Barre refers to a workout method which combines ballet inspired moves with pilates inspired exercises (think pulsing) and the result can be a killer workout. The idea is to obtain the physique of a ballerina without actually dancing. The rhythmic dance moves are cut away and you only need to care about toning and strengthening work on your muscles using ballet moves.
Since this hybrid workout is rather new without a patent, and posses no deeper meaning or history, people can develop their own version of barre workouts and brand it. Some examples are Xtend Barre, BarreAmped, BarreConcept, Figure4, Physique 57 (and there are really many more…). The owners of each brand chooses their own methods and they conduct their own teacher training for people to teach their method. New studios can either choose to adopt existing methods (eg. Xtend Barre, BarreAmped) – sending their teachers for training, or if the resources exists they could develop their own and brand it themselves (eg. Physique57).
Each of these methods can be vastly different and they may focus on very different things. Some are more like pilates – being strict about form and more focused on the muscles, some are more rhythmic and flowy like dance – caring more about the bigger movements. Different props can be used in class like weights, resistance bands, exercise balls etc.
Basically, the term “barre” is kind of vague since each studio can offer a very different sort of workout. It’s basically up to the studio to choose what they want to offer, since barre workout has no traditional method unlike yoga.
In Singapore, barre is still rather new with only a few studios around. In USA and Australia, it is very popular. In fact, the USA style and Australian styles of Barre are very different. From my basic experience from, I feel that USA style barre classes are more pilates like while Australian style barre classes are more rhythmic.
Personally, I would prefer a barre class to be more rythmnic with fast and bigger movements, rather than a class which nitpicks on my form (eg. back straight, knees a certain angle etc). I would rather attend a class to enjoy and have fun rather than one which feels like a killer session.
I have tried barre classes in 6 places and here’s my experience.
Workout: Xtend Barre
Socks are compulsory at Upside Motion. I did not like how they made socks compulsory because we had mats below us and we will not slip so this was really an inflexible and unnecessary rule.
The class was quite fun with a good balance between ballet and pilates. The movements are really fast though, so its kind of a cardio thing, but I like how the movements are all barre moves without any HIIT section in the workout. I feel that the instructors here are well trained in Xtend Barre and the quality of lesson is above a certain benchmark. I’ve tried 3 different instructors so far and lesson delivery wise as well as workout sequence wise, the quality is comparable across all 3. In a way, this barre method is quite controlled and regulated.
Drop in price: $42
Available on: ClassPass
36 Armenian St #02-03 Singapore 179934
321 Orchard Road #04-05, Orchard Shopping Centre, Singapore 238866
6A Shenton Way B1-01/02, OUE Downtown, Singapore 068815
Workout: Barre Method
This is an actual dance studio which offers fitness classes as a side thing. The barre class here was fun, rhythmic and use of weights are optional. I suppose the style is more Australian. I enjoyed my classes here but for those looking for something which kills you probably need to find something else.
Drop in price: $28 via KFit
Available on: ClassPass, Guava Pass
6 Shenton Way, #03-06/07 OUE Downtown Gallery, Singapore 06880
Workout: WeBarre (master trainer – Rachael Fraser)
This studio is made as a full fledged barre studio, unlike the above 2 which serves barre alongside other things. There are a few styles of classes here and they make it fun and relevant to what our locals like. Currently bootcamp/ HIIT workouts are in the trend and they have a class combining that with Barre. They also have regular barre classes like their Signature Multi Level which I first tried, and it was a balanced mix of strength and rhythmic works and they include a 5 minute HIIT section in the middle. This makes it quite a grilling workout – it’s a good thing if that is the sort of thing you like. For me, I’m a lazy blob so I prefer lower intensity classes. The Fundamentals class was perfect for me – do not be fooled by the name. It is not basic AT ALL. It is basically the same set of barre moves as the Signature class, except for no HIIT section in the middle. The intensity of the workout ultimately depends on the instructors – some are crazy while some are relaxed and slow. The content of the classes changes time to time and you will not know what props they will use from the section of free weights, pilates ball, gliding discs, resistance bands and resistance tubes. Best of all, no socks are required for class (but for WeBarre HIIT, you need to wear shoes)! I currently attend classes at WeBarre regularly and I can say that it did transform the small muscles of my body!
Compared to Xtend Barre, I feel that WeBarre method has more room for creativity and the workout we do in each class is up to the instructor, so the quality and content of lessons can vary a lot depending on who you’re taking the class with.
Drop in price: $40
Available on: ClassPass
86B Tanjong Pagar Road Singapore 088507 (Level 3)
5A Stanley Street Singapore 068724 (Level 2)
39C North Canral Road Singapore 059295 (Level 4)
1 Zubir Said Road #02-01, SOTA, Singapore 227968
This studio came from Hong Kong to Singapore (and located in Hong Kong Street!) and served BarreAmped classes, a method from USA developed by a celebrity fitness trainer.
For their method, they will get you to hang here for 30s – 1 minute before and after class as your warm up.
