Barre is one of the fastest-growing fitness methods today.

Where did the barre phenomenon begin?


Barre was originally conceived by German ballerina, Lotte Berk. Berk fled Nazi Germany to the UK in the 1940s and there she developed barre as a way for not only trained dancers to tone, strengthen and increase range-of-motion and flexibility. She created her method for women to convene in communities of strength and empowerment inside and out. But she didn't patent the name of her method as some of her contemporaries did with their innovative new fitness methods – like Joseph Pilates, coining the "Pilates" class as a clearly defined method with specific movements, certification, and standards. 

Esther Fairfax has now been teaching her mother's method for 54 years. She lives a few hours outside of London and is in her early eighties. She is strong, vibrant and dedicated to carrying on her mother’s legacy. She continues to teach those interested in practicing the purest form of barre.



"If Lotte or I haven’t trained those teaching, the classes lack that essential element of authenticity and knowledge."

— Esther Fairfax, daughter of Lotte Berk, creator of Barre

Lotte Berk's method has evolved in different directions around the world. As a result, it can be challenging to tell which barre classes are true to the roots of Lotte Berk's approach, and which are simply creative movement, aerobics or other approaches to group fitness, in a studio lined with ballet barres and mirrors. 

This is a key part of what makes Barre Guild Academy stand apart from all others. Our leadership team has traveled to the UK to train directly with Lotte Berk's daughter, Esther Fairfax – the only living descendant of Lotte Berk, and the bearer of Lotte's legacy in movement training, philosophy and teaching methodology.

WATCH NOW: Carrying on the legacy of Lotte Berk

Barre Guild Academy is proud to carry on Lotte Berk's legacy through our barre teacher training, which is based on a strong Lotte Berk knowledge and pedagogy, and we are one of very few studios in the world to offer teacher training taught as precisely as Lotte herself did, and personally certified by Esther Fairfax.


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