Guest writer: Houston Ballet Education Marketing & PR Coordinator, Christina Bielstein
I could count on one hand the number of sporadic Pilates classes I’d taken throughout my life. I was unfamiliar with terms and body positions, and I was nervous about entering a class even labeled for beginners. As a staff member, I was tempted to try one of Houston Ballet Academy’s adult classes, but I was too uneasy to ever make the commitment. All of that changed however, when I entered Sarah Yarbrough’s Pilates Barre class. From the minute students walked in, she tried to make everyone in class feel comfortable – asking each student about individual injuries or limitations so she could tailor the class for our specific needs.
The class description does not lie when it describes the exercises as gentle yet challenging. I was previously a dancer, but have been away from any consistent exercise for nearly 3 years. I struggled with a few of the exercises, but luckily Sarah had alterations so students could adapt nearly every exercise to their strength and stamina level.
What I liked most about the class were the “real” people in it. Taking a class at the Houston Ballet Center for Dance can seem daunting as Houston Ballet is primarily known for its beautiful and perfectly toned company members. It’s not very well known that Houston Ballet Academy offers classes for students of all ages and skill level. The students in this beginner Pilates Barre class were not professional dancers, and they were not exercise fanatics. Like me, they were lovely real people looking for an interesting and fun way to get more fit and stay healthy. I was even pleasantly surprised to see a male in the class. I walked out of class feeling accomplished in my work out and even a little sore.
For me, the class is a great way to help me stick to my New Year’s resolution. The class offers a unique kind of exercise that is perfect for any level of fitness. The class is difficult enough to leave you proud of the work you put in, but not too difficult as to discourage you from returning for another five weeks.
I would absolutely recommend this Pilates Barre class to anyone looking for a non-traditional way to stay fit or get in shape. Classes are from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. on Thursdays and run for six weeks. Houston Ballet Academy also offers ballet classes for adults of various skill levels with classes ranging from introduction to advanced. Special classes to take note of are the Monday intermediate ballet classes taught by rotating Houston Ballet company members.
For more info on all of Houston Ballet Academy’s adult classes, visit: https://www.houstonballet.org/Academy/Adult-Program/.