{what is in a name?}

by | Nov 29, 2018 | Blog, Esther Fairfax, Lotte Berk, TheLONDONmethod | 0 comments

If you have heard of “Barre”, then you probably have heard the name: Lotte Berk. Lotte Berk is known as the creator of Barre, but what exactly is Barre? Today, this can mean many things as there seems to be a studio teaching some version of Lotte’s work on almost every corner. The work of Lotte Berk actually began in the fifties as a personal plan to help her heal her own body from a back injury she had incurred as a dancer as well as to fuel her desire to keep the ballerina like figure that she loved so much. She fused exercises she had been taught by her very own osteopath, Dr. Apple with her daily ballet routine. Thus, Lotte Berk designed a genius technique that not only made her body feel better, but also look better than it ever had before.

Lotte Berk was obsessed with the female form and figured out how to tease and torture (these are words SHE liked to use) the deeper layers of her muscle fibers so they would pull in as tightly as possible and do what they were originally designed to do: hold in our organs. The Core was her focus and in doing so those that were lucky enough to learn from her pulled their waistlines in dramatically. Women from all over the world started hearing about the work of Lotte Berk and would flock to her very modest studio located in London, England. Lotte’s studio thrived in the heart of London throughout the sixties, and seventies.

In the late sixties a woman named Lydia Bach came across the wonderful work of Lotte Berk and after practicing it on her own body and feeling the life changing results it had on her physique, she purchased the rights to Lotte’s name and promised to make her technique just as big in America as it was in England. Bach stayed true to her promise and opened the first Lotte Berk Method studio in New York in 1971. Lotte Berk was invited to the opening of the studio, but then never actually witnessed what exercises the studio that donned her name was teaching.

Lotte’s ORIGINAL exercises were a work of art, but Lotte’s ORIGINAL exercises were not easy. Sometimes just getting into the positions you need to be in in order to get the proper results can be challenging, but Lotte believed with hard work, practice, and perseverance ANYONE could get there. Unfortunately, some of these extremely effective exercises designed by Berk were never actually taught in the beautiful Lotte Berk Method studio created by Lydia Bach. The Americans never got to see the moves that stretched you so deeply while digging into places you never knew you could get to. They never got to feel this feeling and in turn didn’t actually get to see the exact same results Lotte was getting across the pond.

They never got to until NOW. In 2015, Kelly Wackerman was a former Pilates teacher who fell in love with Barre classes and began teaching them every chance she could. For years she was trained and told that she was teaching the work of Lotte Berk and through a multitude of chance encounters stumbled upon the work of Esther Fairfax, who is the only surviving descendant of the TRUE teachings of Lotte Berk. Esther is Lotte’s only daughter and for the last sixty plus years has been teaching the same exercises that her mother taught her back when the method began. Kelly was lucky enough to find Esther, be trained by her, and almost immediately after learning the exercises and practicing them the way Esther taught her, the same results began to happen to Kelly that happened to all those women in London so many years before.

In less than one month’s time, Kelly’s own waist began to pull in (1.5 inches in three weeks to be exact), her thigh muscles she had built up from years of practicing Americanized Barre began to lean and lengthen out. The abdominal muscles she had torn from carrying her twin sons began to heal and return to their rightful position. She became stronger in her core muscles than she had ever been from any other sort of exercises. in 2015 Kelly became a believer of the ORIGINAL work and vowed to have a place in America where Lotte’s ORIGINAL work could live. In 2016 Kelly opened the very first LONDON method studio with Pamela Kennedy. Today Kelly and Pam have over ten teachers who have now been trained in the ORIGINAL work and are looking to have more. Today at theLONDONmethod, YOU can find the ORIGINAL work of Lotte Berk and feel exactly why everyone wanted (and still wants) a piece of this woman’s legacy.

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“make it personal… let the energy circulate through your muscles, your heart, and your soul... don’t just do it, feel it!”
- Esther Fairfax

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