By Dino Malvone
At the encouragement of a friend (who taught barre3 in Portland), I took my first barre3 class last July. The class was free, and they were called “underground” – cool right? – because the actual barre3 West Village studio hadn’t opened yet. I didn’t know what to expect, other than it was a mix of yoga and Pilates with a barre.
When I was a marathon runner, I would cross train with yoga and Pilates at home. But, after running and working out at home for so long, I just really needed some company — and the group setting, instead of my living room, sounded nice.
So I tried.
I was the only guy, which didn’t bother me. I’ve been in yoga and Pilates classes where I was the only guy before. But this time, I didn’t feel like I was intruding. No one blinked an eye, and my instructor, Lauren, kicked my butt. I preferred standing the whole next day. I mean I’ve run marathons… but that class was HARD! The music was just so good, and I felt connected the entire time. The hour went by so quickly. And when I was waiting for the train to take me home, I think I felt myself standing taller.
So, I kept going. As an NYC real estate broker with a hectic schedule, I found my hour at barre3 to be energizing.
During the first few weeks of taking class, I felt changes to my body that surprised me. My core felt stronger. I was running with greater ease. I liked it so much that when they eventually held auditions for instructors, I thought, why not! Not long after, I flew to Portland for training, and I’ve been teaching now for six months. It’s still the best hour of my day.
I recently had the pleasure of teaching an entire class to my real estate office. I was skeptical about attendance since it was a snowy night in New York City. In the end, it was a terrific turnout: 9 women and 8 men. For the first time, the room was evenly split 50/50! Let’s do this! At least one guy expressed his nervousness to me beforehand. I assured him that things would be fine. I got everyone into the center of the room for Primary Posture, started the music, and had everyone’s heartbeat pumpin’ in minutes. In the end, they were surprised it wasn’t just a bunch of pirouettes — which I think is a common misconception. The class was a huge hit, we sold packages, and I heard back from my co-workers raving about the workout and how challenging it was. (I think they were also pretty impressed with my teaching skills!)
I continue to take and teach barre3 classes, and I continue to see results. The small stabilizer muscles that we work have increased my strength. I’ve become a better runner. It’s low impact, so my knees don’t bother me. As my core gets stronger, my lower back pain has subsided. I find that my posture is better, and my yoga and Pilates practices have improved. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting so many terrific people along the way. Sounds like a win/win to me.
I encourage guys to give it a try. Come and take my class. I’ll meet you at the barre.
Dino Malvone is a proud resident of Brooklyn. He enjoys architecture and exploring his neighborhood (including nearby restaurants). He’s a NYC real estate broker, barre3 instructor, marathon runner, lover of soups, and his favorite season is fall. Dino is also fluent in Italian; he holds a degree in English from Fairfield University in Connecticut and a master’s in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University in Boston.