If I ever needed proof that my boyfriend was born and raised in New Orleans, I got it when I told him that my roommate was studying for the (legal) bar examination and he immediately assumed she was an aspiring bartender. “That’s so cool,” he said. “Lots of great bars in this city!” We are definitely a city with a cocktail culture and a reputation for regular indulgences; however, it’s important to remember that life is about balance, and in my opinion, that balance includes some good ol’ exercise! This summer, change up your routine and try out a different type of “barre.” Barre classes, all the rage across the country, have arrived full-force on the New Orleans fitness scene, and there are currently four local studios offering classes.
First of all, what is barre? As someone who’s tried it at a few different studios, the best way I can sum it up is: a combination of ballet barre moves, pilates, yoga, and sometimes dance/cardio. All barre classes are low-impact and intended to increase flexibility, improve posture, and build a stronger core, and they’re usually targeted toward women (although, I’ve definitely seen men in my classes!) and the areas we struggle with most (arms, abs, thighs, etc.). Expect loud music, isometric exercises, stretching, and a lot of intensity. Most classes are about an hour, but you will be so busy focusing on your muscle groups that the time will fly by, I promise!
Nola Pilates Xtend Barre (140 W. Harrison)
You can attend your first class for free, which is a great offer! These classes incorporate dance and promise to sculpt your body proportionally. Like Romney, there are also other classes available here besides barre, so if you’re looking for more of a full-service Pilates studio, this may be a good choice.
Nola Pilates Xtend Barre is $15 a class, with packages available at discounted rates.
Romney Pilates (5619 Magazine)
This is a fully-equipped Pilates studio offering PULSE Barre and PULSE+ Barre classes which promise to make your muscles “overloaded to fatigue and then stretched for relief.” I like that you can change up your exercise routine here with spinning classes, BOSU classes, and more.
Romney Pilates is $15 a class, with packages available at discounted rates.
Pure Barre (3923 Magazine)
Pure Barre guarantees that you’ll see results in just 10 classes. I know a lot of people who swear by this studio; I’ve attended once and it was a positive experience. They do have carpet in the rooms and socks are required.
Purre Barre is $25 a class, with packages available at discounted rates; packages can be used at Metairie and Mandeville locations as well.
Barre3 (5235 Magazine)
I’ve tried the Barre3 online videos and I really enjoyed the fast pace and detailed instructions. The New Orleans studio opened up recently, and it even offers childcare options. Expect to become very familiar with something called the “Barre3 Core Ball.”
Barre3 is $20 a class, with packages available at discounted rates – new students can take advantage of a special offer of three classes for $30.
All photos courtesy of respective studios.