Dark Side of the Barre

One year ago, my friend Natalie invited me to come along with her to a Pure Barre class. So, I went, and 120+ classes later, I'm hooked. I've bought the sticky socks so I don't slip when doing all the 90 second planks and LTBing in general. Lift. Tone. Burn. Shaking is Changing. I've drank the Kool-Aid, kids. I have Barre Buddies and a Pentagon City Pure Barre decal on my Soul Red Mazda CX-5 and another on my orange Lenovo Yoga laptop that is bringing you THIS. I have a Pure Barre ornament on my Christmas tree this year. Because this year, the year of No Fear, has also been the year of Barre. I love everything about it. From Lauren, the owner of the studio, to all the fabulous instructors and the music they play when I go in to sweat away all the stress of my day at the 8 o'clock class. I go at night. It's my time.

There's certainly an element of dance to Pure Barre, which brings me back to my feeble attempts at ballet as a young child, to an adult taking classes in college. I simply adore dance. I watch So You Think You Can Dance to appreciate the artistry and strength of the choreographers and dancers alike. Strength and grace. That's my goal. My co-worker calls me a "jock" for going to PB so much, but it's true that I'm stronger now, at 37, than I have ever been in my life. I grip that wooden barre with all that I have within me and my core holds me up an inch, down an inch, up an inch, down an inch. One squeeze of the ball, one upper body curl, one squeeze of the ball, one upper body curl. These are the things that run through my head, even when I'm not in the studio. 

My goals in September included becoming a member of the 100 Club at Pentagon City Pure Barre, and launching THIS. In that same month, on September 8th, The National released Sleep Well Beast, their seventh studio album. I listen to it on the way to work in the mornings, on the way to pick up my son in the evenings, and on the way to and from Pure Barre classes. Consistently for the last three months. The song that has stuck itself deep within me is Dark Side of the Gym, the second to last song on the album. So, when my husband bought us tickets to see our favorite band at The Anthem in Washington, DC for their December 5th show, each day my anticipation grew as the music filled my soul in my Soul Red car. Dark Side of the Gym, especially, has become my own anthem.

I found out on Monday this week that The National had collaborated with one of my favorite dancer/choreographers, Justin Peck, of the NYC Ballet, to create a music video for Dark Side of the Gym. Gah. My glorious worlds of dance and barre and music and art collided when I saw it the first time, and then when I read this article about the video in The New Yorker by Marina Harrs. 

I had serious doubts that The National would play this song in concert, despite my Instagram and Twitter pleas, but not only did it make it into the set list last night, but Justin Peck and Patricia Delgado were backstage. I took a short video on my phone of the very beginning of the song, but just watch the official video in its entirety below. Stunning. Beautiful. Dark.

Rachel Wimer