What is Core Barre?

Core Barre is a fusion of ballet, Pilates, and athletic conditioning. It’s a combination of high-energy, low-impact, fat-burning exercises. The goal of Core Barre is to “create strength, flexibility, and a balanced body for the participant as well as the teacher.” The focus of Core Barre is on precision and technique to avoid injury.

Before attending a Core Barre class, please make sure that your instructor is certified in Core Barre.

The Creator of Core Barre

Monica Hoekstra is the creator and founder of CORE BARRE-Smart Movement® and the Systems of Smart Movement®. Core Barre is a result of Ms Hoekstra’s professional dance and Pilates background.  Monica wished to replicate the expression of elegance fused with technical precision, which she learned in her ballet studies. With Core Barre, her goal was to create a classical system of movement and education that is rewarding and fulfilling for both the teacher and the student.

Her other certifications include:

  • Classically trained Pilates Instructor
  • full certification by Balanced Body®
  • full certification by Stott Pilates®
  • Instructor Trainer for 10 years with Stott Pilates®
  • Lead Instructor Trainer for 2 years with Stott Pilates®
  • certified by the PMA® (Pilates Method Alliance)
  • certified by  ACE® (American Council on Exercise)
  • provider of continuing education for PMA® and ACE®
  • Certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Trainer
  • GYROTONIC® Level 1 Pre-Trainer
  • fully trained by Aaron Mattes in advanced level AIS:  Active Isolated Stretching

Why create Core Barre?

Core Barre was not the first barre fitness class. Many existed before Core Barre was created. With so many pre-existing barre classes, I wondered why Monica felt she needed to create Core Barre.

According to Shauna Smith Yates, Master Trainer for Systems of Smart Movement, Monica “saw a need for a barre certification that kept true to anatomical correctness and used small movements that would strengthen and keep the participant safe.”

Barre workouts were becoming popular. Adults who had never taken a dance class in their lives were now wanting to take a ballet fitness class. They were going into ballet classes and other ballet fitness classes and were asked to perform exercises as if they had been dancing their whole lives. Suffice to say, injuries occurred.

Monica wanted to create a class for an adult who had never danced before that kept the teacher and participant safe and shared the love she has for ballet. Thus, Core Barre was created.

A Typical Core Barre Class

Core BarreA typical Core Barre class will begin with 5-10 minutes of warm-up. Traditionally, this is center floor ballet, however, small weighted balls can be incorporated to give it a modern flare.

Next, there is about 20 minutes of barre work. This is primarily ballet, which will specifically work the lower body.

After the barre work is about 20 minutes of matwork. This is where Pilates comes into play. Many of the matwork exercises are Pilates.

Finally, there is 5-10 minutes of stretching. Specifically, Active Isolated Stretching, which is a stretching technique created by Aaron Mattes.

Core Barre Video

This is the only Core Barre video I could find. It is highly edited and gives you brief clips to illustrate what you should expect to do in a standard class.

For information on Core Barre certification, click here.

Have you taken a Core Barre class? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sarah Stockett is STOTT certified in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations, and CORE; a Yoga Alliance RYT-200; and has studied Active Isolated Stretching. When she is not trying to discover the best exercises to get rid of pain, she likes watching movies and travelling with her family.

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