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What is Barre?

We describe barre as the Strength & Conditioning of Ballet.


Barre has existed for as long as ballet (centuries!) and is the programme that a dancer would traditionally follow in order to train strength and athleticism as the foundation for movement. A dancer will spend hours ‘at the barre’ working through positions, activating specific muscle groups and developing balance, proprioception, mental astuteness and discipline before performances.


Lotte Berk was the first to develop this - and to combine rehabilitative work - into a formal programme. Before Lotte, there was no formal ‘organised’ exercise available for women. Lotte created what we now know as barre largely out of her own vanity to maintain her ballet physique following retirement. And we don’t blame her!

The precise, sculpting effects of barre can create a dancer’s physique without any need for a dance background or ability, which is why it has become so popular since its inception in the 1960s.


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Over the course of the past decade, we have updated many of the movements and positions to make them safer (we know far more about physiology now than Lotte did in 1959!) more progressive, dynamic and capable of delivering greater strength gains with the use of small equipment and props.


Barre is sometimes likened or compared to pilates, yoga and ballet itself. But barre is an entirely unique programme of fitness. The positions and movements are as iconic as they are functional. As precise as they are dynamic. As safe as they are deeply challenging.

We have been practising, honing and training others to teach our method for over 15 years. We have seen bodies transformed, minds altered, babies born to strong Mamas, injuries rehabilitated and even athletes gain an extra edge in performance.


This is the home of barre, proudly developed from the origins of Lotte Berk, brought to you by the UK’s leading experts.

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