Why Ballerinas Can Beat You Up

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I have a confession. I’m a bit cocky when it comes to group fitness classes. In step and dance aerobics classes I’m always at the front of the class and one of the people the instructor tells newcomers to watch if they need extra help. 

This was not the case, however, last Thursday when I took my first Pure Barre class. Founded by dancer, choreographer and fitness guru Carrie Rezabek Dorr, the Pure Body Technique is a total body workout that uses elements of ballet and pilates along with weights, resistance bands and medicine balls to tone your arms, abs, thighs, and butt. 

The cardiovascular endurance I’ve developed in Body Step, Body Jam, and Spinning meant absolutely nothing as I balanced on one leg and made tiny circles in the air with the foot of the opposite leg for what I would say was two hours if not for the fact that the class is only 55 minutes long. 

You’ll scoff at the 2 pound weights used in the class until you’re on what feels like your 200th rep and those tiny dumbbells become the weight of Dumbo. And you’ll do so much challenging core work throughout the class that by the time you get to simple crunches you won’t be able to lift once without shaking like Pookie on New Jack City.

Needless to say, I got a good workout. In fact, I was sore for not one, not two, but three days after this class.  The moral of the story is I’m about as strong as a green bean even though all this time I’ve thought I was in good shape. I may be able to beat the average person in a hip-hop dance contest, but, after this rigorous ballet-based class, I’m sure the average ballerina could beat me in a fight. 

As I work toward my weight loss goal I must incorporate more strength training in my routine. 

Speaking of routine here’s what else I did this week: 6 miles at the trail on Friday, another 6 miles on Sunday and on Monday I went to a Crunk Fitness class at the beautiful Railroad Park in part for the exercise and in part to stroke my ego, so horribly damaged by Thursday’s Pure Barre class.   

How did you stay active this week? 



  1. I heard recently that Anne Hathaway is a fan of Pure Barre and is doing it in preparation of her Catwoman role in the new Batman film. Yes, ballerinas can beat you down.

  2. You’re getting so many miles in! That’s awesome! If you ever need a run/walk partner, let me know. I love the class at RR Park on Mondays too! I always seem to have something else going on though. I must fit it in. Keep up the good work!

  3. @Jennifer, I’d love to go for a walk/run together one day. Let’s make a date!

  4. Believe it or not – I was a ballet dancer for over 15 years. I totally agree with you – no one realizes how difficult ballet is. Keep it up – your muscle definition will be amazing. (I wish I still had my ballet body…:-( )

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