It’s Friday afternoon and your work week has come to a close. You want to get in that final workout before the weekend, but I bet a cocktail or time with friends sounds way better! Great news! With the W New York – Downtown hotel’s new event, Barre to Bar, you can have both! Every Friday afternoon the hotel is hosting a workout on their beautiful outdoor terrace followed by a cocktail hour.
I was given the opportunity to attend the first Barre to Bar event of the season, and I truly enjoyed my experience. I was greeted by the kindest hotel staff upon arrival and had a chance to chat with other attendees before class began. The hotel provided yoga mats and equipment, which I always appreciate, as it’s difficult to lug all your gear through the city! When we walked onto the terrace, I couldn’t help but smile at my view of downtown NYC. What a gorgeous background for a workout! Yoga mats and resistance bands were set up for each student, and water, tea, and protein bars were also provided. Before class even began, the environment was fit for a good sweat!
Our teacher, Alexander, entered the terrace, and I could tell we were about to get down to business. With the stature of a sculpture you’d see in a museum and the aura of a true fitness professional, I immediately knew I was in good hands. Before I tell you about class, I have to share Alexander’s background with you because his story is fantastic! Alexander comes from a family of Dutch fitness wonders! A sister who was an Olympic swimmer, a brother who played on the Dutch national polo team, and Alexander, a Broadway dancer, who grew up doing track & field, speed skating and swimming! WOW! Finding his niche in dance during high school, Alexander’s discipline from sports and his work ethic landed him a scholarship from the Dutch government to study musical theater in New York City. He worked his way into Broadway shows and later found himself hired by Tanya Becker to begin Physique 57. He was fit for this position because Tanya taught him the original barre method, the Lotte Berk Method (Hey! I wrote an article about this in May!) To put it simply, Alexander is the epitome of a world-class professional. His classes are a gift. Onward!
We started with a quick warm-up followed by short cardio bursts to get our hearts racing. Alexander sets his class apart from regular barre classes by adding a 15 minute metabolic burn section. Think 30 seconds of mountain climbers followed by bicep curls using the resistance bands. (Don’t worry- it was super easy to follow along!) Sure enough, within five minutes, I was in a full sweat! Talk about an effective use of time! We then headed to the barre (the terrace railing made for a surprisingly excellent substitute.) We toned our legs, derrieres, and abs while receiving helpful corrections from Alexander and fellow barre extraordinaire and instructor, Julie. We felt the burn and finished class with a relaxing stretch.
At this point, it was time for our (hard-earned) bar portion of Barre to Bar. The bar at the W New York – Downtown is inside, just feet from where class takes place. Whether it’s a cocktail or an iced tea, the environment is a great place to catch up with friends and make new ones!
As with anything in life, it’s what you make of it! I believe the W New York – Downtown hotel has provided the perfect event and teacher to give you a great Friday afternoon! Alexander has the kindness a group fitness newbie would appreciate and the ability to correct and challenge professionals. Barre to Bar is a wonderful opportunity for you to get the weekend started right!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Madison Embrey is a Michigan native that moved to NYC in 2010. After completing her BFA in Commercial Dance from Pace University in downtown Manhattan, she toured the United States and Europe with a live-action stunt show called Marvel Universe Live! Now back pursuing her dance career in NYC, she can most often be seen with a smile on her face and a coffee in hand. You can follow Madison on Instagram at @madisonembrey.