Brazilian Barre: a booty-shakin’ good time

The best way to stay motivated and avoid workout plateaus is to mix things up

You can’t always judge a class by its name. Take Brazilian Barre, a new class The Village DC Ranch. It sounded innocent enough — there was no “blast” or “blitz” in the name — so, I decided to do a double. I’d start with Samantha’s yoga flow and then hit the hour-long Brazilian Barre. What was I thinking?

Even “flow” was a bit of an understatement. Samantha, a pint-sized powerhouse of a yoga instructor, had us plank, pose and padangusthasana through the paces. I wasn’t sore, per say, but I definitely got a full body workout. So, I was looking to bring things down a notch in barre.No such luck.

My dreams were shattered as soon as Dani, a Brazilian-born beauty with infectious energy, listed off the props we’d need: two sets of dumbbells, a ball and a band. This was not going to be a free ride. And then the rump-shakin’ Latin beats started up and I knew I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. Yoga is in my comfort zone; shake, rattle and roll ‘n’ my booty is not.

We started off with a Zumba warm-up. I managed to keep up, sorta. My feet and hands moved to the beat, but my hips and butt just wouldn’t co-operate. For the record: I am no dancer. My moves are limited to the running man and maybe a sprinkler if I’m feeling frisky. But Dani, a samba/belly dancing/capoeira queen, could give Shakira a run for her money in the booty-shaking department. And that was just the warm-up.

With my heart-rate ramped, we then lunged, plied, squatted, dipped, pushup’d, planked, curled curtsied and crunched until every muscle in my body was screaming and begging to stop. And I had an absolute blast doing it! Dani targeted muscles I didn’t even know I had and brought out some rhythm in me that was buried deep in my uptight hips—and made us all feel a little like Shakira. My booty thanks her!

I walked—no, sashayed—away with 2 lessons learned: Trying a new class can be just what your fitness routine needs… and sometimes not knowing exactly what you’re getting yourself into can bring unexpected surprises—and booty shaking!

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