Barre Reflections at Stalwart Wellness

Barre classes are not your typical ballet classes. Barre classes take the basic foundations of Pilates & Yoga and combine them with ballet-inspired moves, like plies and attitudes, as well as incorporating elements of dance, and Strength training.

Barre Reflections classes are based on the basic fundamentals of both Pilates, Yoga and classical ballet - the use of breath, correct spinal alignment, a neutral pelvic placement and constant awareness of the core as stabilizer

Barre classes commonly involve repetition based bodyweight exercises that hold the muscles of the legs, abdominals, glutes and arms under tension for extended periods. This type of training leads to enhanced cardio fitness. It also strengthens the muscles that are required to maintain posture, and stability through the joints and enduring balance.

What should I expect in a Barre Reflections classes?

Even though barre classes are tough on the muscles, they are gentle on the joints. By maintaining controlled, smaller movements, there is less pressure on your joints, tendons, ligaments and spine. Ultimately, this prevents and reduces injuries and leads to a taller, more graceful posture.

There will be a warm-up that introduces the sorts of moves and muscle actions that you’ll rely on in class. This tends to be about 5 minutes off the Barre, in the centre using graceful arms, legs and core.

Typically we then move to about 30 minutes work on the Barre. From there, you will do some standing work, balance, echappe work, plies and lunges which coordinate with graceful, strong arm moves. You may use dumbbells, elastics, weighted balls or no equipment at all. 

We then do about 15 minutes in the centre using arabesques, and leg burn work. This is standing in one spot, focusing on the mirrors, and using our arms and legs to challenge our Balance. This is not dancing but standing Balance work, perfect for Core, Balance and Posture. I sometimes at this stage bring Yoga challenges into the class.

Using the Barre is totally optional, using it making it adaptable for leg work and arabesque work. We then use optional light weights for graceful arms, for a total body workout.

We conclude with Pilates or Yoga core and stretches.

Expect to find the class challenging as your body adapts to these new methods of movement, but also expect your heart rate to rise, the muscles of your core and legs to fatigue and even shake, but also expect to learn a lot from your teacher, who is a qualified advanced Barre teacher, Clinical Pilates and 500hrs Yoga Practitioner, a Cancer Rehab Exercise specialist & a Back Pain specialist.

What are the benefits of Barre Classes? 

Just like Pilates, Barre enhances your posture through focusing on core strength, optimal alignment of the joints and improved balance. Barre can be practiced alongside Pilates, Yoga and Dance, and any other physical training you do. It’s designed to be a full body workout that prepares your body for all strength and cardio challenges. 

“I incorporate a lot of spinal articulation throughout the class - forward flexion, and rotational moments of the spine says Genevieve, the founder and Teacher in the Studio. I also adapt for each client, depending on their contraindications, for example Spinal Surgery clients, Cervical Stenosis or nonspecific back pain.

I also bring in many balance challenges, to support the posture muscles, and sometimes to help Peripheral Neuropathy in Cancer survivors. This is facilitated by the full length mirrors in the studio. The full length mirrors are very important with Pilates Posture work.

Correct use of external rotation of the legs, or turn-out, is of paramount importance in ballet and I use it in the barre class to facilitate many of the exercises. This allows for greater movements of the legs from the hip.

What are some tips for beginning Barre Classes?

For footwear, Barefoot is fine, but to get more articulation of the feet, ballet slippers are best.

Clothing should be relaxed, anything where I can see how your spine and pelvis moves and articulates. This means no jeans, or baggy jumpers, but anything else is welcomed.

Lastly, find a good instructor who addresses the WHOLE body throughout the class is paramount. 


Friday 17th June 2016
Tuesday 12th January 2016

Monday 31st August 2015



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Photography © Jo Boult
Stalwart Wellness Ltd. Company number 12245830