Virgin No More



For years my friend Lynn has been addicted to Pure Barre.  If you have not heard of this exercise obsession you might be living under a rock in North Korea or you are a middle-aged man.  The Barre, said like bar and has nothing to do with drinking, stands for the wooden ballet barre attached to the mirrored wall.  I don’t know why it’s called Pure because plenty of the exercises are done in the middle of the room with no bar to hold onto.


Lynn would ask me every once in a while if I wanted to go to class with her.  Since I was emotionally scared by my Russian ballet teacher Martha Kruger when I was ten I tend to stay away from those wooden dowels attached to mirrors.  Fear of being whapped on the back of the knees by a swift yardstick is a strong bad memory not to be repeated.


After years of being a student of Pure Barre Lynn and our friend Charlotte bought not just the existing Chapel Hill studio, but built a new one in Durham.  The craze was spreading and it was time for me to see what all these friends claiming their lifted derrieres was due to this class was all about.


Since I was a Pure Barre virgin and I was not interested in going to a class of well trained, well toned, very young people I asked Lynn to go with me.   Lynn is two of those three things so I knew she would look out for me.


The first thing I really liked about the class was the clothing rules, pants at least Capri length and shirts that covered your middle are required, check and check.  I refuse to put anyone through a class with me that shows my bare stomach.  The third clothing item is socks, but sticky socks are recommended.  Lucky for me Lynn hooked me up with a pair of the branded sticky socks that are supposed to help you stay in place.


As we entered the carpeted room where Rita out instructor was, Lynn staked out the perfect spot and gathered the equipment I would need, hand weights, a small red rubber ball like a grade school four square ball, but just the size of a cantaloupe, and looped stretchy bands.


The class began and clearly I was the only new student.  Rita helped me but there was only so much help I could get when planking.  Most of the exercises were familiar to a point until we got to tucking.  Tucking involved something akin to tilting my pelvis in and pulling my butt under me as much as possible.  I certainly do not have a grasp on exactly how to do it so don’t bank on my description.  I do think that twerking had to evolve out of tucking, but I am not exactly sure what twerking is either.


As others around me could hold one leg in the air, while lying on their back, tuck and lift to a pulsating beat I was just trying not to drown in the sweat pool I was creating around myself.  Perhaps I needed doubly sticky socks for some exercises that involved holding myself in place by one foot on the ground while lifting all my other parts.


When it was all over Rita said I did a good job for a first time student.  What was really nice of her not to say was I did really well for an uncoordinated, non-dancer, non-gymnast, and non-athlete middle-aged woman with no rhythm.  Other students gathered around me as I lay immobilized on the mat after class and told me it takes a little while to master the moves and then it gets harder.


When they said harder I hope they were talking about their backsides and not the class.  It was hard enough.  Like all things exercise I know that it takes a few tries before it should be judged.  I am measuring how low my butt is now and after I do this Pure Barre thing a while I will report if my backside is lifted.  Since I rarely look back there it has not been a big area of concern for me, but that seems awfully selfish to those people who have to walk behind me.

One Comment on “Virgin No More”

  1. Stuart Wright says:

    Dana in the photo you look like an extra on an episode of CSI who has just come to an untimely end.

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