That portable barre outsmarts me every time.

Class was a little fuller than usual the other day, and I got there a little later than usual, so instead of my usual spot I had to pull out the rickety portable barre.
Which is rickety.
It’s kind of like being in the center already on that rickety portable barre. You go for your usual white knuckle death grip pas des bourrés and the barre squeaks across the floor, telling on you in front of the whole class.
And by you I mean me.
This day in particular though, I was secretly delighted to end up with the portable barre, because it is set way lower than the wall-mounted barre.
And I was feeling grumpy and un-stretchy.
And I looked at that low barre and though, “Sweet, when we do that hamstring stretch it’ll be easy for once. You are totally smart, Adult Beginner.”
But then when we got to that stretchy part of the adagio, I had my leg on the barre and looked down at it, and realized, “Wait- I still have to bend all the way down to it! This is not easier! This is possibly harder! Damn you and your clever ideas, Adult Beginner!!!!!”

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About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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15 Responses to That portable barre outsmarts me every time.

  1. hahaha.. we only have portable barres in my class! Well, there’s a line of barres on the back wall but nobody uses them except when classes are very full. You can’t really see what the teacher is showing from the back wall. Some of the portable barres are newer and quite nice because they are solid and have two barres on different heights, but some are super wobbly and just feature a single (and often curved. ugh) barre.

  2. RO says:

    Hahahaaaa! Love this!!
    We had a portable barre in our other studio too, that thing sucked!

  3. guyenne says:

    The best portable barres I ever dealt with were these wood frame ones that unfolded and connected into a 3 barre triangle shape, rather than being a one barre PVC setup.

  4. whitbreadk says:

    In one of my classes, I always use the portable barre because the studio is big and I want to be able to see the teacher. But if there are not enough people on the other side of the barre, I end up slowly moving it across the floor because I hold on to it so tightly. I am sure the people next to me would love to give me the stink eye because they have to keep adjusting. Fortunately, ballet class is too dignified for the stink eye.

  5. Zebra says:

    I was a few minutes late (horrible nightmare journey + horrible nightmare body in cahoots) to class today so ended up on a centre barre. Luckily class was pretty quiet today, only about 25 of us, so I could have one side of it to myself & as they’ve the double sort there’s no Awkward Accidental Handholding to worry about & can both stretch legs on barre if that’s set during barre. It was pretty wobbly though, which makes it tricky when trying to get into things like attitude balances – risk of pulling each other off balance just as ready to lift hand off barre! In one exercise our port de bras to second (towards barre) were ones pulled out & off balance & in a burst of paranoia that I was going to yank over the barre & the hulking great bloke on the other side of it if I actually pulled against the barre that I put my hips out contorting myself sideways without really using the barre to support myself as I did so. Well done me…

    • I think that’s why we have hulking great blokes in ballet class, isn’t it? To stabilize the other side of the barre? Speaking as a tall-ish person, sometimes the hulking great bloke (-ette) is me.

    • Awkward Accidental Handholding! Totally.

      • Zebra says:

        Is even worse when the AAH happens as you both port de bras towards the barre because you totally don’t see it coming & then suddenly you’re, er, playing handsie with someone. Or possibly shrieking & jumping away in fright. Mind you, one time we were stretching at the barre in class & I was stretching away from my leg & am quite bendy that way but the Epic Proprioception Fail was fully in play & I accidentally basically stroked my friends leg with my hand. I mean, I brushed past it, but with port-de-bras hand, that’s effectively stroking. I guess at least it was my friend & not some total stranger?

        Why is ballet class so full of the awkward. Not the actual dance stuff, the people & the furnishings just seem set up to cause awkward &/or inappropriate situations. Honestly, I swear I’ve been accidentally groped at least three times this week…

  6. We have mostly portable barres in our studio, but they are made of metal pipes and are quite sturdy. I’ll try to take an artful photo sometime and post on my blog. They’re really quite inexpensive to make, so if you ever want a decent barre for home, I’d recommend it.

  7. Rebecca says:

    Our studio is long and narrow – in a busy class the portable barres are moved out from the walls and you can end up AHH with the girl on the other barre as you both open to seconde. Best to treat is as if it was choreographed…

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