As a dancer and fitness fanatic, I’ve chosen a path where shortcuts aren’t particularly an option – not if I want to reach the pinnacle of success and sustainable health. There is no way to become a ballerina without attending class five days a week. If you miss your tap sounds, you’ve got to practice. If you want sculpted arms, then you’ve got to hit the deck and do some pushups and dedicate yourself to healthy, balanced eating. I’d be lying if I told you I hadn’t dipped my toes in the lazy river, but after twenty years of dedication to something, I can tell you that there is nothing more rewarding than wiping sweat off your brow and reaping the opportunities that arise from the ashes of your HARD WORK.
To me, this is exactly what a new fitness studio in Roslyn, New York is all about. It’s called London Barre, and it’s the prime example of hard work reaping results! Lisa Mozo is the founder and owner of London Barre, and I had a chance to take her class last week and experience it for myself.
If you’re new to the concept of barre classes, it’s movement that targets and sculpts your body to create long, lean, strong muscles. The way you might imagine the body of a professional dancer who spends hours training at the ballet barre! Lotte Berk is considered the mother of barre fitness. When Lotte sustained a back injury, she was given physical therapy exercises for rehabilitation. Lotte saw the potential of mixing the exercises from her ballet background with her physical therapy exercises, and from this combination, The Lotte Berk Method was born in the 1950’s. Thousands have used her method since she opened her first studio in London in 1959. Many have taken her ideas and put their own spin on them, but her daughter Esther Fairfax has taught in London and faithfully stuck to her technique for over five decades. Only THREE studios exist in the United States that are Lotte Berk certified, and London Barre is one of them! WOW!
Lisa Mozo, the proud and vivacious owner of London Barre couldn’t speak with more enthusiasm and passion if she tried! A former dancer turned NYC television producer, Lisa was searching for some type of fitness that gave her the freedom and joy dance brought her. When I asked Lisa how she came upon the Lotte Berk Method her response was filled with emotion,
“When I stopped dancing, and chose a different career path, my quest to find a form of exercise that would channel the same exhilaration and same physical results I once experienced as a dancer, seemed to be never ending. I have tried every barre class out there – some derivative of Lotte Berk, some not. Pilates, Yoga, Martial Arts – you name it – I have tried it but ultimately became bored after awhile. Nothing kept my mind challenged enough to keep my body engaged. From the very first move I did in my very first [Lotte Berk Method] class, a wave of emotion came over me – I was home.”
I would have paraphrased, but her response was too genuine to cut short. How often do we become bored with a workout once we conquer it? Lisa feels the wonderful thing about these barre classes is that they are always challenging. There’s always more to learn, more moves to perfect, and more muscles to push. She used the word “intelligent” to describe the technique. When asked what made her fall in love with the method, she replied, “No endless repetitions, no bells, whistles or gimmicks, every move, no matter how small, had a place and a purpose.” I think this is what I loved most about the class, too.
Located on the second floor of a modernistic loft, buzzing with artistic businesses, London Barre welcomes you into a clean space that feels delightfully familiar. The way Lisa has decorated and efficiently used the room makes you immediately feel comfortable. It’s one studio, mirrors, a ballet barre attached to the wall, and yoga mats. The equipment is minimal, but don’t be fooled! With an upbeat playlist and the smile of a woman who loves her job, Lisa led us through 55 minutes of sculpting, toning, and burning. We hit every body part as we pulsed, lunged, and lifted. Lisa is a knowledgeable instructor. You can tell she has a background in dance and dedicated herself immensely during her training in London. I dance almost every day of the week, and Lisa managed to help me discover muscles I hadn’t used in a while, meaning I was sore and ready for more the next day! I left the class feeling empowered and pushed. Isn’t that the post-workout dream?!
I really encourage you to attend class at London Barre. If I could begin each morning at Lisa’s studio, I genuinely would. Fitness and health are a lifestyle choice, and London Barre offers a workout that assists in that longevity. It stays challenging, produces results, and is of the purest quality. A positively superb addition to the Long Island fitness scene.
For class schedules and pricing visit www.thelondonbarre.com
Photos courtesy of Y’vette D’Elia Photography and my cellular device.