Save Your Spot and Your Ankles at the Barre

The internet is a wonderful playground, especially for the adept shopper. Today, guest and adult ballet blogger extraordinaire, Lorry Perez of The 109th Bead, reviews a recent find that would make a great gift for your favorite aspiring ballet dancer… including you!

And guess what? There’s a giveaway below!

It is amazing the things that a person can find all around the planet!

Barre Buddy ® by GypsyWearsBut it is particularly sweet when a person makes a discovery right in their own backyard.

This is how I found my new love – the Barre Buddy®, a product by a local southern California company, GypsyWears Inc. The Barre Buddy is an magnificent invention of Rebecca Ruschell. Rebecca created the Barre Buddy and is now the founder and CEO of GypsyWears Inc. which carries the Barre Buddy along with other ballet wear offerings.

Let me explain what this magical creation is… the Barre Buddy is a towel that wraps onto the barre; it is held in place with Velcro and includes a removable hand towel. Why is this so awesome you ask?

The Barre Buddy serves a multitude of purposes.

How do I love it, let me count the ways:
  • It saves your place on the barre. Ignore my water bottle but be in awe of my Barre Buddy, barre snatchers.
  • It provides a clean, dry space to work. Hello cold and flu season, I fear you not!
  • It cushions your ankle when stretching on the barre. My tights-only-clad ankles rejoice.
  • It stays put unlike the bathroom towel or sweater that always ends up on the floor picking up germs and getting underfoot.
  • Thirsty sweat towel. Ballet class=sweat. A lot.
  • The velco wrap keeps it on the barre but there is enough room to provide some slide action when necessary. It moves with me.
  • It’s soft. Everyone loves soft things.
  • It’s machine washable. Don’t we spend enough time hand washing things!?
  • It feels good under the hand and keeps you from gripping for dear life – the end of bad barre habits? Well, it’s a good start.
  • Wood barre? Farewell splinters, I won’t be missing you!
  • It was created by a dancer directly out of need. Rebecca sewed the very first one herself. That’s ballerina awesomeness at its best.

The Barre Buddy comes in two sizes, Demi and Grande. The colors are really pretty, the options include charcoal, pink, vanilla, lilac, and peach. The fabric is 100% cotton terry; pretty and very soft, and each one comes with a mesh wash bag.

Barre Buddy - Demi size

Demi Barre Buddy®

Barre Buddy Grande size

Grande Barre Buddy®

The Demi is a perfect size for class. It doesn’t take up too much room in a very full class. The Grande can be folded to Demi size. Although I haven’t tried that first-hand, I can imagine that it would be super cushy.

I ordered two of the Demi’s – one in charcoal and one in pink. They were shipped quickly and boxed nicely. The colors are lovely and the although the charcoal is pretty, it is not too girly and is a great choice for dancing boys. So guys, you have not been left out on this one.

I plan on purchasing a Grande for my home barre and absolutely luxuriate in the larger size. I bought two so that I could rotate for daily classes bearing in mind laundry time. The Barre Buddy stands up to the washer and dryer very well. I used the laundry bag. I suggest making sure that the velcro is attached for best results. I put mine back into the laundry bag and that’s how it goes into my dance bag. After class the sweaty buddy goes back into the bag and is perfectly ready for the washing machine. Uber convenient.

Barre Buddy in its bag

During this hot summer, it’s been really nice to have the Barre Buddy under sweaty hands; it is helping me to loosen up my grip on the barre, and as much as I’ve always loved the feel of the barre in my fingers, I’ve learned to love the softness of the terry even more. It’s going to be pure luxury during the cold winter months on those metal barres.

The Barre Buddy can be found in a variety of stores across the United States and in Canada or online at

While you are there you can check out the Bun Buddy® and the other lovely offerings for sale. If the Barre Buddy is any indication of quality, I’m sure everything else is equally fabulous.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email Rebbeca as she is a lovely person and, being the inventor of the Barre Buddy, can answer any question or concern you might have.

There are lots of cool accessories available to dancers these days and many of them are fun and cute but I think that you will agree that the Barre Buddy is a brilliant idea whose time has come and will quickly become a best pal in ballet class.

The Giveaway

Barre Buddy in LavenderRebecca would like to giveaway not one, but TWO Barre Buddies (one Demi and one Grande) to FIVE Dance Advantage readers.

How to enter:

Comment on this post, and tell us… Where is your favorite place to stand at the barre and why?

I’m giving you until MIDNIGHT (EST) Tuesday, October 8 to leave your comment. At that time the 5 winners will be randomly selected to each receive one Demi and one Grande Barre Buddy.

You must live in the United States and be at least 18 years old to participate in this giveaway. Read our giveaway policy.

Our thanks to Lorry and to Rebecca for sharing this product with us!

Falling Ice?Like lots of other grown-ups, Lorry Perez has a career, a spouse, a dog, a cat, and a house. The career in forensic criminology is less glamorous than those on television but ever so much more rewarding. The spouse is bearded, pierced, and tattooed and despite all appearances to the contrary, quite friendly and most lovable. The dog is fat and kindhearted and the cat is small and ferocious, mostly in her own mind. The house is in Southern California and was built in 1894; it stood alone for quite some time as the initiation of one of the first suburbs along the trolley system just outside of downtown Los Angeles. For all this normality, Lorry spends her time in pursuit of the extracurricular activity of ballet. That is, the incredible task of trying to learn ballet as an adult, which is no small feat and has been both disastrous and monumental. For her, ballet has moved beyond a love as a spectator event and has become a pursuit as a participant somewhere in the vicinity of obsession and addiction. She documents her development as an adult ballet student on her blog, Bead109. When not in the studio, Lorry can be found watching ballet DVDs, reading ballet books, attending the ballet, traveling to attend ballets around the world, standing outside the stage door after the ballet, or, her favorite, shopping for ballet related goods. You can also find her on Twitter as Bead_109.

