For round two of my monthly fitness reviews, I chose to try a barre class. A friend of mine had mentioned it on Facebook and I was curious, because I took ballet lessons for most of my childhood and I love that this has become a popular form of fitness.

I chose Barre Fitness in North Vancouver and I although it’s been there, just one block from my grocery store, for nearly three years I had NO idea it was there. It is beautiful. Everything is very clean, fresh and lovely. From the online booking process to the check-in procedure, it is very professional yet welcoming.

I was nervous, but the teacher Jennifer was so positive that I felt at ease right away. That, and a friend had given me the tip to not compare myself to anyone else in the class. This was good advice as it helped me to focus on my own body and not worry about anyone else.

Each person got sets of 2lb and 3lb weights, a mat, exercise ball and a stretching strap. When I first took the 2lb weights I nearly scoffed, but at the end of those shoulder and tricep sets I was begging to be done. Plies, arabesques, push ups, calf raises, ab work and lots of stretching. It took me a few seconds with each new movement to learn the vocabulary and what each term meant, but Jennifer was easy to follow and I caught on fairly quickly (thank you Mom for 10 years of ballet and Chalene Johnson for PiYo). I nearly caved during a couple of moves, especially the plies done on our toes. That was HARD! I felt like I was pushing my muscles to their limits, in a really good way. I went for a run this morning and was worried it would be too much, but all the stretching was actually just what I needed. I loved that it was a different type of workout from what I do on a regular basis. And I am VERY concerned for my quads and glutes tomorrow.

The facility is beautiful, the class is a fantastic workout, and Jennifer is a very good teacher. And it’s close to home. This is a class I would do again for a change of pace, much like last week’s DanceFIT. This is a bit pricey for a regular visit, at $22/drop-in. You do of course save money if you opt for a membership or 10-20 class card, but with all the other workouts and running I do I’m not sure how long it would take me to use that up. The one really cool thing they have is a new client special – 2 weeks of unlimited classes for $40. You could just go twice and it’s paid off, but chances are you would go more to really get the value…and get hooked on barre, of course!

Barre Fitness North Shore is located at 1186 Marine Drive in North Vancouver. They also have a location at 1038 Mainland Street in Yaletown in downtown Vancouver. You can find out more about their classes and prices at