Welcome! Feel free to contact us at detroitbarre@gmail.com


Barre Technique

Who is Barre Good For?

Who is barre good for?!  Who isn’t barre good for?  

We often get questions about who should do barre or who shouldn’t.  But we truly believe that barre is a fantastic and effective workout for all ages and ability levels!  

– Barre will challenge you and your muscles no matter what your fitness level is.  One of the fundamentals of barre is working each muscle group to fatigue.  When the muscles fibers work to exhaustion, they break down and are rebuilt stronger!  Combined with bursts of cardio, we build strength and burn calories!

– Barre can be modified for all fitness abilities.  You’re in control of how hard you work in a barre class — you can always modify a movement by creating a smaller range of motion or working in a slightly higher position.  Need some suggestions?  Check with your instructor at your next class!

– Barre will energize you!  Tired after a long day in the office?  Feeling sapped of energy?  There’s no better way to re-energize than a workout with music, a ballet barre, and your local barre community!

We love all the inspirational stories of those who have used their time at the barre  to stay strong while expecting, to combat chronic illness, or to recover from an injury!  What’s your story?  What will it be?

Of course if you are pregnant or have questions about your physical condition or a serious illness or injury, you should always speak with your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.

What’s Your Mantra?

We just got new socks for sale in the studio!  We’re calling them our “Mantra Socks”!  Why Mantra Socks?  They have inspirational messages on them:

be strong

be brave

be fearless

One pair says “be grateful”.  When I look down at these socks, and my legs are shaking, I’m always reminded now of all I have to be grateful for!  In barre class and out of it!


We use other mantras in class:

let the legs shake

you’re just as strong as you tell yourself you are

strong exhales!


What motivates you?  What’s your favorite mantra?  What do you tell yourself to push through a difficult exercise?  Focus on the positive.  Use it to push through the difficult.  A challenging exercise.  A difficult life experience.  Speak positive things into your life and see how much stronger — inside and out — you’ll be!


be positive in peony/white

Research Says Head to the Barre to Boost Your Confidence Level

Sufficiently intrigued by our post title?  Amy Cuddy did a pretty well-known TED talk on the significant effect of body language on our lives: not only does our body language influence what others think about us, but our body language can influence how we feel about ourselves.  And not only how we feel about ourselves, but our own body language can in fact effect physiological changes, such as increasing or decreasing hormone levels (like the stress hormone cortisol and the “dominance” hormone testosterone) in our blood. Check out the talk here: Amy Cuddy.
One of the main postures Amy Cuddy talks about is the “Victory” pose.  You know the one.  When you stand, bring your arms above your head in a “V”.  Your chest lifts a little, your chin lifts.  Researchers found that this posture decreases the stress hormone cortisol and increases the “dominance” hormone testosterone in our blood.  In as little as two minutes of holding this pose. This leads to greater confidence, less stress and even better abstract thinking!
Sound like the opposite of what we do at work, hunched over our computers?  Yep.  Good news though: sure sounds like how we start our classes!  It’s an energetic pose, it takes up a lot of space, and yes, increases confidence and reduces stress!  We’ll see you at the barre for your next confidence boost!  See how the big and small moves we do in class create big changes in your life!

What Makes Barre Classes Effective

Before I started barre, almost my entire workout routine consisted of running with a little of what I called “light strength and cross training” but really consisted of only a few push-ups and maybe a day or two a week on a stationary bike and virtually no stretching! My quads were definitely strong, but my weak glutes and hamstrings were starting to contribute to lower back pain. 

Enter barre.  Runners often get discouraged at first when their legs start shaking uncontrollably during thigh exercises in barre class. The experts (Dancing vs. Running) attribute this to the difference between the sustained strength-training work for the thighs in barre classes and the split second rest each leg gets when striding during a run. 

In contrast, barre focuses not only on sustained strength-training for the thighs but also on building strength in the hamstrings and glutes.  This creates strong muscles all the way around each leg.  When the whole leg is strong, it helps prevent injuries because we don’t have stronger muscles pushing the weaker muscles too hard and causing strains or tears. 

Not to mention we don’t let you get out of class without stretching out the quads, hip flexors and hamstrings!  This alleviates tightness throughout the leg muscles — and makes the leg muscles less prone to injury!

– Laura

What to Wear to Barre

What to Wear to Barre

We love the dance inspired look of barre clothes and thought we’d share some of our favorites with you!

Our barre class will have you stretching and moving — a lot

We recommend that you wear long pants or leggings that allow for easy movement.  Some of our recommendations are: the wunder-under leggings from lululemon, Salar leggings from fabletics, gFast moto from GapFit,  and Champion’s C9.

Nothing we do will require fancy footwear — no pointe shoes required!  But we do require that all clients wear socks during class.  And we recommend grippy socks for maximum resistance on the hardwood floors and mats. We have Shashi classic black socks available for purchase ($10) at the studio, but it you’re looking to add some color to your outfit check out these socks at pointe studio and sticky be socks!

