Booty Barre: A mix of Pilates, yoga and dance

March 2014 Posted in Business
Silverton resident Rita Horter leads a Booty Barre class, a balance of Pilates, yoga and dance. Photo by  Kristine Thomas

Silverton resident Rita Horter leads a Booty Barre class, a balance of Pilates, yoga and dance. Photo by
Kristine Thomas

By Kristine Thomas

Rita Horter loves being back at the barre, especially since it brings out her inner dancer.

So much so, she doesn’t even mind hearing all the “barre” jokes. And not even the “booty” ones.

Horter, 31, encourages men and women of every athletic ability to join her at the barre by taking a Booty Barre class.

“Booty Barre is the best workout you haven’t tried yet,” Horter said. “This workout works the entire body.”

Booty Barre was started by world renowned fitness and wellness expert Tracey Mallett.

A cross training of Pilates, yoga and dance, a barre class is workout to music using isometric movements to improve flexibility, strength and cardio. Participants use the ballet barre, small weights and a plastic ball during the workout. A yoga mat is used during floor exercises.

Horter said the class is for all fitness levels, with each participant working to his or her ability.

For example, when doing kicks, some kicks were high and some low. An encouraging teacher, Horter politely shows each participant the correct way to do a movement.

“We have people who are fresh out of high school to grandmas,” she said. “There are ways to modify the work and to work to your range of motion.”

Listening to her friends in Portland talk about attending barre classes sparked a twinge of jealously in Horter.

“From my friends, I heard how amazing the barre classes were,” she said. “I wanted to go to one but didn’t want to drive to Portland.”

Booty Barre basics

What: Booty Barre is a combination
of dance, yoga and Pilates taught to music.

WHO: Rita Horter gives classes at
Silverton Fitness and Silverton
Ballet and Performing Arts.

WHEN: Classes at Silverton Ballet
are 7:30 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays;
8:30 a.m. Wednesdays. Silverton Fitness
members can contact her about times.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A yoga mat,
water bottle and small hand weights,
about 3 to 5 pounds.
Wear yoga pants and T-shirt.
Participants workout in bare
feet or skid resistant socks.

FIRST FRIDAY: Horter is offering an
introductory class First Friday,
March 7, 6:30 p.m. at Silverton Ballet,
209 Oak St. Special one-time fee: $5.

or email

A Silverton High graduate and an instructor at Silverton Fitness, Horter spent about two years pondering the idea of teaching barre classes in Silverton. She took 13 years of dance classes at Silverton Ballet and was a member of the high school dance team.

Her research revealed there a many different barre programs. She chose Booty Barre because she respects Mallett’s knowledge and training methods.

“I chose to teach the Booty Barre because I know the classes are safe and effective,” she said. “I have a lot of trust in this method because the movements are biomechanically sound and it’s based on exercise movements.”

Horter, who is the only Oregon certified Booty Barre trainer outside of the Portland area, attended a two-day workshop last spring and then had to submit two videos of her training otheres. The video is reviewed by Mallett, who is selective in who she certifies as instructors.

During a Thursday evening class at Silverton Ballet, the women laughed, joked and encouraged one another during the almost hour workout.

Mary Dixon has known Horter for five years through Silverton Fitness.

“I have done boxing, spinning and lifting classes. I have found this class is an overall body workout,” Dixon said. “I love the workout and I feel leaner and taller. The workouts provide such great results. Plus Rita is an amazing teacher.”

Hillary Hess has known Horter since they were on dance team and took dance classes together in high school.

“When I found out she was going to teach this class, I was so glad because it’s an awesome workout and it is great conditioning,” Hess said.

If you think Booty Barre is only for women, think again.

Kyle Palmer has been taking a Booty Barre class at least once a week from Horter at Silverton Fitness.

Of all the workouts Palmer does regularly – spinning, Pilates, yoga and weight training – he said Booty Barre is by far the most challenging and rewarding.

“Not only is it a great workout, it has greatly improved my core strength and flexibility after back surgery. I’d invite any man who thinks it’s a class for women to give it a try – they’ll think otherwise afterward,” Palmer said.

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