Mom’s off to the Bar(re) Again {Not Your Mama’s Workout Series}


That’s what I heard my five year old say to a few of her friends the other day, so matter of fact. What she meant was I was off to Barre Class.  I knew when the Mankato YMCA announced they were bringing the Les Mills Barre class to their studio, that it was going to be a great fit for me. I have always been a big fan of the Les Mills format: the music they use, and the way the classes are structured.  I was also involved in dance for 15+ years, and I missed getting lost in dance as a way to relieve stress and bring some calm to my mind.  I started attending Barre the week after it launched at the Y, and have been going a couple times a week since. It was everything I wanted in a class: 

  • 30 Minutes long: Perfect for busy people and fun to pair with other classes (ex. Bodyflow) 
  • A great workout without getting super sweaty: This class targets your core and legs through a combination of cardio and strength training with small range movements.  You will feel the burn, but you will be able to continue on with your day after!
  • The music: I want to give the person who picks the music for these classes a big high five.  It’s the perfect combination of getting you pumped up, but also making you feel graceful and elegant.
  • Group fitness format: I love that we can all come into this class and have fun together. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never danced before or teach dance as a profession- everyone has a good time! And we can all giggle when I think it’s time to spin and it’s not. 
  • Two words: Child Watch. Game Changer. 

As part of the “Not your Mama’s Workout” Series with Mankato Moms Blog, contributors were invited to a private class taught by our own contributor, Josie Haefner. Here are what some of the ladies had to say about the class: 

Jessica:  “I’m a bit of a ‘Barre-junkie’ (that sounds kind of odd, doesn’t it?) I took my first Barre class about 6 years ago and was instantly hooked. Since then I have tried all kinds of online Barre classes, Barre 3, Physique 57, XTend Barre and locally, Studio E. When I heard the YMCA was going to start offering Les Mills Barre classes I was so excited! I love that no two Barre classes are alike. Les Mills Barre is a graceful, powerful workout. It’s really a workout anyone can do (I promise you don’t have to be a dancer!) the moves are easily modified for beginners and also easily progressed to challenge yourself. Classes are 30 minutes long and it goes quickly because it’s FUN. For me, Les Mills Barre is not an intense workout, that said it’s a lot more of a workout than it appears! Check out the class schedule at the YMCA, grab a friend and try Les Mills Barre!”

Stephanie:  “I have zero background in dance or ballet but I have always enjoyed group fitness so I went into Les Mills Barre feeling mostly positive but slightly apprehensive. The moves and terms were easy to learn even for a novice like me and I loved the music. I also love that it’s only 30 minutes long! Taking this class made me feel feminine, beautiful, and strong. This workout has reminded me that my preferences for how I like to move my body can change throughout the seasons of my life! I want to feel the burn and break a sweat but I don’t want to absolutely kill myself every time I work out! Les Mills Barre is the perfect balance for me right now. I also want to add that I’ve been taking this class twice a week for the past 6 weeks and my postpartum foot pain has completely subsided!”

Kelly:  “A fun, quick way to add some movement into your day- the YMCA’s Barre class is great for dancers and non-dancers alike. The choreography is easy to follow along with and the instructor was encouraging even during the more challenging moves. This class is best suited for beginners or for someone looking to do light exercise. While a dance background isn’t necessary, you should enjoy dancing if you are thinking of taking this class.” 

Shannon: “I wasn’t sure what to expect from a Barre class, but was intrigued by the ballet format. I was on the dance team in high school but had never taken a ballet class. Josie did a great job explaining each move and I was surprised by how easy it was to follow along. I liked that the focus was on maintaining posture and core strength and felt graceful and powerful (most of the time) doing the moves. The music is great, and because the steps are choreographed, I felt like a modern ballerina (even if I probably didn’t look like one) – which was a lot of fun! It was a nice way to incorporate dance into my exercise routine after many (many) years and I plan to try it again.” 

Rachel: “I thought the class was really fun. I’m not a huge fan of gyms or working out, but want to be fit. So classes like these that are fun and dance-y are right up my alley. You get a great workout but don’t realize you’re working out. I have zero dance background and am very uncoordinated but the instructions were easy to follow and the pace was easy to keep up with. I highly recommend!” 

As you can tell, we agree it’s a fun class and it’s worth giving it a shot! If you want to check out a Les Mills Barre class at the Mankato YMCA, you can find their group fitness schedule here: Click Here

You can also check out great fitness options throughout the Mankato Area in our Guide to Fitness & Wellness.