All posts tagged Barre

Dailey Intervals: Why you shouldn’t miss it

Found of the Dailey Method, Jill Dailey

Found of the Dailey Method, Jill Dailey

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending a special Dailey Method class taught by the founder, Jill Dailey. This new class is called Dailey Intervals and takes the traditional Dailey Method principle of alignment and combines it in a simplified, faster paced class for 45-minutes of calorie torching awesomeness.

Not only did I get to partake in this new and killer workout, but I got to meet Jill Dailey herself! She’s a fit and petite woman, but don’t let her size fool you. Muscles rippled her arms and every other part of her, but like all of Dailey Method Venice’s lovely teachers, she retains a feminine and graceful quality. Also, check out how totally FLAT her tummy is in the picture above. Inspiring!

When I asked another member of the Dailey Method team about what sets Dailey Intervals apart she explained:

“Dailey Interval combines the toning and strength benefits of a mixed class with the addition of cardiovascular and endurance training. It was created to achieve the body’s optimum calorie burning rate in a 45-minute period with the long term benefit of cardiovascular strength and health. Students wanting an increased caloric burn will benefit from both the alignment and form principles but in a faster paced class.”

Me & Jill Dailey

Me & Jill Dailey

And after just one class, I was feeling that faster pace. There was more sweat and there was less time to think, but I left knowing that I had pushed my body a little harder, but had been kind to it all the same. While anyone can do Dailey Intervals, it’s recommended that you take several regular Dailey sessions first to familiarize yourself with the alignment principles.

For more information and class times visit The Dailey Method Venice’s website.

Are you a barre beginner? Wisdom from a Dailey Method teacher.


Co-owner of TDM Venice shows us how it's done.

Co-owner of TDM Venice shows us how it’s done.

If you’ve visited this blog before you’ll know that I am a barre addict. I have seen isometric barre based exercises transform my body and help me to master the one thing I never thought possible, a man style push-up! All while maintaining a feminine and lean physique. One of my favorite variations of this challenging, but effective workout is The Dailey Method (TDM).

I’ll be the first to admit that the strength and flexibility of barre teachers and fellow students can be intimidating. You might think you’ll never look as good or be as strong as they are, but you’re wrong! You CAN have the booty and belly of your dreams. To inspire you, I spoke with Tenaya Figueira, the co-owner of TDM in beautiful Venice, California to find out more about what TDM can do for you, what to remember when you’re first starting out, and what to do if there’s no TDM studio in your area.

What is your advice for someone who’s new to The Dailey Method? That first class can be so scary!

“Come in to have fun – with that attitude you can’t go wrong. I went to my first barre class with a  girlfriend and we were giggling the entire time because we couldn’t do anything. And, while we didn’t get the full benefit of the workout in that first class, we had a great time and came back that same week. 6 years later here I am!!”

Read the rest on my personal blog!


What Doing It Dailey has done for me.

The Dailey Method Venice

Today marks the end of The Dailey Method Venice’s new year challenge. Though I didn’t meet me goal of 30 classes in 30 days, I’m proud to say that I did do over 20. Here’s how I’m feeling after a month of TDM classes and here are the benefits I’m convinced you too can experience if you make TDM a part of your routine.

1. Goodbye back pain! For months I’ve noticed an overall stiffness in my backs and hips. My doctor advised me to eliminate wheat to reduce inflammation, which I have done now for almost three weeks, but I wondered if there was anything else I could do. After just a few classes at TDM Venice which coincided with my new wheat free lifestyle, my back pain is COMPLETELY GONE. No joke. I swear it’s the method’s focus on spine and hip alignment that has made all the difference. Or maybe it’s  the new wheat-free me. Regardless, I’ve found a prescription that works and I’m sticking to it (wheat free + TDM = less body aches!).

2. I’ve lost weight! You may remember the embarrassing post wherein my booty was featured as the main picture. That pic showcases where I tend to gain weight most – my lower half. Well… I’m proud to announce that I’ve lost 6 lbs in the last month! And my booty has never felt and looked better (just ask my hubby). My seat is lifted. I have less cellulite.  I even found myself prancing around in itsy bitsy teeny weenie pajama shorts with the shades open (hello bums in the alley, feast your eyes on this!). Hitting up TDM Venice almost 5 days a week, plus a healthier diet, is certainly to blame for my firm and fabulous derriere. This morning I weighed in 142.4 lbs. At 5’9 I don’t quite look like a supermodel, but I’m certainly feeling like one!

