Red’s Recommendations: The Dailey Method
“Toning and elongating muscles.”
“Better posture, better movement and a better you.”
If these quotes don’t make your ears perk up a little bit, I’m not quite sure what will. One of the hottest fitness trends of 2016 is barre workouts; a combination of postures inspired by ballet and other disciplines like yoga and Pilates. Although many people have never heard of barre classes, they are nothing new. Barre fitness exploded onto the scene in 2000 and The Dailey Method founder Jill Dailey opened the first studio in San Francisco. Since then, the Dailey Method has grown to 57 studios including Ottawa’s location that opened in January 2015 by co-owner’s Sarah Thompson and Jamie Rigby.
I was personally introduced to barre classes in 2014 after hearing about it from some friends. I had never done it before, but when it comes to fitness I am always willing to give things a try. My workouts range from high impact activities like running, spinning and CrossFit, to yoga, walking and pilates. So when I met owner Sarah in 2014, not only was I captivated by her bright and engaging personally, but I was genuinely interested in this “dailey method” she was so passionate about and the new studio she was opening, so I was willing to give it a try.
If you’ve never been to a barre class before, trying to visualize what exactly this type of workout entails can be confusing. I mean, it certainly was for me. My initial thought was that there would be a lot of toe pointing and potentially a tutu, and I was a little concerned because this is certainly outside of my comfort zone (although I do look good in a tutu). But with the promise of a longer, leaner body, I figured I had nothing to lose.
The Dailey Method combines ballet barre work, core conditioning, and muscle strengthening through yoga, pilates, and orthopedic exercise. According to their website, The Daily Method classes include the following: Each class begins with high rep movements in a very small range of motion, effectively toning, elongating, and isolating the muscles. We focus on the triceps, biceps, shoulders and chest, back, seat, and legs. After working each muscle group, we stretch, shaping and leaning out the muscles, and bringing balance through increased flexibility.
Still thinking; “That’s great Steph, but what do you actually do?” Well, let me break it down for you just a little more. A typical class at The Dailey Method looks something like this:
Classes occur in a group setting and are typically 1-hour long. You walk into a bright and airy studio with a mirrored wall and a barre around the room. (A barre, not a bar, although that would be another kind of fun.) You don’t wear shoes, instead you wear socks with grips to help guide you on the cork floor. You use a floor mat, a rubber ball and small weights. Music plays and a friendly and motivating teacher walks around on a headset guiding you through class. You work your entire body, from head to toe, focusing on alignment. You hear words like “seat” and “tip”. (At first you’re confused but with some guidance you realize your “seat” is your butt, and that they don’t want you to sit down, but rather engage it.) You work on the floor and work standing up. You work with the barre, the ball and the weights. You focus on tiny movements, going “up an inch, down an inch”, and you start to feel a burn. You work your core, your lower body, your upper body, doing movements like squats, push ups and planks. You do tiny movements and work tiny muscles you didn’t know you had. And you finish your workout with a soothing stretch and cool down.
This workout is different, and I think that is what makes it so effective. Since meeting Sarah, I’ve attended several classes at their studio and always leave shocked at how efficient this low-impact workout is. I always wake up the next morning with a tenderness in muscles I didn’t know I had. The studio offers a wide variety of classes including; Dailey Barre for all-levels students, Dailey Basics for those that are new to barre, Dailey Gentle for those looking for a slower-paced class, and Dailey Interval for a faster-paced class that combines high and low intensity movement. For this reason, the classes appeal to wide range of individuals from first-time exercisers to athletes, or from men to expectant mothers. As they say, whether you are carrying your baby or your bike helmet, the method is for everybody.
Located in the Glebe, The Dailey Method is a welcoming and friendly community that is fun to be a part of. Co-owners (and married couple) Sarah and Jamie are the most gracious hosts, and attending a class at their studio makes you feel like you are part of their family.
I recently chatted with Sarah and Jamie to learn a little more about their business, the method and themselves. Check out my interview below.
Describe what you are looking to create in your community in 3 words?
Fun. Community. Results.
What do you want people to experience at their first class?
A happy hour at the barre! Our classes are fun, while challenging and always different, and we want all our students to experience that in every class they take. You’ll never stick to a workout and get the results you want unless you have fun with it. A big part of our studio is our community and welcoming new people into it. We love getting the chance to share The Dailey Method with new people. Our upbeat music and beautiful windows definitely help leave a lasting impression.
What is your ultimate goal for the business?
To go beyond the barre… we teach transformative barre classes that effectively and efficiently work the entire body. We want to be more than that; we want to go beyond barre classes. We offer community events and workshops that give our community more than just a workout. Our goal is to strengthen the body, mind, and spirit and to show our community that #daileyisallyouneed.
What makes The Dailey Method Ottawa unique compared to other barre studios?
We are uncommonly obsessed with alignment! Our student’s safety is our number one priority. Unlike other group classes, The Dailey Method ignites awareness through hands-on training and education. In addition, a team of experts at the cutting edge of fitness research ensures our classes effectively and efficiently lead to transformations in our student’s strength, posture, and movement.
What drew you to barre?
Sarah: As a competitive tennis player, I experienced many injuries and struggled to find a workout that gave me the results I wanted and did not aggravate my injuries. After a short while of consistently taking classes at the Vancouver Dailey Method studio, I no longer needed my regular chiropractic and massage therapy treatments. The Dailey Method classes provided me with a way to achieve my fitness goals and to do so in a healthy, fun, community oriented atmosphere.
Jamie: Sarah made me… all jokes aside, as a competitive athlete, I have experienced many different training programs and was most impressed with the efficiency and effectiveness of the 1-hour Dailey Method workout. I appreciate how the method creates a balance of flexibility and lean muscle across the entire body that provide me with agility, speed and strength for the large variety of sports I participates in.
What’s your 2nd favorite way to sweat?
Sarah: I like to mix it up! I’ve recently peppered Pilates, yoga and spin into my weekly workouts. I love getting out of my comfort zone and seeing what other Ottawa studios and studio owners are up to. I’m all about getting involved in my community and supporting other small business owners.
Jamie: Tennis, hockey, soccer, running, hiking, snowboarding… SPORTS!
What’s your go-to snack?
Sarah: For years they were my homemade date bars, but I’ve recently converted to coconut flour pumpkin raison muffins. I’m eating one right now.
Jamie: Ants on a log… not just for kids.
What’s your favorite food treat/indulgence?
Sarah: Triple cream and a full-bodied red, followed by tea and treats.
Jamie: Poutine, preferably from the Quebec side.
What’s your favorite cookbook?
Sarah: Joyous Health Eat and Live Well Without Dieting
Jamie: Vij’s at Home
What’s your favourite Ottawa restaurant?
Sarah: Shawarma Palace
Jamie: Shawarma Palace… they catered our wedding.
For more information check out this video all about The Dailey Method.