First there was barre and now there is – POWER BARRE!

 barre stretchBarre classes were the calorie-burning, muscle-defining fitness trend of 2017.

Don’t let you pretty pink tutus fool you – ballet dancers are honed athletes. Luckily you don’t have to don anything pink and frilly for Power Barre at dance studio Cafe de la Danse. Normal workout gear is fine at this ladies’ only class.

We are warned when we book that it is not suitable for beginners. Power Barre builds on last year’s fitness craze and moves it up a notch. The moves are familiar – a combination of high-intensity and weighed exercises designed to create long, lean muscle – but the pace is much faster and generally more intense.

We start up barefoot or in ‘grippy’ barre socks and teacher Milla warms up with stretches, already pushing out limbs out of their comfort zone. The tempo of the music picks up and we alternate between quick sets of explosive exercise – jump squats, star jumps and the dreaded plank builders – into sets with colourful handweights.

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Instead of the traditional barre, we use the studio’s poles to support sidekicks, dips and leaps. Cafe de la Danse also teaches pole fitness, if this part of the 60-minute class proves to be your favourite.

We quickly feel the burn but as Milla loves to say “there’s no time for coffee”, so we wipe off and keep moving. Power Barre focus on muscle endurance, all-round toning, and sculpting, as well as mobility and joint flexibility. It’s also a good stress reliever as well as being a bit of a party (as much as you can party while wincing through another round of squats).

Once we’ve given it our all, we’re rewarded with a good stretching session – and boy do we need it!

As well as helping students feel good, Cafe de la Danse is launching its own fierce fitness wear. Available in three fashion-conscious collections – Arabica, Pin Up and Braids – the range will feature in a Dubai-based dancewear fashion show starring pole fitness star Marion Crampe.

Cafe de la Danse, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim 2, opposite the J3 Mall. Power Barre classes are Saturday 10am and Tuesday 7pm. AED 105 (including VAT). Packages are available. 04 331 1543.

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