4. Cardio is easier! Not only is 2013 the year of the butt, but it’s also the year I’ve decided to improve my cardiovascular fitness. I want to be and look like a runner. I want to be able to run for an hour straight without stopping. I want to feel like I could out run a pack of wolves if I had too (because you know West LA is just one giant wolves’ den, right?). So today, after weighing myself and getting totally pumped by what my scale had to say, I hopped on the treadmill with a vengeance. While 45 minutes of intervals (run 5.0 – 6.0 for 3 – 5 minutes, walk for 2 minutes at 3.8) was still a challenging feat, I felt prepared. I felt strong. I noticed that my posture was upright, my rib cage lifted, and my lung capacity ready to rise to the challenge having not done any real cardio for weeks. TDM Venice’s classes have successfully built my ab and arm strength, muscle groups that facilitate greater cardio capacity and proper form.  In addition, hamstrings and other leg muscles are worked in each class to support knee and ankle joints. No wonder my college runner friend is totally hooked on TDM!

5. I’ve found a schedule I can stick to. Now that the TDM Venice’s new year challenge is over you might wonder what my plan is. Will I throw aside this barre for the next hottest thing? While this FitnessWhore is open to anything, TDM Venice will certainly be a part of my repertoire for years to come.  Once an early afternoon worker outer, I now embrace morning work outs. Cruising down Abbot Kinney as Venice fog burns off  is just such a nice way to mentally prepare to have your ass kicked. I love starting the day at The Dailey Method Venice and plan to keep starting it that way forever if I can (at least three days a week hehe).

Want to learn more about The Dailey Method Venice? Click here.


2013 – The Year of The Butt

My goal: To make this butt better in 2013!

I did it. I’m signed up for The Dailey Method Venice’s January Challenge because I’ve deemed 2013 the year of the Butt! What better way to get my butt in the best shape possible than at the barre? Not to mention that every other part of my body and mind will also benefit.

Here are my goals for the The Daily Method Venice’s (TDMV) January Challenge.

Goal #1: To complete as many classes as I can in 30 days! This will be the 3rd year that my barre obsession continues. I still believe that it, along with moderate to intense cardio a few days a week, is the BEST way to sculpt a strong, but feminine physique.

Goal #2: To get back to the barre (and stay back at it) after almost a month away from attending any barre class. Taking it easy after surgery has been great and all, but the long walks and DVDs will only take you so far. Nothing beats the hands on instruction I’ll get at TDMV!

Goal #3: To lose 2 lbs. While my dream weight might be 140 lbs., I’ve learned that setting realistic goals is the KEY to success. With that said, I weighed in today at 147 lbs. My realistic goal weight is 145 lbs.  I’d like to get there and stay there. You can burn up to 500 calories in a barre class, so I’m sure that doing it Dailey will help me reach this goal.

Goal #4: To get my booty in the best shape possible and to reduce cellulite! Eh gawd. Cellulite. With lunges and barre squats and isolated isometric bun exercises, I’m hoping that The Dailey Method Venice’s January Challenge will help smooth my saddle bags and wake my butt up for 2013. I was tempted to post a close up picture of my cellulite here, but no one is ready for that. Trust me.

While these are my physical goals, I also have personal goals (make a baby), professional goals (finish my novel!), and spiritual goals (continue to create and maintain HEALTHY relationships). What are your body and mind goals for 2013?


The Ballet Physique DVD Collection – A review

Who doesn’t want to look like THAT?

While recovering from surgery, my Mom and I watched First Position, a documentary about child ballerinas (male and female) who are striving, with every little muscle in their bodies, to become professional ballerinas. Watching this from my couch made me want to move. I craved action. I craved some time at the barre. In particular I wanted to try the second of two workouts in the  new DVD series by The Ballet Physique.

Before the operation, I had tried Signature Sculpt and loved it. So after just 3-days of resting, I was ready for Amped Up, the second DVD.  At the urging of my mom and husband, however, I decided to take more time to heal (though surprisingly I felt fine!). Instead, I stuck to long walks with the dogs, patiently waiting until I could try the rest of The Ballet Physique DVD Collection.

Arms section from Amped Up.

Amped Up

At exactly 10-days post surgery,  I was ready to rock. I fired up Ballet Physique’s Amped Up DVD in my parent’s living room where I was visiting for Christmas. I wouldn’t let the holiday cookie tray stand in my way of a great workout (and you shouldn’t either!).  I was prepared with light (5 lbs.) weights, a chair as my barre, and also the knowledge that I should stop to rest as needed.  I truly believe my pre-surgery healthy living (exercise 5-days a week for at least 45 minutes) helped me heal faster and prepared me for what turned out to be an awesome workout.

