Essentials: Barre

I've been spending more time at the barre lately. Each time, there's a mixture of excitement and dread that wafts over me. After the first class, I could already see a change in my body, so I keep going back to experience the transformation. In order to survive the 60 minutes of blissful torture and triumph, I have concocted a countdown of barre essentials:

5. I am far from graceful. If I close my eyes, I invision my toes perfectly turned out as I pile and releve with ease. To support my daydream dancer, I like to twirl by locks into a sweet bun so I can channel the elegance of a ballerina. 4. Because I like to watch my form in the mirror, I opt to wear comfortable yet snug attire to class. I am careful to observe how my body moves, but not judge it. You will usually spot me in all black. 3. I don't go to barre class on an empty stomach. My body needs a little nutritional stamina for the muscle-building class. And definitely don't go to barre class on a full stomach. When I'm too full, my core can't engage to support my body safely and correctly. A little nutrition bar perfectly satisfies me. 2. Since I'm monochromatic up top, I like to get funky down on my feet. I love wearing bright colors and fun striped knee high gip socks. They show off my personality and keep my lower limbs warm for maximum muscle activation. Now that the ToeSox leg warmers are in, I'm obsessed with wearing them over my leggings with any one of my zillion colorful pairs of bella and low rise grip socks. My nod to Flash Dance. 1. And the most important must-have is...a friend. Whether you drag one with you or make one at the barre, having someone laugh and grimace next to you while you shake and falter is both empowering and relieving. After all, if you're not having fun what is the point? So let's go have fun at the barre!