Crash Course: The Barre3 system is based off of a mixture of pilates, yoga, and ballet barre exercises. It sounds like a triple threat, but somehow misses the mark at this Georgetown studio. The class I went to was heavy on the yoga, light on the barre, and left me feeling like I needed to run home just to get in some exercise. My abs were sore the next day, so I gave it a sweat score of one. Visit the Barre3 website to see the full schedule of classes.[line] [left]where: 1000 Wisconsin Ave., Georgetown
perks: free filtered water, shower, towels, hair dryer, lockers, childcare
sweat score: 1 out of 10[/left][right]wear: whatever’s comfy
cost: drop in is $25
Oh how I so wanted to love this place. I’ve really been enjoying my little “barre crawl” this November as I try out the studios around town. Barre3 is located on the beautiful Georgetown waterfront and looks like a place that oozes with toned arms and punch-packing plies. In their own words:
barre3 evolves the dancer’s workout by combining the grace of the ballet barre with the wisdom of yoga and the strength of Pilates. barre3 classes are set to an upbeat soundtrack and follow a vigorous pace moving through a sequence of postures designed to shape and lift the entire body.
If there’s one thing that blew me away about Barre3, it was the studio space. The exposed brick. The original wooden beams. The sleek glass walls, built in Bose speakers, Mac computers. As Rachel Zoe would say…I die.
And that’s just describing the two barre studios. The entire space is just as fabulous. It feels a bit like walking through someone’s impeccably decorated home, where everything comes straight from the Restoration Hardware showroom. I mean, check out this lounge area.
The studio offers childcare for an extra $5 (call ahead) in a play area set aside from the lounge. I think this is an awesome amenity for busy parents on the go.
The changing area is eat-off-of-the-floor impeccable. It has one shower, big fluffy white towels, hair dryers, and lockers for clients to use. If I sweated at all during class, this would totally be worth it.
Like I said, I really wanted to love this class. After throwing down that kind of money, I expected to be sweating bullets and praying for sweet mercy. Not so. I spent the entire class wondering when the actual workout was going to start…until it didn’t. Talk about disappointed.
The hour-long session felt more like a stretching class than a barre class. At one point, I honestly wondered if I had read the schedule wrong. The only part that led me to believe things were heating up was the brief time we spent at the barre focusing on legs. But that only lasted about 2-3 minutes and was followed by (you guessed it) more stretching.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against stretching. It’s an often overlooked essential that deserves all the attention it can get. But, call me crazy, when I sign up for a barre class that promises “fast body shaping results,” I expect to feel the burn.
Sorry barre3, I just wasn’t feeling it.
Barre3 gets pelted on Yelp for having detached, unfriendly instructors. I didn’t feel that was the case with Jessica. She took the time to welcome each student individually, learn our names, and made sure we had all the props we needed.
I was surprised, however, that she took a very hands-off approach to guiding us through the class. At every other studio I’ve been to, the instructor counts out the beats and has all the students follow along. Jessica showed us the move and gave us a period of time to fit in a few reps at our own pace before moving on to the next exercise.
Along that same line, while there was music playing during class, it was turned down low and our movements were not matched to the rhythm. Part of me wonders why bother having music at all, if we’re not going to use it to count out reps and motivate us through the class.