Amped Up proved to be an excellent 45-minute barre regime that focused on building strength and boosting the metabolism through the use of heavier weights and fast-paced exercises. The gorgeous Kristin Skordahl, Ballet Physique’s director of training at the Colorado Studio, infused this workout with energy and easy to follow instruction. Intense arms, shake inducing thighs/buns, and a challenging abs series, make this the perfect workout to maximize calorie burn when you’re in a time crunch.

Though doing this DVD was no problem for me, a seasoned barrebirina, I did ask for my doc’s permission first before engaging in any exercise after surgery (even walking the dog). You should too if you have any injuries or concerns about how your health will fare during barre, or any activity.

Me doing The Ballet Physique Amped Up DVD in my Mama’s living room.

Signature Sculpt

It was The Ballet Physique’ s intense Signature Sculpt DVD that made me want to try Amped Up, so it too deserves some attention. After all, Signature Sculpt was my last pre-surgery workout. I literally did it the night before after downing two dark chocolate saltine cookies. I’m pretty sure I burned those cookies right off though. One hour at the barre (or the back of a chair) can burn up to 500 calories!

Signature Sculpt is lead by the founder of The Ballet Physique, Kristen Zurek. This lovely little ballerina studied dance in New York City and performed professionally in Colorado before opening the studio. Her petite, but solid frame, bright blond hair, and up beat instruction make her reminiscent of Mari Windsor. Though Signature Sculpt does draw from Pilates and other barre workouts based on The Lotte Berk Method, Zurek includes some interesting twists. She incorporates real ballet terminology with other interesting variations to the typical barre workout format. For example, before moving on to the other side of seat, Kristen works out other muscles so that the buns are rejuvenated and ready to meet her demands.


The Ballet Physique DVD collection is a high quality, fast moving, but easy to follow barre based workout that will bring you that much closer to the ballerina body of your dreams. The DVDs are available for purchase on The Ballet Physique website or via the links below.

Realigning the Barre: The Dailey Method Venice

Get alignment, balance and results at The Dailey Method Venice.

There’s something different about The Dailey Method.

I first heard about it from a girlfriend who lives in San Francisco. Like me she’s tried various other barre fitness regimes, including Pure Barre and The Bar Method, so I assumed her passion for The Dailey Method had to do with proximity or convenient class times. Yet when I asked her what was unique about this barre studio, she was more than happy to explain. She told me that she had gone to University of California San Francisco (UCSF) runner’s clinic around the same time she discovered The Dailey Method in her neighborhood. At the clinic she learned that all the exercises UCSF clinician’s recommended to improve her running and prevent injury were the same ones she had just started doing at The Dailey Method. I was impressed and intrigued. She promised she’d take me to a class next time I was in San Francisco, but I couldn’t wait for a road trip north. I scoured the net for Dailey Method locations in Los Angeles and happily found that one had recently opened up in Venice. I signed up immediately and wondered, would doing it “Dailey” be for me?

What is The Dailey Method?

The Dailey Method was founded by Jill Dailey of San Francisco in 2000. According to the method’s website, this regime differs from other barre based workouts in that it strives to provide a system of movements that support client’s fitness goals while potentially preventing injuries and supporting recovery for those that have them. Exercise science and continued research help the method to continuously improve so that clients get the safest and most effective instruction.

“Founded on kinesiology and core alignment principles, The Dailey Method® is a full body workout that combines ballet barre work, core conditioning, yoga, and orthopedic exercises designed to strengthen, tone, and lengthen the entire body to produce quick physical results and balance in the body.”

The Dailey Method offers a “hands-on-approach”  to assure that clients are properly executing each movement. Words like “balance” and “grounding methods” are also used to distinguish The Dailey Method from competitors. Additionally, Jill Dailey, its founder, has an actual degree in kinesiology! What’s kinesiology, you ask? Wikipedia explains: “Kinesiology, also known as human kinetics, is the scientific study of human movement. Kinesiology addresses physiological, mechanical, and psychological mechanisms.”

The fact that the founder spent years studying the body, what works for it and what doesn’t, definitely excited me. Would The Dailey Method help alleviate some of the back pain I’d been experiencing from sitting at the computer writing all day? Would it provide the same results and challenges as the other awesome barre studious out there? I’ll admit I had high hopes after my girlfriend’s insistence that The Dailey Method had improved her running. So after acknowledging my biases and my high expectations, I headed to the studio.

