Writer / Jennifer Magley


If you were inspired watching Simone Biles win four gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro or gasped in amazement seeing American Ballet Theatre’s Misty Copeland soar through the air in her iconic Under Armour commercial, then a barre class just might be for you.

In fact, Anna Newcomb, owner of Studio RE in Carmel, shares that barre is for everyone. “Our non-impact, non-intimidating classes allow for all ages and genders to participate and excel. Motivation for taking the class ranges from wanting to lose weight, getting your body bathing suit-ready, recovering an injury or adding core strength and flexibility to your workout.”

So what is barre exactly, and what should you expect?

A ballet barre is used during class for support and to assist in correcting posture and alignment while achieving the components of class. These components include elements of dance, Pilates, yoga and resistance training all built around the common core, the same movements implored by Biles and Copeland. Additional challenges in the classes include light hand weights and balls.

The Anna Newcomb method of barre strengthens the neutral spine and perfect posture by challenging the core and other major muscle groups such as shoulder, arm, abdominal, back, seat and leg muscles. The method includes isotonic and isometric movements, focusing on fatiguing muscles and then toning them. The 45-minute class fundamentally begins with the core 360, targeting all areas of the abdominals and correcting and strengthening back muscles and spinal posture. “Correct positioning leads to tightly constricted movements and to exemplary and rapid results,” says Newcomb. “The upbeat and often-changing exercises and stretches create momentum in the class.”

Newcomb, a Butler University alum, left Corporate America after discovering her passion for barre while on the mend from a back injury “At first, I couldn’t do all the exercises to full potential. I simply wasn’t strong enough. But I was serious about helping myself,” she says “In just a few months of doing barre, my core was so strong that I had not one back issue the entire training for a marathon, and my first day, I ran three miles without despair.”

Studio RE celebrated their first year of business, and Newcomb is most proud of the culture of approachability that they have created. “It is likely you will have people in your class ranging from ages 25-60+. The class has many modifications to accompany where you are in your core strength. We have the best clients that are motivating others in class and keep it so fun and lively.”

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