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Freestanding ballet barres are intended for use in keeping balance during ballet/dance exercises. They are not intended to hold one's weight especially when pulling or pushing against the barre. The barre should not be used as a crutch. Downward weight is OK as that will not push the barre over. In ballet, learning to use a freestanding ballet barre without tipping it over is a benefit, as it helps to improve one's balance and strengthen one's core. We sell many ballet barres to many satisfied customers around the world who are using them for ballet purposes.
This will depend entirely on what they are doing at the time. If they are just holding onto it with one hand, you can fit more than if they are doing leg stretches. Typically a 4' barre is recommended for use by just one person. For barre lengths over 4', generally allow 2' per person. The barres may be used on both sides.
A double barre is beneficial when there are multiple users of different heights. (ie. a teacher and a student) Even for a single user, having the second barre is a luxury so that you can have both barres set at heights you desire without needing to change them.
For some barre fitness programs a ballet barre will work fine, particularly if you are using the barre to replace using the back of a chair. The ballet barre is intended to be used to keep one's balance and is not designed to bear full body weight, so if you are using it just to keep your balance it will work fine. Other barre fitness programs are more strenuous and require pushing and pulling and weight bearing which a freestanding ballet barre cannot withstand. For those programs, we recommend a wall or floor mounted barre or a FIT Barre™ freestanding Fitness Barre.
They do not "fold". For the Professional Series, you may loosen the knobs on the feet and remove the feet to store the barre flat, under a bed or leaned against a wall.
Most people use the wood barres unfinished as they are and let them naturally patina. We do not recommend staining or varnishing the barres because this may cause a sticky buildup or may wear and need to be re-finished. For a wood preserver, we do recommend using a Danish oil or Linseed oil every few months. For cleaning, we recommend using Murphy's oil soap.
Yes, they are easy to assemble and disassemble as required. The Professional Series barres have clamps with hand knobs/handles, and only included tool is needed for assembly.
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