Being a ballerina is not easy. While there are many things to learn at the beginning it doesn’t stop there. Constant practice is the key when it comes to everything in life, but especially art. This can be easily achieved with the help of a ballet barre.
What is Barre in Ballet?
A barre is a horizontal wooden or metal bar that is paramount for performing exercises that can help improve your flexibility while developing strength and endurance. Except in the rehearsal studio, these bars can be used in one’s home as well for the same purpose.
Types of Ballet Barre
Freestanding Ballet Barre
Also known as portable, a free standing ballet barre is one of the most commonly used types, mainly for home use. There are main reasons why a free standing ballet barre is favoured by many professionals are the ease of use and the flexibility it offers. These freestanding bars can be moved from one place to another which eases the whole rehearsal process. Whether you need an extra barre for the studio or you simply want to try performing somewhere else, the portable dance barre is extremely easy to move around.
What’s more, these barres require a simple assemble which is another reason for their popularity. Additionally, they are adjustable which means that you can easily lower both or one of the sides. This allows for the barre to be used by two dancers, one taller and one shorter. An important thing to have in mind when buying a portable ballet barre is to choose one with adjustable feet. This way, the barre can be easily adjusted even on uneven floors.
Wall-Mounted Ballet Barre
One of the main benefits of this type of barre is its stability. This is because a barre allows for a stable wall-mount installation which, in fact, is the guarantee for its stability. Although mainly used in ballet studios, a lot of ballerinas opt for this type of barre as it creates a more elegant and professional look. Another benefit of using this barre is that it requires only a one-time installation. Unlike the portable barre that needs to be assembled and disassembled before and after use, the wall-mounted barre is installed only once.
Things to Consider when Buying a Freestanding or a Wall-Mount Ballet Barre
One of the mainly used materials for the purpose are aluminium and wood. They both have their pros and cons, so you should choose according to personal preference. For instance, aluminium barres are considered more modern, simple and sleek. Their main downside is that they are cold to the touch. Unlike aluminium, a wooden barre is warm to the touch and it can give the place a more classical look. Depending on the bar thickness, a wooden barre can also look sleek.
Type of Wood
In case you have decided to invest in a wooden barre (whether it is wall-mounted or freestanding), you should think about the type of wood. One of the most commonly used types for the purpose is poplar because it’s an appealing and strong yet somewhat affordable option. Another popular choice is oak and maple mainly because of their look and density. However, if you want to invest in something more reasonably priced, you can always opt for poplar barre as it is perfectly strong to handle the needs of most dance studios.
Ready-Made or Custom?
Generally speaking, ballet barres are available at lengths up to 4.8 metres. So, in case you need something larger you can either invest in several barres and join them together or you can opt for a custom made barre.
Installing a Wall-Mounted Barre
How Tall Should a Ballet Barre Be?
The ideal way height for a wall-mounted barre is your waist level. However, if you plan to install a wall-mounted barre in a studio, then you’ll need to follow the general instructions. For instance, the typical height of a single barre is 9.7 – 14 metres from the floor. Double barres, on the other hand, have a height of 9.7 – 10.4 metres from the floor regarding the lower barre and 13 – 14 metres from the floor regarding the upper barre.
Although you can install a barre like this on your own, if you have zero experience, it is better to contact a professional. This is essential because a poorly installed can result in injury or damage to the wall.