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  Ballet Barre Exercises and Workout


ballet bar


A ballet dancer should never start to dance before she or he warms up. This is why the ballet bar (barre) exercise is used. When you are beginning to do a ballet workout, the bar exercise is the first step towards your workout. The barre exercise is also used to help you balance when you are learning certain techniques. The barre is literally the bar that goes around most ballet dance studios that you see people holding onto as they begin to warm up.

The Purpose of Barre Exercises

Barre exercises have this name because they are literally done on the bar, but they also refer to the fact that there are a series of stretches that create the foundation of ballet dancing. There are several reasons why they are learned and why they must be done. The basic reason is because every ballet dancer must do their ballet bar (barre) exercise before they continue into their ballet workout. These exercises form the foundation of good form and teach the grace and style of ballet. They will help you develop the poise that you need.

Good ballet teachers will not let a student do anything more in ballet dancing until they have learned their barre exercises because with warm muscles, you have fewer injuries.

Beginning and Advanced Barre Exercises

When you first start learning ballet, one of the first barre exercises you will learn is the Plie. One of the best ways to see what a Plie looks like is to watch a  video  on how it is done. The Plie stretches the muscles of your legs so that they are prepared to do more of a workout. There are two types of plies. The first is the demi where your knees are only bent halfway. In the grand plie your knees bend all the way (see video).

The tondu which means to stretch, is an advanced barre exercise. Shown on this video , the individual is using a different type of barre which shows that there are different ways that you can practice your barre exercises at home. When you are a beginning ballet student, you might feel like skipping your barre exercises but they are very important to the discipline of ballet. They also help you prevent injury. You must stretch and warm up your muscles to make them more flexible and able to do more in your regular routine. You can see several barre exercises by clicking on the  link .

How Barre Exercises Fit Into Overall Ballet Routine

ballet barre

Although you might not think about it when you are first learning ballet, the barre exercises will translate into your overall workout routine. They can be a part of a dance that you are doing and they can be the foundation by which other more complicated dance moves are learned.

When you watch more advanced ballet dancers, you will see that they start out with barre exercises and as they dance, you will see elements of their advanced barre exercises in their dance.