Guest Contributors

Guest Contributors

Dance Advantage welcomes guest posts from other dance teachers, students, parents, professionals, or those knowledgeable in related fields. If you are interested in having your article published at Dance Advantage, please see the following info on submitting a guest post.


  1. Jasmine Flanagan says:

    My favorite spot in my studio is along the right side of the center barre, it allows me access to mirrors in both directions and since we start with the left hand on the barre, I am able to watch the teacher demonstrate the combinations and mark them as we go without having to distort myself to see whats going on. It gives me a more natural flow to class, Watching myself in the mirror is preferable to watching another dancer, as I can only confuse myself when I mess up

  2. Since I injured my ankle I have been standing at the barre that isn’t usually used because it’s on the other side of the room and has storage on one end and seating at the other. I rather like the extra space and the barre is a little taller which I am enjoying.

  3. Lorry, that sounds like a cool product! I have to remember to wipe down the barre each time because of germs – yuck! But this serves so many purposes.

    Oh where do I stand? Okay, I’ll be honest. I stand in the far upstage right corner facing the wall. This way I don’t watch anyone else for at least half of the barre. Not because I don’t want to be confused by others but because I correct them in my head! LOL! As a teacher, it’s hard not to watch other dancers and want to correct them.

  4. Nadine Timm says:

    Hi, I stand at the end of the barre because I’m the teacher … Of course I move a round a lot too….but I’ve always liked to be at one of the ends of the barres when taking class too, there’s more room and usually only one person on one side of you…. But I have to say, I love this product! If I don’t win, I will need to purchase this.. Just last week my advance students were complaining about their ankles on the barre! I can’t wait to tell them about it!!! Please let me know where to purchase this product too!!

  5. As an adult learning ballet, my favorite place to stand at the barre is in the center. That way, I always have someone to watch!

  6. I like to push myself and stand at different spots at the barre.

  7. In the corner on the wall barre. Not too many other dancers stand there…lot’s of room.

  8. jenniferc says:

    i love standing at the end of the barre, so there isn’t anyone standing behind me. i can follow people in front of me too, if I forget the combination!

  9. I have two favorite spots.

    For class, I like to stand at a freestanding barre closest to the mirror, preferably on the mirror side of the barre as well, and at an end (so I don’t feel crowded). I find that I can use the mirror less in that position.

    For solo time in the studio, I move a freestanding barre ever so slightly away from the wall at the end closest to the mirror. I can then change sides so I can do both sides but always see myself in the mirror. I also do more exercises towards the barre so I can watch myself in the mirror from a different angle.

  10. Front so that I can watch myself in the mirror and so that other dancers don’t break my focus.

  11. I go to three different studios and stand in a different place for each one. In the really large metro studio I like to stand in the very middle, for some reason that is a comfortable spot. In the tiny suburban class I always stand at the head of the barre right by the teacher. In the last studio, which is a strict Vaganova class I like to be by the big window that looks out over the city. In spite of the fact I stand in differing places in each studio, if I don’t get my preferred spots in each place I am a little antsy during the whole class!

  12. Anywhere as long as it is along the perimeter of the room, preferably with the mirror to the side, not directly in front of me. I am not a fan of the portable center barres.

  13. We don’t always use barres because my teacher likes to do a lot of center work to start class out on our leg instead of with a barre. When we do use a barre though, I tend to stand on the far left side on the end (we have portable barres). Only one person around me and I can see myself in the mirror in both directions.

  14. I like to stand on one of the ends of the wall-mounted barre. I get annoyed when people space out too far and won’t scoot up for someone else to stand at the barre 🙂 This product looks super comfy. I like having something to towel off with during class, especially during the 100+ degree summers.

  15. I like to stand at the front, closest to the front.

  16. Along the mirrored wall, in the center of the barre. The mirror allows me to check my alignment and make corrections. The center spot allows me to glance at the other dancers when I am struggling to remember part of a combination. 🙂

  17. That looks so cool! In general, whatever spot is on the end closest to the inside of the room…it’s just something about not being completely surrounded on both sides that makes me more comfortable.

  18. My favorite place to stand at barre is at one of the moveable barres that are put in the center. We place them horizontally across the room, which I like because then I can stand closest to the mirror and keep on eye on my arabesque line!

  19. While I enjoy switching places at the barre to stay balanced, my very favorite spot is along the back wall, right next to the piano. I find that it’s easier to get lost in the music and respond to it, instead of watching others or overthinking the combination. Plus, I am in awe of the talented musicians who play for our class!

  20. my favorite place to stand is on a freestanding barre in the center where I can see the side and front views on my *bad* side (right leg working), and then my side view on my *good* side (left leg working). I do like to be next to the pianist, and feel the vibrations from the piano, as well as her energy. While I can’t always have this ideal arrangement in every studio, I do try to switch it up a bit and alos enjoy NO mirror access in order to really feel what I am doing, in stead of looking at myself.

  21. I tend to gravitate towards the perimeter of a classroom, at the end of a barre, since I like to feel that I have a bit more space. I also tend to go to the side of the room opposite where the teacher usually gives combinations, so that I can stretch a bit in between combinations without feeling like I’m distracting from the combination being given.

  22. Joanne Jaglowski says:

    I usually like to stand near the pianist, and unless I am having an especially good day or are very used to the particular class, I tend to keep my eye on someone who does seem to be very comfortable in the room.