We also have tank tops (top right) and new long sleeve shirts (bottom right) with the Detroit Barre logo for sale.

image (1)

Middle Right: (Vaasa Sports Bra, Salar leggings, Switch back tee)

Top Left: (wunder-under leggings from lululemon)


– Ellen


Beats by Barre

Practice Makes Perfect — Naturally, I spend A LOT of time going over exercises; working out the timing and making sure that each workout will optimally cover every muscle group, leaving attendees fatigued (but not overwhelmed), and excited to return!  I try to put together a class that is challenging and fun; a class that I would enjoy taking, including the music – because when it comes to class preparation, choosing the music is my favorite part! 

Mixing it Up — I consider my taste in music to be highly eclectic, and I try to impart my passion for this diversity into the playlist I make for my classes. Like most music fanatics,  I love to explore when it comes to finding new music. Through Pandora, the radio, and (sometimes) my husband, I’m exposed to new music everyday. So typically, I find myself compiling barre mixes with some old and familiar tunes that clients will know, while adding some of my new favorites into the mix.  So don’t be surprised when I bring back the classics : ) Finally, I spend some time reviewing the music I would like and making sure it times out  so that songs and exercises flow. When all the preparation is ready, I get to share what I have planned with you, and I sincerely hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

– Jamie

Making the Most of Your Barre Class Part II

Mental Workout:

Barre workouts are mental as much as they are physical! There is always so much to remember and incorporate to maximize the effectiveness of each movement! Concentrate on putting intentional work into each and every movement. Sometimes running through a mental checklist during each exercise can help. Think: Are my abs drawn in? Are my hips tucked under? Am I resisting the movement? Am I breathing?

Set a Goal:

Set a goal for every class. Whether it’s staying in forearm plank for the entire 90 seconds or making it through each thigh set without a break – make attainable, recognizable goals for yourself so you can best appreciate the improvements you are making! Of course there are dozens of things we can each do to take our practice to the next level. But that can be so overwhelming! Recognize the victories you have each and every class and celebrate becoming stronger and stronger every class!

Don’t Compare:

Every person’s body is different. Respect your body and its differences and don’t compare yourself to other people in class. Each of us is built differently and has different limitations – not because there’s something “wrong” with us but that’s simply how our body is! So don’t feel like you’re not doing something right if you can’t get your leg perfectly straight or can’t rotate your leg quite as much in standing pretzel. Work where you are and your body will thank you for it!

Not sure about an exercise in class? Still not sure what tucking is? Talk to a teacher! We teach because we love barre (or are obsessed :)) – and we love nothing more than to share our passion!

– Anna

Making the Most of Your Barre Class

Perfect the tuck:

The tuck is often one of the most confusing concepts for new clients – you are not alone! To find your tuck lay flat on your back with knees bent. Sharply exhale through your mouth driving the movement from your abdominal muscles. This sharp exhale should create a slight pelvic tilt. This small but super-effective movement is the basis for many exercises throughout class.

Let it shake:

Work toward bringing each muscle group to fatigue during your practice. You know you’ve gotten the most out of your muscles when you start to feel that shake! No matter how many classes you’ve taken or how strong you are, your muscles should fatigue with every exercise in every class you take. So, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and let it shake!

Take the rebound out:

Barre is all about tiny isometric movements. When working on triceps with weights, think about lifting the weights higher and higher rather than letting them ever drop lower. When squeezing the ball between your inner thighs during the thigh section, think about squeezing tighter and tighter on the ball rather than letting the ball rebound to its original shape. When bend-stretching during seat work, think about getting the leg straighter and straighter and removing the bend from the movement.

Give it time:

Barre is a mental as well as a physical workout. It takes time to learn all of the different variations and understand the movements. The best thing about barre is that you are constantly improving but the classes never get “easier.” So come to class and give yourself permission to learn – your body will thank you for it!

Want even more tips for getting the most out of each and every class? Talk to a teacher before or after class for more suggestions!

– Anna

Why Barre Works

I have always been an active person. I began gymnastics at a very young age, and from there transitioned to the world of cheerleading.

Although I cheered throughout college, I had developed joint injuries in high school. Over time, these injuries worsened, ultimately culminating in a series of knee injuries. It seemed that the very aspects that had attracted me to these sports — fast paced, high adrenaline activity — had also included an amount of impact that took its toll on my knee. My first surgery was at age 20, and the procedure didn’t exactly work out as I had hoped. The recovery was long and tedious, and it meant that running, jumping, and flipping were out of the question. For me, this was absolutely devastating. Things only got worse when I learned that my knee would requite a second surgery and even more recovery time, and my hopes for continuing cheerleading came to an abrupt end.

A few years later, a friend introduced me to barre. After my injury, I had been seeking a new way to get active and in shape again, and this seemed like the perfect way to do so. Knowing next to nothing of barre, I thought, “How hard could this be”? After all, I had been through plenty of rigorous exercise with cheerleading and gymnastics. What could be so challenging about barre?

In hindsight, that was perhaps a bit shortsighted. Much to my surprise, barre turned out to be quite a challenge. More importantly, it was gratifying. It was the most satisfying workout that I’d had in years, and it didn’t hurt my knee in the way that so many other exercises had.

I completely fell in love with barre after the first class and the way I felt afterward.

I feel more confident everywhere, not just at barre. Now that I am an instructor, I can’t wait to bring these feelings and opportunities to others looking for a fun, new approach to staying in shape.

– Jamie