Rave: Ballet-Style Workouts

While it’s not yet technically the “New Year”, there’s something about September that urges us to make a resolution and start fresh. Perhaps it’s that we still haven’t shaken the feeling of going back to school and starting with a blank slate. Whatever the reason, our resolution this fall is to jump back on the workout wagon, because let’s face it, somewhere between burgers and beer at the cottage and many late, cocktail-filled nights on patios this summer, we fell off. 

Normally, this would sound like a drag, but we’ve found a cool new workout trend called The Bar Method that will get you sweating and feeling nostalgic for the good old days of pink tutus and ballet shoes (before they became a trendy alternative to heels).

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The Bar Method combines ballet, yoga and Pilates in an interval workout, and while new to us on the fourth floor, it’s actually been around since 1959! Now with over 60 locations all over the U.S and one in Vancouver, The Bar Method is quickly becoming the “it” workout. 

Drew Barrymore, Ginnifer Goodwin, Zooey Deschanel, Denise Richards and Anna Paquin are just a few of the celebrities that swear by this fat burning, muscle carving, body reshaping, arm sculpting, waist trimming, posture enhancing (shall we go on?) workout.

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Since we don’t plan on flying to Vancouver or New York to try out a class, we did our research and found a similar alternative in Toronto called The Extension Method. The studio, aptly named The Extension Room, is located at 530 Richmond St. W., and offers a variety of ballet-style workouts which include: Ballet Bootcamp, Ballet Sculpt and Classical Ballet Technique. 

Classes run for about the same price as Yoga ($17 for a drop-in and $170 for a month pass). The 267 Richmond St. location of Extreme Fitness also offers a selection of classes.

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You can also check out classes at the National Ballet of Canada, which offers seven progressive levels of classes, allowing you to advance at your own pace (we’re not Karen Kain after all). Classes run through the year in three terms of 15 weeks each and prices run from $350 to $1,285 per term, depending on the number of classes you take.

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For those who crave variety in their workout menu, City Dance Corps might be the one for you with Ballet, Ballet Boot Camp and Power Barre classes. All three are offered with a variety of drop-in rates and options ranging from $15.25 per class to $152 per month, allowing even the most commitment-phobic to lace up their pointe shoes.
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Here’s hoping our first resolution of fall sticks. If not, at least we’ll have a little fun stretching, sweating and pretending we’re prima ballerinas for the day.


Fashion-able: Flat-soled solutions

For this Fashion-able post, we enlisted our stylist-turned-publicist Lara to give us the lowdown on flats for the summer. Her keen eye and strong, individual fashion sense means she’s got some serious opinions about shoe style. Let us know if you agree or not – tweet us @rockitpromo. 
I’m going to admit something that may offend: I don’t like ballet flats as footwear. Yep, I said it. And I mean it. Now I’ll also admit this: I’m being hypocritical because I own about 9 pairs of Bloch’s. I think they’re pretty to look at and don’t get me wrong, they look great for a cute, prepster look with skinny cropped jeans. But with skirts/flared jeans/leggings – I just cringed while typing.

I have a theory: I don’t think that people are all rocking this style based solely on their love of slippers. I think people gravitate to ballet flats because they’re easy, comfortable and most importantly, because there’s a lack of other flat-soled summer options out there.

Case in point: gladiator sandals. Probably the most unflattering footwear to exist to date. It’s quite simple really. Thick straps on ankles lead to cankles. End of story. No leg will be flattered when they become cut-off and thus, stumpy. Non-option number one.

Birkenstocks: I’m crunchy granola at heart (seriously), but really, they’re meant for the cottage. Period. Non-option number 2.

Thongs: Many people swear by them, but to me, they just hurt right between my big and second toes. I’m actually fascinated that people can wear these. Regardless, they’re non-option number three, unless you’re on the beach.
So what’s a girl to do? Well, don’t be discouraged to start with. I’ve found a few pairs of flatties, both high end, low end, casual and dressy, that will get you through the summer without having to take the easy route out with ballet flats, convenient as they may be.
Casual comfort go-to’s:

Bensimon Classic Lace Up Flats, $57.51, Shopbop.com
SILVANA, originally $20, on sale for $12.98, Aldo
A flat espadrille and an light sneaker (FYI, Bensimon’s are Europe’s equivalent of North America’s Converse). Both great choices for a summer dress or skinny pant.
Dressier dilemmas? Solutions:
Dolce Vita Jayne Flat Sandals, $151, Shopbop.com. 
A thin strap around the ankle removes the stump factor and inserts the sexy factor, especially with the splash of gold on these.
Joie Cabaret Lace Up Flat Sandals $227, Shopbop.com.
AKSUMA $60, Aldo.
Same goes for airy chiffon. This amps up the romance and eliminates the dreaded cankle.

Jenni Kayne 3 Band Flat Sandals $353, Shopbop.com.
These don’t have the thong, which makes them dressier. The thick leather bands make them appropriate for work or nights out, and are the essence of a summer day-to-night shoe. 
Let’s all take a minute and relish the joy that comes in the form of a sockless summer. And while Rachel Bilson, one of my style icons, will always look impeccable in ballet flats, let’s aim to expand our horizons. We can do it, one slipper-less step at a time.