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A barre is a stationary handrail originally used during ballet warm-up exercises. It also refers to exercises that are performed at the barre. Now, many fitness facilities have taken those exercises and reconfigured them into a group exercise format called barre.
Here are four reasons your club should consider offering a barre program:
It is hot. Barre studios and classes are quickly popping up all over the world. Why? It is a fun way for members of all sizes to move and groove along to fast-paced music. Barre also includes a mind/body element that adds a benefit of correct functional movement that can be used as a marketing tool to attract and retain members. And depending on your facility’s service offerings, it can be an extra source of non-dues revenue if you decide to charge for the classes.
Low-capital investment but high member participation. You can purchase a quality six-foot portable barre for as little as $140—far less than the cost of most group exercise equipment. It does not take up much space, and it is portable. Barres also are easy to transport in case your space is needed for something else.
On the flip side, you can fit about three to four members on either side of a six-foot barre. So just by getting five barres, you can offer a high-volume class of up to 20 members.
Fast training. Most barre training can be done over a single weekend, so your instructors can start teaching barre classes quickly.
Member interaction with instructors. Barre programs encourage instructor participation in the class. Having your instructors actually work out with the class is unusual for most mind/body-oriented classes, which can make barre classes a lot more fun for both parties. And as we know, the more fun members have, the more likely they are to continue taking the class.
Ken Endelman is the founder and CEO of Balanced Body. You can learn more about barre and Balanced Body at www.pilates.com.