My First Ballet-Inspired Workout: Pure Barre Review

Hi friends! I hope you had a good morning! Mine started off bright and early with a new-to-me workout: Pure Barre. I’ve wanted to try an in-person ballet-inspired class ever since my first introduction to Physique 57 (I’d only tried the book and my friend reviewed a class in NYC). I’d been meaning to check out the new studio that opened a few months ago in town, and when I met the owner, Carolyn, of the Pure Barre Winston Salem studio over the weekend (she was so nice, btw), it inspired me to go soon.

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The instructor of the class I attended, Traci, was so nice and welcoming – especially for a 6 AM class! 😉 I was a bit nervous since I’d heard unfavorable things about the attitudes of other ballet-inspired studios but that was not the case here!

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The studio is so pretty! I loved all the holiday decor too. You wear socks – no shoes and not barefoot – for the workout and yoga-ish clothes. I learned why the socks were necessary during the workout since some of the moves involve sliding your feet across the carpet. (I missed the memo to wear black socks – I was the only one with white socks! hehe)

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I grabbed a small ball (like a playground ball but about 4″ across), a resistance band and a set of weights. I grabbed the 3 lb weights (they had 1 lb, 3 lb and 5 lb options). I usually lift with 12-20 lb dumbbells for my upper body so I thought 3 was gonna be a breeze. But since I’d never been I decided to temper my ego and do the 3 instead of the 5 lbs. I’m SO glad I did!

The class started with a few minutes of core work before moving to arm work. The core work was tough but just when I thought I was going to have to take a break, we’d switch the type of move we were doing and that provided enough relief so I could keep going. It was the same with the upper body – we did triceps, biceps, shoulders and some minor back/chest work. Those little weights had me shaking! We did high reps and small movements – I definitely felt the burn!!

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After core/upper body, we moved to the bar for some ballet-inspired moves. Leg lifts from all angles with slow controlled movements to the beat of the perfectly timed and current pop music and also small pulsing movements. Again, like the core workout, just when I thought I couldn’t do any more, we’d shift the moves so I could keep going. We alternated between the barre and the floor for the lower body workout. We also had a few segments of stretching interspersed which felt soooo good.

To finish class, we did more core work at the barre (super interesting moves – so hard to describe…you’ll have to try it in person! 😉 ) and again on the floor. I was shaking and sweating by the time I left, but in such a good mood! I loved the class! And I love the location in Reynolda Village – such a pretty place.

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Later at work my legs were still burning and I can still feel the soreness tonight. I fully expect my abs to be sore tomorrow (I usually have a day delay with soreness so the leg soreness this soon was unexpected.)

Bottom line:

  • Do I recommend it? Based on 1 class, definitely! I think it’s a good addition to a well-rounded workout. It reached muscles that are easily neglected. I’m also excited to have another non-impact workout (in addition to the yoga I do) in my line-up, but it definitely doesn’t have the mental/spiritual aspect that yoga provides me.
  • Would I spend my own money on it? Yes, and I did. I didn’t get a free class. The drop-in rate is $20 which is pricey compared to local yoga studios (most drop-in rates are $15) but they have passes that drop the per-class fee. I don’t think I’d give up yoga to divert my fitness budget to Pure Barre, but I’m definitely going to try to find a way to fit it in at least a couple times a month. (But I’m sure I won’t see the results as much as I would if I were regular. If only I was made of money and unlimited time. :))
You can find your nearest location here.
Have you tried any ballet-inspired workouts? What did you think?

PS – I picked a winner for the Five Bamboo giveaway. Click here to see if it was you!


