Photos by Chris Motion

Barre Base

by Insiders Dunedin

Healthy living is something that is becoming more popular. There has been a resurgence in fitness activities like Crossfit or Yoga. More interestingly, the move to cross training activities has opened the door to some niche fitness classes that are growing in popularity. 

I caught up with Tamzin Motion and Rosa Anderson Jones who have recently started Barre Base, a relatively new fitness concept for Dunedin. On their website, they explain, "Barre Base fuses elements of ballet barre (French for 'bar') conditioning exercises with elements of pilates, yoga, dance, and functional, body-weight training. Although the classes are based in dance movement, dance experience isn't a necessity to take part in the classes at all! Each person can be challenged at his or her own level in class without affecting anyone else’s workout. The moves are low impact but include high-intensity intervals, body-weight strength work, followed by effective stretching that functions as your recovery." 

The idea to start a Barre class here in Dunedin was in response to seeing its popularity grow overseas, especially in the states. People have taken a liking to traditional methods of conditioning, strength and flexibility training used in dancing styles such as Ballet. Not to learn the actual style of dance, but to engage in the same style of training dancers practise for health and fitness purposes. Something the girls were naturally interested in with their extensive background in dance. But more so, the opportunity they saw in being one of the first to bring the new trend of fitness to Dunedin. A perfect fit when you consider the girls background.

Both, Tamzin and Rosa were raised in Dunedin and have danced for the past 18 years. The duo have been involved in a number of areas of dance including Jazz, Ballet, and Hip-hop.  In 2008, Rosa received her NZAMD teaching qualifications through my Elementary Jazz examination. Followed by, gaining her Solo Seal Diploma in Modern Jazz in 2013, and is currently working towards her Solo Seal Diploma in the NZAMD contemporary syllabus. She has taught Jazz at the Elizabeth Adams School of Dance for the past three years and has developed a real passion for healthy food and cooking to compliment her active lifestyle

Tamzin has also completed her dance grades, earning herself a teaching qualification through Elementary Jazz. From 2012 to 2014, Tamzin danced with the Otago Dancers where they performed on behalf of teams including the Otago Nuggets, Highlanders, Otago Volts and the NZ Breakers. When not dancing, Tamzin is a nutrition student at Otago University. Through her studies, she has developed an interest in exercise and fitness outside of dance and understands how important a healthy lifestyle is that includes decent nutrition and exercise.

The two girls have taken their background in dance and passion for a healthy lifestyle to create a class that utilises dance conditioning techniques with other styles like Yoga and Pilates. The result is an exciting fitness class for all ages seeking better health. 

Barre Base has been going from strength to strength. Their classes are getting more popular every week, making bookings almost necessary. Classes are run throughout the week by Tamzin and Rosa in Kaikourai Valley Hall or Otago University PE Dance room. Each class is priced very reasonably, with discounts for students and concession cards. Best of all, unlike other fitness classes they employee a pay as you go approach. You do not get stuck into weekly subscriptions. Instead, you pay for each class you attend. 

I recommend if you are looking for a new kind of fitness or looking at taking up some form of exercise then Barre Base is definitely worth checking out. 

Check out their website - for more information and class schedules. 

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