THE BASICS: Barrecore Kensington is OPEN! And I tried a Barre Mixed class out for size in these new surroundings! It was a challenging, graceful, flowing fusion of dance, pilates and yoga. All three disciplines are incorporated, and you’ll find yourself doing press-ups as well as ballet barre poses and light weight work during the hour. £28 per class (first class for new students £20), with multi-class passes available. Pricey but a good workout, and very luxurious.
THE BITCHES: Carly
The Class: An email pipped into my inbox, telling me about the newest edition to the Barrecore family. Kensington was about to get its thighs squeezed and its abs toned! The new Kensington studio threw open its doors for its launch weekend, offering free classes all weekend!
I jumped on the tube for the trip from Liverpool Street to Notting Hill, and the nice walk down Kensington Church Street, where I arrived at the new studio next to My Old Dutch Pancake House. Must resist pancakes. You’re here for Barre, remember?! Idiot.
The space is so cute. It’s a typical old West London style interior- winding with a slim entrance, the back of the building opening out into some very swanky looking shower and changing rooms, and down the stairs for the two studios and lockers. It was dinky and sweet in the very best way- intimate, inviting and kept the Barrecore feel that other studios in their family exuberate when you walk into them.
Bonus number 1- it still smelled of fresh paint! Made me chuckle at how new and shiny it was. I was scared to sweat in case I ruined the new smell!
Bonus number 2- I was overwhelmed by the friendliness of the lady on reception, and those who were there to greet and show new clients around. Founder of Barrecore, Nicky Rein, was also there to greet people which was a pretty special touch. Girl-boss/girl-crush/amazing entrepreneur lady. Felt very excited to meet her!
The class was an hour long, and down in the larger studio. 15 of us managed to fit in, and it was cosy without feeling claustrophobic or like we were packed in. Head trainer Tasha was bounding around getting us all on our mats and her headset ready to go.
The class- now- you might remember I’ve tried out a couple of Barrecore classes previously. Graceful I am not! I am secrely really quite lazy, flumpy, and gurn when things hurt. BUT I smile though it all and try my damn hardest- and I am pleased to say I really gave it my best shot during class!
We squatted, pulsed, stretched, pulsed, crunched, pulsed…. the amount of muscle burn you experience in this body sculpter of a class is terrifying and satisfying in equal measures.
Expect to do a lot of graceful but challenging movements, pulsing in a position to really REALLY work and sculpt the muscles. You certainly don’t have to be a ballet dancer to enjoy or manage it. In fact- it’s like the perfect class for all girls who fancied being ballet dancers when they were little, but never made it. Just the right mixture of dance, poise, and digging deep!
Tasha was great too- her tone and instruction were very motivating. It wasn’t the sort of class where you have an instructor yelling at you over boombing music- instead it felt (to me at least) like the music was a background part of the class to help us keep to tempo, with instruction and rhythm being the most important elements of the session.
THE VERDICT: I’d give this class a go as a nice alternative to your schedule if you’re used to being bundled up in winter gear doing outdoor bootcamps, or thrashing it out on a spin bike. Really challenging but quite lovely- a class for girls. The studio makes you feel girly and luxurious too! I really enjoyed it.
THE EXTRAS: Note to self- when you have never been able to do the splits, being in a studio with ballet barres will not miraculously make you able to do the splits. You still can’t do splits. And no, both knees bent doesn’t count.