It is Fearless February at Healthy Living London so when better to try something new….
When I was three, I was whisked off to Saturday morning ballet class; the only daughter with two older brothers, it was a nice reprieve from the side line of the rugby pitch for my Mum! It was only when I went to University that my dancing switched to the dancefloor & the lifestyle of a ballerina and a student didn’t exactly complement one another! I haven’t done any Ballet for over 10 years so when I was invited to a class at NRG-Barrebody I was a little apprehensive; will I even remember how to point my toes!?
A five minute walk from the tube station, I found the characterful studio above the shops on Kentish Town Road – it is tucked away so look out for ‘Kentish Town Pilates studio’ and buzz for the gate to open. The studio is a hub of companies working independently alongside one another, including N-RG Barre Body, Physiotherapy and Pilates.
As soon as I walked into the studio all of those worries were put to rest by Nathalie; founder, class teacher and a previous Ballet dancer professionally trained at Rosella Hightower in France. After leaving dance and embarking on an alternative career Nathalie rediscovered her passion and has been inspiring women through Barre for the past two years.
I was given a very warm welcome and talked through what to expect by Nathalie, her kind tone and complete grace as a Ballet dancer put me at ease right away.
Nathalie teaches classes including Pilates, intense Barre, Barre kids & yoga all week between Kentish Town & a studio in Highgate. This Saturday morning class had myself and 6 others with a real mix of abilities from dancers to complete beginners and some in between like me!
I’d heard Barre was intense and it did not disappoint. It had all the elegance of Ballet paired with the strength of a full body workout. It was a jam packed hour; starting in the centre to warm up, moving to the Barre; using resistance bands and a blast for the core on the mats. Each exercise followed a pattern of working each side, starting with one move, stretching ourselves further and graduating to fast paced pulsing to really feel the burn! There was plenty of opportunity to reset and we were encouraged to breathe through the burn to keep going. Something I took away from class is the importance of breath, it can be used Nathalie talked us through each exercise and gave plenty of adaptations for ability so nobody was left out.
Whilst it was a tough workout it was actually a really relaxing experience. The morning light shone through the huge windows of the studios, good music flowed through the room and there was a real sense of empowerment in the room.
You don’t need to have any dance background to go to this class, every exercise was expertly demonstrated and helpful corrections were given throughout.
Lots of encouragement kept us Pliéing and pointing until the very end. It was obvious that there is a real friendship between the ‘regulars’ who were very happy to welcome newbies like me!
We finished off with yoga stretches to release tension on the mat, a moment of calm for the mind and a positive affirmation to set us up for a successful day. After class Nathalie chatted with each of us to see how we had enjoyed the class and took a real personal interest in everyone’s experience, it is these personal touches that make you want to go back.
“Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both and you won’t have to hunt for happiness”
How much: A drop-in class is £15 and a 4 class pack starts from £50 going up to a 12 class pack for £144.
Where: NRG-Barrebody classes can be found at the Kentish Town Studio, 141 Kentish Town Road, NW1 8PB and in Highgate