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Barre Brawl brings out dancer, fighter in you

 
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A Barre Brawl class mixes both cardio kickboxing ballet barre exercises Barre Bee Fit. | Provided photo

A Barre Brawl class mixes both cardio kickboxing and ballet barre exercises at Barre Bee Fit. | Provided photo

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Updated: December 20, 2013 10:08AM



At Barre Bee Fit, workouts are ballet-inspired, designed for those who are looking for a lengthened, lean look. Add a few uppercuts, some hooks and a roundhouse kick or two, and you’re a jacked ballerina looking for a bar fight.

Or a Barre Brawl, to be exact. The combination barre/kickboxing workout will have you imagining the damage your punches can do one minute and your Joffrey Ballet dance moves the next.

Before things start, you’ll get a quick lesson in jabs, hooks, uppercuts and kicks, all with the option of holding one- or two-pound weights to intensify the punches.

The cardio workout comes in the kickboxing series, which consists of fairly simple combinations — though they do require some brainpower to remember. Luckily there are only a couple different combinations in a class, so if choreography is not your strong suit, you should still be fine.

There are no breaks, so if you’re lost, better hop up and down until you figure out what’s going on. If you are not a regular kickboxer, it’s a little tricky to remember all the moves and get the technique down, but after one class you should improve significantly.

After a serious chunk of punches and kicks, you’ll move over to the barre for the more targeted movements that make the ballet portion of the workout so intense. After a series of squats disguised as plies, you’ll be on hands and knees for leg lifts that appear easy and are anything but.

A set of abs in spider position — where you’re reminded to keep your toes pointed — and it’s back to the cardio kickboxing.

You won’t need gym shoes for the class — just socks — because the Barre Bee Fit mat is made from the same material as the soles of Nike shoes, instructors say. The whole floor is your shoe!

Is it possible to feel like a cage fighter and graceful swan at the same time? It might take a little practice first.

Where: Check barrebeefit.com for studio locations

Cost: $18 for one class, $80 for new monthly membership

Email: dnovak@suntimes.com

Twitter: @dhnovak



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