Where does “barre” come from?

July 31st 2014 by Colette

The barre methods of exercise all started with Lotte Berk. She was a German dancer born in 1913 who developed a fitness technique based on her training as a ballerina. She was the first to champion the importance of “core stability.”

With the rise in Nazism in Germany after WWI, she fled to England where she opened her first ballet barre studio. In the 1950s, with the help of an osteopath, she developed a series of exercises based on her experience with dancing. Similar to pilates and yoga, the Lotte Berk Method concentrates on targeting specific areas for strength and flexibility training. It has been called “the ultimate body transformation system”because all major muscle groups are focused on by working them to exhaustion and then stretching them out to achieve a physique similar to one of a professional dancer. Berk’s colorful personality didn’t overshadow the proven and undeniable fact that her workout was a bonafide success, even when she came up with funny names for positions, like “peeing dog”and “the prostitute.”She was living proof until 90 years old and so were her famous celebrity clients that the Lotte Berk Method was the best way to have a beautiful and healthy body.

The Lotte Berk Method is world famous and there have been many variations of this style, each with their own distinct approach including The Bar Method, Physique 57, Xtend Workout, Pure Barre, exhale, The Dailey Method, as well as Bodhi Barre. The original idea has stayed intact of combining ballet barre, core conditioning, muscle strengthening, yoga and pilates all into one rigorous workout and has stood the test of time in an era of fast-changing fitness trends. Bodhi Barre has the goal of staying true to Lotte Berk’s original vision and adding our own flavor and edge- come see what makes us different!

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