By Fred DeVito

Core Fusion co-founder and ultimate barre aficionado, Fred DeVito, breaks down the history of barre, how it works to change your body, and what to look for in a high-quality barre class.

First things first: what is a barre?
The Barre, a word taken from the world of ballet, is a fixed pole, firmly attached to a wall so that a person can pull, push, hold or lean on to gain support when performing exercises that are primarily using one’s body weight as resistance. These movements stem from the original ballet barre warmup that dancers use to prepare and train themselves for their actual dance combinations in a performance.

When and where did barre workouts originate?
Lotte Berk, the founder of the barre class space and the direct lineage of the technique decades ago, combined her knowledge of dance based exercises with orthopedic core work that she learned from physical therapists when going through the process of healing a dance-related injury. Her combination of these two disciplines inspired her to create a class called Rehabilitative Exercise in London back in the 1960’s.

A decade later, the technique was introduced in the 1970’s in NYC at a studio named in her honor, The Lotte Berk Method, and an exercise system was born. That’s where exhale got its roots — I taught there as well as my wife and partner, Elisabeth Halfpapp. Both of us taught 34 classes a week for almost 20 years (if you can believe that!) and that’s how we established ourselves as authorities in the barre space, training many teachers who now run or own some of the major barre studios and franchises in the world. Every major player in the barre space can track their roots back to us at the Lotte Berk Method since we were the leaders there for 20 years.

Read More