The Dailey Method Venice

After two classes I can confidently answers YES! to the questions I posed above. I am heals high in love with The Dailey Method as taught at The Dailey Method Venice location and here’s why.

1. Location, location, LOCATION!

Because the address listed Abbot Kinney I assumed that I’d be entering the studio from the street. Gleefully, I was wrong. Rather than trying to fight for street parking with a coffee crazed hipster (Intelligentsia is The Dailey Method Venice’s neighbor), there is a whole world of parking behind the building which can be accessed by turning on Santa Clara Avenue OR California Avenue. If you do find yourself lucky enough to score a spot out front, just cut through the coffee shop and you’ll find The Dailey Method Venice next door. After class treat yourself to a delicious chai latte or stroll Abbot Kinney. You’ll be in the heart of Venice after all and can literally go from the Barre to the Bar in seconds. The Other Room and The Brig are just a block or so away, not to mention a bevy of yummy restaurants.

2. Smiles and Sunlight.

I almost wonder if the owners of this studio are Feng-Shui masters. They managed to transform a small basement-like room into a bright, warm, inviting, and SPACIOUS studio with high ceilings, keyed lockers, two bathrooms, and a loft for child care. Child care! (Moms have no excuse not to belly up to this barre!). The white rafters and California light spilling in are natural motivators. Best of all, you won’t encounter any snobbery at The Dailey Method Venice. Everyone I’ve met so far has been gracious and full of good energy. In fact, if they keep being so nice to me I might move in!

3. Hands-on = Never wrong.

During my first class with instructor Tenaya I noticed several things immediately that have made The Dailey Method stand out for ME. Tenaya adjusted every single participant throughout the entire 60-minute class. She was ALWAYS watching, adjusting, and instructing so that it almost felt like I was in a personal training session. I also noticed the use of a term I haven’t encountered at the barre – neutral spine. I’ve heard this used in Yoga, but most barre classes seem tuck obsessed. In my second session, Amie demonstrated. A neutral spine is one in which the back and hips are positioned naturally. I found this, along with tons of amazing, specific, and focused instruction to be refreshing. My body did too. My back pain really did lessen after just one class. No joke.

4. Sequence, stretching, and safety.

Because I haven’t studied Kinesiology like The Dailey Method’s founder, I’ll try my best to explain how totally awesome the entire program is. Yes, you get a killer workout, but there’s something about it that feels therapeutic. My thighs shook. I steamed up the mirror with my light perspiration during the flat back portion. But there were little adjustments made to each exercise in general and tailored adjustments made to me throughout class, during stretching too, that truly made the entire thing feel safer, just as they claim. In my second class I had the pleasure of sharing the barre with a pregnant woman. She was able to do 90% of the exercises without a problem.

The Overall Verdict

You won’t find any drill sergeants at The Dailey Method Venice which makes this an excellent workout for anyone recovering from injury or stepping up to the barre for the first time. But don’t expect it to be easy. You’ll be encouraged to push yourself, but in a way that works with your body instead of against it. Since I’m having surgery next week and will need to avoid the barre and the treadmill while I heal, I plan to sign-up for The Dailey Method Venice’s January Challenge with my doctor’s approval. I imagine I’ll feel like a barre beginner after that much time away (gulp). Regardless, I’ve already set a goal – 30 classes in 30 days! It looks like I will be doing it Dailey (or trying to) after all.

If you can’t make it to The Dailey Method near you, check out this DVD for a safe, but effective, Barre workout you can do from your living room:

One Beautiful Booty

Who doesn’t want a butt like that?! I truly believe that Barre workouts are the way to get you there! Squatting in a gym full of sweaty men holding 600 lbs. over their heads can be entertaining, but I don’t want to look like a guy. I want to look like a sexy and svelte ballerina with curves in all the right places, which is exactly why I’m about to pop in a Pure Barre DVD and get tucking. See that little ledge where her butt meets her thigh? That’s the best part. That’s my motivation to push through the burn. Now get your booty to the nearest barre, whether it’s in the studio or in your living room, and I promise you’ll be that much closer to the booty of your dreams.

Pop Physique: Hurts So Good

I just sneezed. It was painful. My ribs ached sharply against the “Achooo” reminding me that yesterday I braved the Barre like never before: I tried Pop Physique. My abs and arms are the first to feel it, but the good hurt in my hips and thighs is creeping in like a 6th grade crush. At first you hate that boy who sits behind you, then suddenly you’re madly in love with him.

Pop Physique is my new fitness crush and here’s why.

Click here to read the rest of this blog on, my new and improved barre and boutique fitness blog!