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JBarre classes a hit, fusing dance with other workouts

JBarre classes a hit, fusing dance with other workouts

The JCC rolled out six new fitness options for its members this September, including Body Pump Express, Lunch Time Express, Family Fun Fit, CXWORX and Beginner Workout.

Of them, JBarre, a workout that fuses fitness techniques from dance, pilates and yoga, has become a fast favorite among members.

The month-long classes, which are taught in the JCC dance studio by instructors Michelle Mardis and Mary Delk, were all but full in September, and are filling up fast for October.

Denise Johnson, longtime JCC fitness instructor, said people likely enjoy the classes so much because they are calming (like yoga) but offer a good cardio regime as well.

A bystander taking a quick peek might mistake JBarre for a traditional dance class. Class members stand along the barre and perform basic moves from ballet class, like pliés (standing erect with your back straight, moving up and then down while bending the knees) and arabesque (balancing on one leg while the other leg is stretched behind).

But the music and pace are up beat, and participants move quickly into other challenging poses and muscle-sculpting repetitions.

“It’s great; it hits all parts of the body,” said Gina South, a JCC member and new JBarre enthusiast. “Plus, I like dancing again.”

South said she took dance in grade school and remembers some of the positions.

Eileen Foote, another JCC member, said she’d heard of the class offered other places and was glad the JCC rolled out its own rendition.

“I’ve noticed it makes me more conscious of my posture during the day,” she said.

JCC member Grace Kessler said she was definitely going to sign up again because she was seeing real results.

“If you’re trying to get fit, this is a great and different way of doing it,” she said.

Ron Peacock, fitness director of the JCC, said word has definitely gotten out about how effective the Barre Method is. It’s gained popularity around the country.

“It’s even big now among professional athletes,” he said.

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