I recently had the pleasure of visiting Washington D.C.'s first Dailey Method barre studio, where I made a valiant effort to channel Misty Copeland and get a killer workout in the process. The studio was kind enough to offer FREE classes, along with giveaways, snacks, and mimosas, to celebrate the opening of its new location right in the heart of the U Street neighborhood.
Situated on the third floor of an unsuspecting building on 12th & U, The Dailey Method's space was refreshingly bright, thanks to several huge windows that offered up loads of natural light throughout the studio. Just past the front desk, I noticed a spin room on my left with an attached barre area. This room is reserved for the "Dailey Cycle" class, which is a 40 minute spin class followed by a 20 minute core workout using the barre. Just past the spin room, I came acorss a second classroom, dedicate solely to the "Dailey Barre" classes where students get a full body workout through barre and floor exercises. I also spotted restrooms and two gorgeous, full-sized showers (I'm talking bigger than my apartment bathroom) which is a very rare find in D.C. these days.
After touring the studio, I made my way to the Dailey Barre class, hoping to get an amazing booty lift from leg extensions and other balancing acts. Our class of nine was led by Crysten, a professional dancer and NFL cheerleader, who led us through a simple, but intense workout. We started with some leg lifts and torso twists (pictured on the left), a foreshadowing some of the moves yet to come. From the beginning of class, we were reminded to engage our cores, and elongate our spines to fire up every little abdominal fiber in our bodies.
After our warm up, Crysten guided us through a variety of yoga poses, stretches and balancing moves with and without the assistance of the barre. At one point, I somehow managed to slide into a full split--a feat that I have not accomplished since the ninth grade!
As we transitioned from floor to barre, to tree pose, to C curves, Crysten guided our breathing and helped us maintain proper alignment and abdominal engagement. She helped us make minor adjustments to perfect each move, and always offered modifications to allow us to keep moving, but at reduced intensity level if needed. We even did a little work with these tiny 2lb weights. I chuckled at these barely-there dumbbells, until the tricep extensions and squeezes carried on and my arms began to shake under these deceptive weights. Pretty much every limb was shaking at one point or another during the class, letting me and anyone else watching know that I was, in fact, getting a serious workout. Even one day later, my glutes continued to remind me of all the work Crysten's Dailey Barre class tricked me into doing!
All in all, The Dailey Method is a welcome addition to the U St/Shaw neighborhood that will definitely lift and kick any butt into shape! Check out the class schedule here to sign up for spin or barre, and enjoy the burn!