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  • Lindsey

    A Pure Barre just opened up in Columbia, too. I went to a class last week and LOVED it! I didn’t get the memo at all about socks, and I showed up barefoot. Woops. They had a Black Friday deal for 12 classes for $12 each, so I went for it. (The drop-in price here is $22, which is craaaaaazzzyyy expensive.) I’m hoping it will really make a difference in my core and booty, though, and it will be worth it. 🙂

    • Teri [a foodie stays fit]

      SOOOO jealous of the Black Friday deal you scored! My booty is sore tonight and it NEVER gets sore, so I’m hopeful! 🙂

  • Amy

    I’m not really a girly girl and most of my physical activities are outdoorsy-running, road biking, skiing or hiking. I also lift heavy weights once or twice a week. A friend bought me a few classes at a barre studio and I was shocked at how hard it was. I mean, I seriously struggled to finish all the reps with 1 lb weights. If it weren’t so expensive, I would definitely go back for more. I love how it works muscles that are hard to target in the gym. Plus most of the girls there are lean and muscular, which I think is a good sign.

  • Anne

    I danced for 16 years and have been dying to try a barre class! So glad to hear it gets all of those muscles you never knew you had, that is the core strength I miss!

  • Pure Barre Winston-Salem

    Teri, it was great to have you in class! I’m glad you found the studio friendly and welcoming. Wanted to let you know that we currently offer a New Client Special which is $99 for one month of unlimited classes. It’s an especially great deal if you decide to participate in our December Challenge. Pure Barre wants everyone to commit to health and fitness this holiday season and challenges everyone to take 20 classes in 30 days from December 1st – December 31st (maximum of one class per client per day). Everyone who finishes the December Challenge will earn 5 classes and 10% of a retail purchase! All you have to do is sign up at the front desk. Grab a friend and we’ll see you at the studio soon …

  • purelylori

    we have heard such good things about Pure Barre, it is something Michelle and I have wanted to give a try. there is a local studio here in Charlotte, I believe, so I just might have to give it a try! 🙂

  • Addie Ohrn

    I have the Physique 57 work out DVD’s and I try to do them at least 2x a week. I agree with everything you said though about 3 lb weights kicking your trash! Such a fun & different way to work out.

  • Dawn

    That is the most adorable studio! I’ve heard there’s a barre studio coming to my area (not sure which one) and I’m excited to try it!

  • Joy

    We have a similar studio where I love! I am loving going – I tell everyone it’s addictive

  • Katie

    I looked at one of these classes a while back. I’m pretty big on lifting, and my cardio, so I was afraid I would waste my money and not get a good workout. I do pilates (reformer). Do you think it hits muscles similar to that workout? I’m not much of the “dance type”.

  • Rachel Wilkerson

    Good job trying something new! I’ve done bar-ish workouts but not this particular brand; I think a new one just opened in Houston though so I need to check it out!

  • Chantelle @ A Tale of Two Pretties

    I’ve been wanting to try Pure Barre FOREVER! This looks/sounds like it was so amazing–definitely the boost I need to drop in and try the studio here in Boulder. Thanks!

  • Brittany @

    The yoga studio I go to offers this class and I have been wanting to try it! With spin, weightlifting, yoga, and jogging I don’t think it would be smart to add another type of workout to clutter my mind lol.

  • Tori @ One Thousand Miles

    I love barre workouts! I was really into it for awhile there, but now that I’m pregnant I can’t really bend so well anymore! The place here in Richmond does a Groupon deal fairly often so I usually snatch those up when I see them. I really like it so much better than the fast paced classes at the gym and it provides such an awesome workout. I totally plan on making it as often as possible after the baby arrives so I can get my body back.

  • Amy @ Extracurricular Activities

    I have done Pure Barre once and a similar class called Define that we also have in Houston. I actually like Define better, but I have only been to one Pure Barre class so I don’t have the best background for comparison. That being said, I love the bar inspired workout method in general. It works well for me because I tend to bulk up in my lower body from certain types of exercise, and I NEVER do ab or core work on my own. My favorite thing about it however is that while it is definitely tough and I can feel the burn throughout the workout, it’s not something I dread going to like boot camps and sometimes even Body Pump if I’m not in the mood. I rarely dread going to a Define class or come up with an excuse to back out like I do with classes I don’t like. I’m glad you liked your first class!