The studio serves only barre classes, but they have a wide variety of barre classes, like bootcamp style barre classes, barre + dance, barre + bounce etc. The class I took felt a lot more towards the pilates side with a lot of focus on form and using weights. It felt more like a focused workout caring about form, than a session to flow and have fun. For people who are very objective about their fitness (eg. you specifically want to work a muscle), this would be your thing.
I like that they use full sized Affirmats yoga mats here and socks are optional.
Drop in price: $42
Available on: ClassPass
42a Hongkong Street Singapore 059681
Workout: Barre Body (Australia)
I’m glad to see a new barre studio near my hood! The place is very modest and simple in furnishing but if you’re just after the workout it is fine. I tried the barre flow class and I like it because I like barre classes to be dynamic and moving rather than too much emphasis on the form. The dynamic moves were brutal but good. For someone who hasn’t worked out in like a year, this was intense cardio for me. The barre method is similar to WeBarre where they use the ball and weights. I would return if they have timings which suit me. What I did not personally like was that they do try to involve some yoga towards the end. If I wanted yoga I would do a yoga class specifically, so I prefer to see more ballet elements actually, but that’s just me.
Edit: I returned for another class one year later, with a different instructor, and I felt it was the worst barre class ever. It was more like yoga/ stretching rather than barre. There was hardly any ballet elements in the class. I guess you have to choose your instructors wisely. The huge yoga element in the class was a big turn off because this was supposed to be a barre class.
Drop in price: $35
Available on: Guava Pass
420 Joo Chiat Road #02-01 Singapore 427641
6. Barre Lab
Barre Lab is the newest addition to the boutique Barre studio scene, and has far by the lowest rates. However, it translates to the quality of the studio. The whole space is really small and amenities are poor – no proper changing area, no locker room (only a few pigeon holes), 2 super small showers, no lounge area to wait around before class. The studio is only 3 months old when I visited but the condition of the interior looks like it’s deteriorating, and for a noon time class they did not have a cleaner to clean up the studio from the previous usage. There was hair all over the floor. The studio looks way better in pictures than in real life I would say, which was kind of disappointing, but given the low price it is understandable.
The instructors are all new and freshly trained with their own in house barre method, and I guess some of them needs more experience when it comes to instructing a class. I felt that the flow of dialogue wasn’t smooth. Comparing to WeBarre and Upside motion for instance, I felt that the delivery of classes couldn’t compare (but hey it cost less!). The instructors are obviously inexperienced when it comes to leading barre classes, so they probably need another 6 months before they gain confidence and dialogue becomes smooth I suppose? Still, the workout was decent at least – areas that should feel the burn did burn at certain points in the class, and I wouldn’t mind heading back. Probably only seasoned barre people can feel the difference, but for newcomers who do not really have anything to compare with they would be fine with the choppy class delivery. Another thing to mentioned was that there was hardly any yoga element in the workout and I really appreciate that they stuck with what barre should be.
Drop in price: $28
Available on: ClassPass, Guava Pass
60B Duxton Road, Singapore 089524
ClassPass special discount!
So if you realise, barre classes ARE expensive in Singapore. Even Barre Lab with the lowest rates is still a whooping $28 for a single class and that’s a lot to pay for if you make it regular.
The good news is that ClassPass is now in Singapore (via App or Website) and they have many barre studios on board! As of now, they have:
- WeBarre – 10 credits
- Barre2Barre – 9 credits
- Upside Motion – 10 credits
- Wings to Wings – 6 credits
- Barre Lab -10 credits
How it works is that you purchase credits on ClassPass and it is valid for 1 month cycle. You need to use up your credits within the 30/31 days. Barre classes typically costs around 10 credits on ClassPass and 50 credits cost $50, while 200 credits cost $100. Only 10 credits can be brought over to the next cycle.
That means your barre class can cost as low as $3 (for Wings to Wings, 6 credits)? Even with the 50 for $50 rate, it is still a crazy good deal. And you also get to hop around to different studios! If you run out of credits, you can top up 50 more credits for $25!
Of course, the catch is that classes will be harder to book, though not impossible. You probably will have to settle for non-peak hour slots or only get the popular slots if you’re lucky.
Besides Barre, ClassPass has a whole variety of workouts to choose from, from many popular boutique studios (yoga, boxing, aerial, reformer, spinning, HIIT, gym access etc). You can see the list of all partners on their app.
Variety of studios to choose from
Can try all sorts of workouts
Limited vacancy for each class
Late cancellation window is 12 hours
Late cancellation fee $15, no show fee $20
To make the deal even sweeter, you can get $40 off your first month if you sign up using my link:
This means you pay just $10 for 50 credits to use over the span of one month (or $6o for 200 credits)!
Comparing to the free 1 week trial, this is a way better deal because booking window opens 1 week in advance and most classes gets snapped up. If you’re on a 1 week trial then you probably can’t book anything freshly released – only from the ‘leftover’ slots.