Ballet barres, by definition, are either mounted or free standing forms of handrails used to practice various performance moves that are balance based. Additionally, the bars can be used for pre-rehearsal warm up techniques, workouts, and stretching. Not truly meant to be gripped tightly, it is commonly known that quite often they are indeed used in just that way. So strength is paramount when choosing a ballet barre.
There are two typically seen types of ballet barre:
As the name suggests, mounted barres are fixed to either the wall or
floor in some way. They are horizontal and usually span the length of
the periphery of the performance or work out area. Diminishing in popularity due to several limitations, the biggest issue seems to be that users of the barre can only orient themselves in one direction, meaning instructors can only be seen when facing away from the wall the barre is mounted to.
Portable (or free-standing) barres are designed to be
moved around. They typically consist of the main horizontal round rail
mounted between two uprights with legs and feet. These are an excellent
option as they can be readily moved when the floor needs to
be clear, or when another studio needs an extra barre, as well as having complete freedom of movement and orientation.
Barres can be made from wood, metal, aluminum or PVC pipe, with wood and metal being the two most common, due to the inherent weaknesses in aluminum and PVC pipe.
Wood was the traditional material for ballet bars. However, this
doesn't mean it's the best choice - far from it. While wood is quite visually
appealing in a traditional sense, and pleasant to touch, finding long lengths of high-quality
wood to create the rails from can be a difficult (and costly) task. It
is not recommended to go cheaper when faced with this obstacle, as poor
quality wood can splinter and split over time as well as slowly work
loose from the binds affixing it to the wall or floor. Additionally, it
is not recommended for use as a portable barre system as wood has a
tendency to warp and lose its form with repeated moving and dis-assembly.
However, the biggest drawback to wood bars is the fact that they take in germs like a sponge, and pass them on to whomever uses the barre next. Even with rigorous, constant wipe-downs, this fact remains one of the biggest concerns with wood.
Strong and inexpensive (depending on the type of metal used) and with
an excellent strength to weight ratio, steel boasts quite a number of
advantages over its wooden counterparts. Being non-porous, metal
disinfects readily and easily as opposed to wood, which is important in
public facilities. Add in a powder-coated layer, and you have incredible germ-resistance. Steel is also an excellent candidate for
portable barre systems, as they can last for years and years with minimal upkeep
Though wood used to be the more traditional material for ballet barres, its
time in the spotlight is slowly coming to a close as steel barres, like our Boss Ballet Barres, take the
stage. The benefits of cleanliness, cost efficiency, and durability are
sealing the deal for many looking for barres both for public and at home
use. If you would like to read more about our portable steel barre
systems, we welcome you to visit our website. Additionally, you can contact us to go over your specific needs, and one of our helpful staff will be able to recommend a customized solution, just for you.