The Les Mills Barre ballet-inspired workout is one of the hottest classes at the fitness center at UH Avon Health Center. Taught by non-dancer Rachel Stoklosa, the 45-minute class is designed as if you were doing it at a barre, but instead you harness your core to remain upright and stable through a series of eight choregraphed songs and two bonus songs that allow you to channel your inner ballerina. Only in the U.S. for about a year, Stoklosa starts the class with finding your ballet/foundation posture and moving into first position (feet flat on floor, heels together, toes in natural turn out).
“The tagline for this class is The Beautiful Burn,” she says. “Every single music track is like it’s tricking you into doing the movements and, yes, you’ll feel the burning in your legs and your inner thighs, depending what we’re doing. It’s the way it’s choreographed and the music that they use.It’s deceptive how many calories you burn, as well, because it’s not high intensity.”
And don’t think you’ll be dancing to classical music; it’s a mix of everything from Whitney Houston to Sia. “None of us are trying out for American Ballet Theater, so we all just get to enjoy this and not have to worry,” she says. “There’s no judgment.”
Here’s a look at the class breakdown by track:
1. Warmup — Warm up with simple ballet movements such as working from first position demi plie to grand plie with a port de bras sequence (movement of the arms).
2. Deepen — Deepen the burn started during the first track. Focus on strength and stability by stepping into second position and working through grand plie with a focus on inner thighs.
3. Extend — This includes deep glute with arabesque work.
4. Peak — Lift the heart rate with sequences that move across and sometimes off of the floor.
5. Strengthen — Focus on postural muscles with small handweights and small movements.
6. Power — Focus on postural muscles, but start adding some bigger movements.
7. Escape — Lift the heart rate with bigger movements while using the floor and moving.
8. Burn — Feel the burn through the glutes while stabilizing and strengthening through the core.
Bonus 1 and 2 — Stretch. Depending on the release, these bonus tracks can be a mix of
different focuses, such as more strength and power, pirouette and peak.
1997 Healthway Drive, Avon, 440-988-6801,