Audra Dick, Staff Writer

When most people think of a barre class they imagine a dozen ballerinas plie-ing along the barre in their tutus and pointe shoes. I learned the hard way that this is not the case whatsoever.

I recently attended a barre class at the Balance Culture with Nikki Cash, an interpersonal communications senior at FSC. Although I was somewhat familiar with barre, it was Nikki’s first time participating in a barre class.

“Going into the Balance Culture for my first time was a little intimidating,” Nikki said. “I had never taken a barre class before and I did not know what to expect. As I walked into the studio, the atmosphere was neutral, calm and welcoming. This settled my mood all together, and I became relaxed to be there. I was also welcomed by every single instructor with open arms.”

The barre class included many core exercises and stretching. Of course, the class included using a ballet barre, but it was nothing like ballet.

When we did use the barre, we did many “pulsing” exercises. Pulsing exercises include performing a small exercise repeatedly for an extended amount of time.

Personally, this is one of the hardest workouts to do because if you’re performing the exercise correctly, you really feel the intense burn!

“The class exceeded my expectations as it pushed me to my limits and made me sweat like no treadmill or stair master could ever do,” Nikki said. “Kristen made the class energetic and fun with encouraging words and fun jokes.”

Kristin Czernek recently opened the Balance Culture along with a team of 24 women, ranging from instructors to interns.

“If you had told me eight months ago that I’d be here I would have said you were crazy,” Czernek said. “This was all just a dream of mine. I never thought that I would be here. Now, I’m even thinking about writing a book. It’s all so surreal.”

Czernek decided to create the Balance Culture to build a community here in Lakeland.

“With 16,000 college students here, I think it’s important to create a space for them to be able to connect with one another in a healthy way,” Czernek said.

For college students, individual classes are only $5, and monthly memberships are $30. Although the monthly memberships are included in a year contract, college students have the option to suspend their memberships during the summer months if they won’t be in town.

The Balance Culture is located inside the Dixieland Mini-Mall, right above Concord Coffee and A Kind Place. It’s only about a five minute drive from FSC, and it is a great alternative to FSC’s wellness program if you are unable to attend any of their workout classes or if you just want to add a new workout to your routine.

Nikki and I will definitely be back, and I am very excited to see this wonderful community grow. As Nikki said,

“I can honestly say that my experience at the balance culture was great and I cannot wait for the next class!”


Photo courtesy of The Balance Culture