Fitness Classes Raise the Bar

North Texas women line up at the ballet barre to work out

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Wednesday, Oct 13, 2010  |  Updated 12:02 AM CDT
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Shape up with a ballet-inspired workout -- no tutus or ballet slippers required.

Ellen Goldberg, NBCDFW.com

Shape up with a ballet-inspired workout -- no tutus or ballet slippers required.

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North Texas women are shaping up with ballet-inspired workouts -- no tutus or ballet slippers required.

Barre uses some of the moves people may have learned in ballet classes as a child to target trouble spots they may have developed as an adult.

At Beyond Pilates in Dallas, women sign up on waiting lists to get into Bethany Meyers' Beyond Barre class.

"I always tell people, 'You don't have to be a dancer. You don't have to be flexible. It really is for anyone,'" she said.

The former competitive cheerleader leads her students through a 50-minute, high-energy class.

"I'm sick of treadmills. I'm sick of spin class. Step aerobics is so out," Meyers said. "This is a great alternative to get your heart rate up, and that's really how you burn the fat."

Using the ballet barre for balance, Meyers leads students through a series of intense kicks, squats and pliés that she says will lead to that long, lean dancer's physique.

"What barre workouts tend to do, they work smaller muscle groups -- your accessory muscle groups -- so you're hitting new spots, getting sore in new places and defining lines maybe you haven't seen before," she said.

Different varieties of the barre workout are popping up across Dallas. There is Bar Method in Inwood Village and Pure Barre, which opened this summer on Greenville Avenue in Dallas.

"I've seen results in my own body," said Pure Barre instructor Ashley Gatlin. "I've lost five pounds just from teaching."

Pure Barre fuses weights, Pilates and ballet in an hourlong class.

"My legs are shaking right now because they are so tired," said Pure Barre first-timer Lacey Steele. "I can't remember the last time that happened."

Steele, who already works out six days a week, said the workout truly raised the bar.

"It was awesome," she said.

Individual barre classes cost around $20 but are cheaper when purchased as part of a package deal. Most studios have specials for first-timers.

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