Practice Makes Perfect: How to Choose the Right Ballet Barre for Home Use
To master any skill, regular practice is crucial. And if you’re serious about ballet dancing, you may find that the weekly class just isn’t enough to perfect your moves. For that reason, many aspiring ballet dancers train at home.
To successfully practice at home, not only do you need the space, but you also need the right training equipment. And when it comes to ballet, there’s one key piece of equipment every dancer relies on – the ballet barre. Even though the movements you make using the barre are slow and simple, they have significant effects throughout your body. When extending on the barre, your muscles undergo isometric contractions. And this helps you become stronger and more flexible without the risk of tearing a muscle.
The barre also supports your body, which allows you to hold a demanding position longer and increase your overall endurance. Additionally, this type of dancing equipment allows you to target multiple muscles at the same time. For instance, by performing a move like the diamond water ski, you are primarily targeting the quads, but the position is also giving your upper-back muscles, abs, glutes and hamstrings and intense workout too.
So, obviously, having a barre at home will help you stay in good shape and train those tricky moves that require greater balance. However, with a wide range of ballet barres for sale, it can be difficult to choose what works for you. To find the appropriate ballet barre for your needs, here are some factors to consider.
There are two types of ballet barres – fixed and portable. You’re already familiar with the standard fixed type at your ballet studio. But will it be suitable for your home studio too? A fixed barre needs to be mounted to the wall by brackets. As such, it’s a permanent fixture. So, if you want to move the barre to another place, there will be visible holes on the wall left. If you don’t want to damage your walls in any way, you may find a portable ballet barre to be a better option.
A portable dance barre is freestanding and doesn’t require a wall for support. It’s also designed to be easily transported and stored away, which means you can use it anywhere you like. You can move it from one room to another without much trouble, and you can even take it with you on a trip. That being said, what type of barre is best depends on your specific needs. Are you able to mount the barre in a fixed location such as a home studio or gym? Or do you have trouble to find a specific room for practice and want to be able to use the barre throughout the home – in the living room, on the balcony or in the garage? Or do you need to store the barre away when not in use due to lack of space? The answer to these questions can help you decide better.
Different barres have different dimensions. How tall the barre should be, depends on how tall you are. The rule goes that the barre should fall between your hip and your waistline when using it. This way it will help centre your balance, which is crucial for your safety. If the barre is too high or too low, you can lose your centre of balance and fall over.
Some portable ballet bars have an adjustable design so that you can make their legs longer or short depending on your height and preferences. This is a convenient option if two or more people are going to be using the barre. On average, most dance barres on the market feature a standard length of the rail which is 1.5 meters. This allows two people to practice at it simultaneously, and if you use both sides of the barre, the number can go up to four.
Recently, PVC ballet barres for home have begun to gain popularity. They are lightweight which makes them easy to install if they’re fixed and easy to move around if they’re portable. PVC barres also cost less, which makes them a good choice if you’ve already spent a lot on money on other gear. There are also wooden bars to choose from. Fixed barres are usually made of wood. When made of rich hardwoods such as oak, beech or maple fixed barre can also look like a decorative feature in the home.
There are also smooth metal barres which are super easy to clean. However, many don’t find them comfortable as they can be cold to the touch. Metal barres can be fixed or portable. Portable metal barres are usually made of aluminium, which is a lightweight, durable and corrosion-resistant material.