02 Nov Improve Your Technique With Barre on the Floor
Whether you’re looking for a dance routine that eliminates the need of a fixed barre or you just want to add variety to your training, Barre á Terre (Barre on the Floor) is an excellent choice. Many dancers (of all levels) have explored some variation of floor barre (barre on the floor or how we call it Barre á Terre) to build strength, tighten some aspect of their technique or during recovery from an injury. This French founded method fuses the elements of Pilates, yoga, strength training, and ballet moves to give you a complete workout from the floor.
What is barre a terre?
Barre a Terre is a translation of Barre on the floor, which is modeled after the general discipline created by Boris Kniaseff in 1953 as a way to cope with the absence of barres in his studio. He took the common ballet barre exercises and adapted them to be executed on the floor. In a barre a terre class, you perform ballet movements sitting and laying on the floor. It’s a super fun and challenging workout that can be adapted to fit any fitness level.
Is there just one floor barre method?
After Kniaseff, many others developed their own floor barre methods in order to suit their and their students’ needs. Other professional dancers have created their own routines of floor exercises. Dancers such as Maya Plisetskaya always performed a floor barre sequence on her own before a class or show.
What students love the most about floor barre is the simplicity and repetitions of the movements which allows you to understand how your body moves, find and strengthen the right muscles. Sometimes in ballet class there’s too much to think about and you may struggle to isolate what you need to work on. During Barre a Terre class, we often do the same exercise in various positions, which enables students to imprint the sensation in their body, their movement patterns are solid, you can focus on what needs improvement: deepening your turnout, lengthening your spine, finding the lines of push and pull in your legs and arms, breathing, you name it.
Barre on the Floor is excellent for any dancer who is looking for a supplement to their daily ballet classes. The best would actually be to include floor barre in your pre-ballet class routine as it sets your body up for what is coming next and allows you to achieve a better range of motion. Floor barre is also one of the top choices for injured dancers who should avoid weight bearing exercises, but can still move.
Floor barre is wonderful to:
- improve turnout (for a strong and stable supporting leg)
- increase mobility and flexibility (for more range of motion)
- build strength (for extensions, better partnering, more stamina)
- enhance coordination (for fluid and graceful movements)
- fine-tune proprioception (to quickly adjust your technique)
What are the benefits of floor barre?
Needless to say that your placement will improve, which will allow you to in turn work more efficiently during ballet class. You may notice that by improving turnout, strengthening specific muscles and calibrating your core – so to speak – challenges such as multiple turns may not seem so hard anymore. Barre of the floor barre places significant focus on alignment, which is essential to dance well, and amplifies the much needed symmetry in ballet technique class.
This class is the perfect addition to any dancer’s schedule: practical, functional and extremely beneficial. Have you tried our floor barre class yet?