barre belles

In my post about 4 simple goals for the new year, I mentioned that one of my goals was to either try a different form of yoga or to try barre (also known as ballet fitness). I never thought I would start this goal so soon. After scrolling through my Twitter newsfeed last Monday, I clicked on a link tweeted by Elle UK.

It was promising a ballet-inspired, mat-based workout at home through video conferencing. After over a year searching for an Edinburgh barre class, I finally found one and it was in my own flat and on my own time! The company, Sleek Techniques, was offering a limited time deal of 10 days for £10 – I simply had to try it!

a chair, towel and optional resistance band is all you need to join in Sleek Technique's classes
A chair, towel and optional resistance band is all you need to join in Sleek Technique‘s classes
Victoria Marr and Flik Swan of Sleek Techniques
Victoria Marr and Flik Swan of Sleek Techniques

I wasn’t sure what to expect really. Perhaps something gimicky? But Sleek Techniques is far from that. The founders of Sleek Techniques are friends who met in dance class while young. Victoria Marr is a well-recognised first soloist of the Birmingham Royal Ballet and Flik Swan is a successful West End dancer. Together they created Sleek Techniques to offer classical ballet technique and conditioning exercises to everyone. The best thing – you do not need to be a dancer to enjoy the benefits of these exercises and you can do the classes in your own space to fit your schedule! Say “goodbye” to those excuses of not being able to make the gym and say “hello” to a lean, healthy you! In the time it takes me to travel to my gym, I can complete a class!

Flik Swan demonstrating ballet matwork
Flik Swan demonstrating ballet matwork

Through Sleek Techniques, you can view on-demand classes (ranging from 10 to 55 minutes) that you can view whenever suits you. You can also book to attend a live class (classes are offered Monday – Saturday, three times a day, in either a 55, 45 or 30 minute session) with a variety of focuses – from a full body ballet workout to resistant band workout. You will need a computer with a webcam, a tablet or smartphone. Make sure you give yourself plenty of space to extend your legs and arms.

Last week I started my 10 day trial. I tried the on-demand classes first. I’m a not dancer so I wanted to test if I could cope at my own pace before I attempted a live class. I was expecting a rapid succession of movements accompanied by phrases you’d hear watching Black Swan or Centre Stage. And while I heard “first position” and “plié”, I found it incredibly easy to follow along and the workouts challenged me.

The on-demand classes that I took (Classic Cardio Intro: 15 min; Classic Cardio Part 2: 20 min; Resistance Band Intro Class: 13 min and Cardio Ballet Blast: 10 min) were clear and great workouts. In the future, I think I’ll complete two on-demand workouts at a time to get an even better workout. But if you don’t have much time – a 10 minute Cardio Ballet Blast is a perfect start to the day!

On Saturday morning I decided to attend a live class. I booked the 55 minute Full Ballet Body Workout with Flik Swan, co-founder of Sleek Techniques. I was nervous. What if I couldn’t follow along? What if I couldn’t figure out this video conferencing exercise thing? I needn’t of worried. It was easy to download the video conferencing software – just a couple of clicks. I was greeted by a friendly Flik and had a quick chat before other girls signed on – from England and Finland (the beauty of video conferencing exercise classes!). Again, the class was clear and easy to follow. There was a couple of moments when I had to adjust the webcam but that was due a change in position – going from standing to mat exercises. Other than that it was seamless and about 15 minutes into the class I knew I was getting a great workout. I woke up the next day feeling every tiny little muscle in my body. I’ve never been so happy while in so much pain.

I highly recommend Sleek Techniques if you’re looking for something new to introduce to your workout, if you want to work on strengthening and lengthening your muscles and/or if you have a varied schedule that doesn’t allow you a set time to dedicate to going to the gym. Sleek Techniques provides fun, challenging and accessible ballet fit classes for everyone – despite your dancing ability.

Want to find out more? Flik Swan, co-founder of Sleek Techniques, answers some of my questions in my next blog post!

Have you tried Sleek Techniques? They offer a free 15 minute workout so that you can get a feel for what they offer. What did you think? x

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