Once upon a time there was a young University of Colorado graduate named Jill Dailey with a passion for all things dance. She moved to California hoping to help others find their passion for fitness. After earning multiple Pilates and personal training certifications she was introduced to the Lotte Berk Method from NYC. Based off of this method — in 2000 she created The Dailey Method, the first barre class on the West Coast. Flash forward 13 years and this Colorado Buffalo has opened over 46 studios across the country and internationally. Queue the ruby slippers — but there is no place like home, and having a studio in Denver gives Dailey another excuse to come back for visits to the Mile High City.
So what exactly is a barre class? I wondered the same thing. The Dailey Method workout combines ballet barre work, core conditioning, stretching and orthopedic exercises. It’s a combination of yoga, Pilates, ballet, and light weight resistance exercises. A lot of importance is placed on a neutral spine and a solid foundation during each exercise.
Opening its doors last September was Colorado’s first Dailey Method studio, Denver-Highlands owned and managed by Carrie Krane (also a former CU-Buff). Dailey made a stop in Denver earlier this week — offering barre class frequenters the opportunity to take a class with the woman who started it all.
So I decided to take off my shoes and give it a try too…
I have been an athlete my whole life — recently completing four years of collegiate volleyball, complete with off-seasons full of lifting and workouts so intense they sometimes literally made me sick to my stomach. Let’s just say that over the years I have had my fair share of hard workouts. But this workout caught me off guard on a completely different level. Emphasis was not placed on how “hard you go” or how many reps you can bang out in an hour. The instructors (in this case Jill Dailey herself) are hands-on in providing instruction throughout the class to ensure that exercisers receive the best possible workout for their body. And looking around the room at all of the Natalie Portman-esque “dancer-bodies” surrounding me – it is clear that whatever they are doing is working.
“When I taught in the Bay area I was teaching people who had been coming for a long time” Krane said about her teaching experiences before moving to Denver. “Once I moved here I was reminded about the kind of results that you literally see – it’s amazing. You see people standing taller and saying they feel better mentally. It’s been really cool.”
After catching my breath and chugging down some water post-barre class I had the opportunity to sit down with Dailey to talk about The Dailey Method and how Colorado fits into the barre studio revolution.
303: So what brings you to Colorado this time?
Dailey: We [me and my husband] just went on vacation to Europe and left the kids with my mom who is still in the area.
303: The concept of barre classes are relatively new and growing in Colorado. What do you think sets The Dailey Method above or apart from other studios?
Dailey: We have been around longer than any other barre classes that are in existence today. I know that one of our core values is always to be a student. I am constantly taking classes and learning from other owners to make sure that the class is constantly evolving to what current knowledge is, and making it the best class possible.
303: How does The Dailey Method work to increase metabolism to burn up to 600 calories a session?
Dailey: I don’t really actually like to place a strong emphasis on how many calories it burns, because that’s such an individual thing. The thing about The Dailey Method is that, yeah, it does burn a lot of calories when you are actually doing it in the room, but because its focus is on working all the muscles in the body it raises your metabolism. So you’re going to be burning more calories all day long — even when you’re sleeping.
303: The Dailey Method blog describes that the word of the month is “FOUNDATION”. Aside from focusing on the foundation during exercises how are you emphasizing foundation into people’s minds and lives?
Dailey: The foundation for me is really about family, which I think is one of the most important foundations. There’s also foundation when it comes to the Earth and using it to help you with your alignment and engaging the muscles properly. I think that is a concept that is lost in a lot of classes and it is really an emphasis in The Dailey Method – that every exercise does focus on foundation first and then alignment from there.
303: The Dailey Method is always evolving based off of new knowledge and research. How do you keep so many studios and instructors up to date with the latest information?
Dailey: We all work closely together. That was one of my biggest concerns of franchising in the beginning was the quality control – it is so important when you are teaching people exercise that you are doing it right. We do owners retreats once a year, I send out emails and videos, and we require that all the owners go through all of the workshops every year. Either me or one of my master trainers travel to every single studio every year. There are constant opportunities for all teachers, trainers, and owners to learn.
303: Finally, what does it mean to you to have a studio here in your native state?
Dailey: Oh I love it — I love it. It is something I’ve actually wanted for a long time, but we do not actively look to go into any market. When the right people come to us we support them in the market they feel is right for them. I mean I lived here for 21 years and it’s great for me to just have another reason to come out here. It makes me really happy.
I was told that the class I took with Jill was pretty challenging for a beginner, so I came back to try out a Principles class with owner Carrie Krane. I really enjoyed this class — time was taken to explain all of the exercises, and was intimate enough that Krane could come around and make alignment adjustments. I would definitely recommend this principles class to any beginner.
The Dailey Method has a wide range of classes and packages that newcomers can choose when trying to decide if barre classes are right for them. Special to the Colorado studio is the option for childcare that is offered Monday-Saturday (I hope I can look half as good as these hot mamas sometime before I have children).
The Dailey Method
4342 Tennyson Street