Blogger Barre Class

Maria and me

Maria and me

Saturday I was able to hang with a few of my Tampa Bay Blogger friends at Above the Barre Fitness for a bloggers only class. I arranged the class with the owner, Maria, to help her spread the word about her great studio and results-enducing classes.

I wanted bloggers to be able to ask questions and take photos without disrupting a regular class. I was hoping to really fill her space, but after a few cancellations at the last minute there were only 8 of us.


(Caroline, Mindy, Stephanie, Margarita, Katie, Lora, Me and Tess)

Me setting up the room for everyone

Me setting up the room for everyone

Maria walked everyone through her basic barre class with just a touch more added explanation – but for the most part she used the same reminders and verbiage she does in her regular classes. Her favorites seem to be “Zip it up!”, as a reminder to hold in your tummy, and “Shaking is changing” when your 50th rep of plies causes your legs to SHAKE so badly that you want to quit – but you know the burn is what is causing your body to change.

Here’s what to expect in a basic class:

We start with a warm up

We start with a warm up

and then work our shoulders until they burn - even though the weights are 1-3 lbs.

and then work our shoulders until they burn – even though the weights are 1-3 lbs.

And we hinge over for mid-back and triceps

And we hinge over for mid-back and triceps

Lower body work - heels high like you are wearing your Jimmy Choos!

Lower body work – heels high like you are wearing your Jimmy Choos!

Then on to a wide-leg stance, pulsing knees back and squats with heels high

Then on to a wide-leg stance, pulsing knees back and squats with heels high

There were was barre work I couldn’t take a photo of, where you sit with your butt on the floor and your back on the wall under the barre – round back, then flat back, then stretching. Caroline got one photo like that…

Then we get on the floor for planks and pigeons

Then we get on the floor for planks and pigeons

Forearm planks from BFFs Lora & Katie

Forearm planks from BFFs Lora & Katie

Lunges, that's me in the back right!

Lunges, that’s me in the back right!


Rolling down to a C-curve for ab work

Rolling down to a C-curve for ab work

Quieting down in the dark for booty blasting bridges

Quieting down in the dark for booty blasting bridges

We don’t usually talk in class, so the extra banter from the blogger girls was fun! Everyone seemed to feel the burn and still enjoy themselves at the same time. Lora was crowned queen of Pigeon Pose, and Caroline managed to sneak in a photo for the Awkward is Awesome fitness challenge (above). I think Margarita wins best hair after a sweaty workout!

After class, a few of us went right down MLK to Rollin’ Oats to have brunch in their cafe. We probably could have talked for hours, but we all had stuff to do so 1.5 hours was about as long as it stretched.


I ate a delicious spinach-feta turkey burger, a small piece of their broccoli quiche and some cold green bean sesame seed salad – and it all cost under $6!

turkeyburgersIt was a hearty lunch with a variety of fresh flavors, and everything was delicious! I love living so close to Rollin’ Oats. Sometimes I wish they knew me by name when I checked out.

I also tasted their curry chicken salad while I was there – which to my delight had both raisins and walnuts in it, and which put me in a chicken salad mood for the next day.



That night I prepped my lunch for today while thinking about chicken salad. I had some bagged broccoli slaw that I chopped slightly smaller, added some curry, red wine vinegar and mustard – and then tossed in some of the shredded chicken left from dinner. I stirred in roasted, chopped garlic and raisins. I’m not sure if it was broccoli slaw that had chicken in it or curry chicken salad with broccoli in it, but who cares? Then I screwed the lid on the Bullet’s cup, left it overnight in the fridge, and enjoyed the blend of flavors for lunch today! No photo, it went in my tummy too quickly!

I also picked up a cute black and white striped Calvin Klein dress with an aqua belt, but I returned it after hanging it in my closet and realizing I had too many black/white/grey dresses. 5? At least. If I’m going to spend the money, I’ll get something with a greater wow factor!

I had a wonderful complement at work the other day. Grandparent’s Day is coming up at my girls’ school, and I was asked to take a family photo of a couple with the 4 grandchildren they have at the school. I was told that the photo would be used for an ad, and had to be approved by the Grandma, who might want to see a bunch of options. So we took standing photos, and sitting photos, and hugging photos, and the grandkids balancing on a tree root coming out of the ground photos, and at one point I even told the 4 kids that grandpa had something in his left pocket and let them all run to him to find out what it was while I snapped a bunch of shots. It was a cute idea, but those didn’t work out too well for our needs, not enough faces in the photos. After the photoshoot, I sat with someone from the school office and we narrowed down to 10 photos, and then 2, and finally one winner. I then found better smiles for 3 of the children in other photos and used Photoshop to put their best faces in the photo we liked. It was then emailed to Grandma for approval. And she said, “The photo is wonderful! I know how hard it is to get a group picture where everyone looks good, and you’ve done it! Thanks so much for your time and patience this morning, for knowing how to deal with children, and for your artistic eye. It was a lovely experience, and you have a real gift.”

Now, I’m not a photographer, but I will soak up any compliment regarding “knowing how to deal with children” or my “artistic eye”!! Those are things I certainly take pride in, and I am glad they were recognized. And I’m glad she wasn’t upset that at one point I used the word “dumb”. (Not about one of the kids, about one of my pose ideas that didn’t work out.)

Tonight we are having breakfast for dinner. Scrambled eggs, french toast and of course bacon for Brian. Brian loves bacon and it is a rare treat in our home. I think bacon is to him what rich chocolate mousse is to me.


Today I was back at barre class, and since it is already the 21st and I still have a bunch of classes left, I doubled up and did two back to back! My friend Tanya was in the 2nd class, so at least I got to roll my eyes at a friendly face when it hurt!

When you try a new fitness class – like we did at barre class – do you prefer to be with a friend or amongst total strangers?

6 Replies to “Blogger Barre Class”

  1. It was a very fun class. Thanks again for planning it for us! I love the compliment that you go on your photo 🙂

  2. Lora says:

    I had so much fun at the Barre class! If you are willing to take a 5:30 class on a day that’s not a Wednesday, I’d love to go with you again!! 🙂

  3. Jenny says:

    I hope I can make it to a Barre class one day!! Looks like fun, and yes SHAKING IS CHANGING!! Awesome!

  4. Kat says:

    This looks so fun! I’ve always wanted to try Barre but it just didn’t work out for me since I run long on Saturdays!

    • RunningBetty says:

      They don’t have a Sunday class near me. If you ever want to drive over for an 8:30am or 5:30pm during the week, we can try to meet up.

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