The Lotte Berk Method


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. 

The Lotte Berk Barre Method

Lotte Berk's method has evolved in varied directions around the globe in recent decades. 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 & Soul 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.

Carrying on the legacy of Lotte Berk at Barre & Soul®

Barre & Soul is proud to carry on Lotte Berk's legacy through our Barre & Soul method classes which are based on a strong Lotte Berk knowledge and pedagogy, and we are one of very few studios in the world to offer "Pure Lotte" classes, taught as precisely as Lotte herself did, and personally certified by Esther Fairfax.

Join us for a "Pure Lotte" workshop, to view video footage of our time spent together with Esther diving deeply into the history, legacy and bold fearless creator of the very first barre classes in the world. We'll share a peek into this inspiring fitness and wellness innovator's life, experience a pure Lotte Berk method class and offer time for Q&A. If you want to know the real deal, we look forward to having you!