre Intensity.
According to Jones, the barre program at Betsy’s Studios has been received well, with a higher percentage of students taking both barre and yoga classes versus just one style.
And, it serves as a way for the studio to differentiate in a competitive market.