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Breaking Down the Barre: Advice for Newbies and Veterans Alike

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Whether you’ve just discovered Pure Barre or you’re a long-standing member of the 100 Club, there’s always more to learn. That’s why studios occasionally offer Breaking Down the Barre. The free workshop is meant to help clients deepen their understanding of the technique. My home studio held its first Breaking Down the Barre on Saturday. In conjunction with the class, I asked Pure Barre Brighton teachers (pictured) to share their advice for newbies and veterans alike:


Be proud that you stepped into the studio and are trying something new; that in itself is a challenge and you have accomplished something right there. Walk in with an open mind knowing that it will most likely be unlike anything you’ve ever done before but also know that the teacher will take great care of you. We try to create the most welcoming environment possible knowing how intimidating it can be. Don’t be too hard on yourself, feel free to laugh at the shaking of your muscles and the need to take as many breaks as necessary. Just hold on to the barre and enjoy the ride! You are on your way.


There is no end to this journey from where you started to where you are now and where you will be 500 classes from now. Take what you learn in Pure barre and apply it to your life. All of the things we say in class can be applied in so many other aspects of your life.  I’m sure you are seeing that now.  I have been practicing Pure Barre for 10 years and there are always new ways to challenge yourself in class, to perfect your form to take it to a whole new level. It’s about taking it to your edge, trying things you didn’t think were possible, taking yourself out of your comfort zone and believing in yourself.  Discovering you are so much stronger than you realize and embracing that sense of accomplishment with how far you have come. It just keeps getting better…

— Allison Weyand, Owner, Pure Barre Brighton, Okemos and Novi, Michigan


Do not get discouraged! The class is physically and mentally challenging with the quick transitions and tough exercises, but once you are able to focus on the cues, the results and the way you feel after is so rewarding every time you leave the studio!


No matter how many classes you have been to, there are always ways to challenge yourself to get deeper and stronger in each position. It might take a little more mental strength for that extra little push, but your body will thank you.

Arika Hundt-Cole, Manager


It’s so important to listen to your own body. You want to push yourself, but you also want to be mindful of your body’s limitations. I like to remind clients that it’s not a competition, and we are all a work in progress. Feel free to ask questions before or after class. We are more than willing to help.


Make the most out of every hour. Our lives are so busy, and we often have very little time for ourselves. In class, try and block everything else out and focus solely on you. Sometimes it really does help to close your eyes and put all of your focus on the muscles you’re working. You’ll work deeper, and that focus will help to clear your mind!

Megan Freund (Megan’s moving! Watch for her on the schedule at Pure Barre Indianapolis-Fishers)


When taking your first class, try to stay open-minded and really listen to what the instructor is saying. Pure Barre is its own method, and takes time to grasp. Verbal cues are crucial and will guide you to the end. The form and technique will come, just push yourself to your own personal best and have fun with it!


Class never will become easy — if it feels that way, you are just getting stronger. There are always new ways to push yourself. The full body release is what Pure Barre is all about, and if you let yourself work to your fullest extent, you will be amazed at the mental and physical results you continue to see with each class.

— Cortney Millar   


Stick with it. It’s a continual learning process. That’s why the Breaking Down the Barre class is beneficial. It’s slows everything down, making it easier to achieve the mind-body connection, which is crucial in changing and developing your muscles into the healthy body you desire.


There are always ways to make Pure Barre more difficult. In every class that I take, I learn different cues from other teachers that help to intensify my workout. That being said, Breaking Down the Barre can help even the most experienced Pure Barre addicts by teaching them how get to their shake even quicker!

— Katie Betcher


This is your time for yourself and no one else is watching you. We are all taking this moment for ourselves just like you are. The teachers are only there for help, guidance, and support — aiding you to understand the right positioning, challenging you, and in any way helping to better YOUR class.


Share your stories with people new to Pure Barre, and us teachers. It is always so interesting hearing about everyone’s journeys. Pure Barre changes so many people’s lives in such different ways. So share all that you can, and know that your story (and class) is all your own in Pure Barre.

— Allison Smith


There’s a lot going on your first few classes. It will feel a bit like sensory overload with the bumping music, new lingo and muscles burning you didn’t know you had, all piled atop of that first class nervousness. Don’t be afraid to let out a sigh of relief or an “I-made-it-through-that” hoot of celebration!


Focus on the little details of perfect form: sink much lower in a position; straighten your arms with more energy; use sharper, smaller movements; synchronize and focus your breathing; up your weights, etc. You’ll surprise yourself, and maybe find a new “edge.” Keep pushing!

— Joyy Ouvry

Wensdy Von Buskirk is a journalist, editor and mother of two. She practices at Pure Barre Brighton and is grateful for all of her wonderful teachers, as well as being invited to share her love of Pure Barre as National Ambassador! Thank you!

Pure Barre Brighton Teachers

Pure Barre Brighton teachers (from left to right): Cortney Millar, Allison Weyand, Megan Freund, Joyy Ouvry, Allison Smith. Not pictured: Arika Hundt-Cole and Katie Betcher.

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