As part of my three day trial at Equinox, I had the pleasure of taking one of their latest class offerings, Gold Barre. Equinox describes this class as a more athletic approach to barre that stems from ice skating; its claim to fame is that it was co-developed by ice skating gold medalist Tara Lipinski. I actually found Tara Lipinski extremely irritating as a guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance, but I suppose she does know a thing or two about ice skating, so I’ll give her this one. Since I love barre but have enough trouble walking gracefully on a non-iced flat surface, this seemed like a good way for me to break into my future Olympic skating career (#Tokyo2020, get at me).
Equinox is amazing, duh. Everyone knows that. The people are super hot and intimidating (yet oddly motivating?) and they have everything from classes to machines to an awesome locker room where I had to talk myself out of siphoning Kiehl’s shampoo to take home. This specific location (East 92nd Street) is brand new and one of their features that drew me in is the barre studio with actual barres (a rarity for Equinox!). They also have a lounge where you can chill out, connect to the wifi, and pretend to read work emails while you check out the gym hotties (don’t be ashamed; everyone does it). Members spend hours at a time here, and between the gym equipment, lounge, steam room, and locker rooms full of products, I can see why. This specific studio was the last one I visited on my three day trial, and you’d better believe i sobbed into my Kiehls-moisturized hands on the way out.
This class was less of a traditional barre class and more a mix of ballet and skating moves such as lunges, jumps, and arabesques. We used a variety of props, such as gliders for “skates,” a strap on the barre to balance as we “glide on the ice,” and some light weights. As a dancer, I really liked this class and the numerous moves that stemmed from my ballet background. This class was a very unique approach to barre and a ton of fun. I’d definitely recommend it to dancers who can’t quite get into barre (understandably; they are more different than you’d think!), or anyone looking for a fun workout that challenges your balance and core but is faster-paced than Pilates.
I did break a sweat in this class, but overall it wasn’t extremely difficult. If you’re a regular at more traditional barre studios (Pure Barre, Bar Method, etc.), this won’t seem as challenging on your muscles; it’s more of a graceful workout. I thought the class was a bit similar to Xtend Barre in that lots of jumps and ballet moves were incorporated.
The instructor for this class was Khaleah London and she was awesome. She kept with the skating theme throughout class (“you’re gliding on ice!”) which was both fun and also a boost to my self esteem after my last ice skating experience where I latched onto my friend’s arm and held on for dear life.