Video by Janis Hepburn
Be there or b3. That’s barre3, the uberpopular national barre studio that recently bowed its second beautifully furnished Triangle location: barre3 Chapel Hill in Village Plaza, directly below Berkshire Chapel Hill by Whole Foods. For everybody (read: every body), the “deep muscle burn, endorphin high, centered mind” signature workouts empower individuals via a mix of athleticism, grace and the latest innovations for a full-body, low-impact workout that brings balance to the body, builds strength and mind-body connection and, well, has hanks and heidis everywhere hooked — “barre” none.
We stayed after class with Chapel Hill studio owner Dana Harshaw to get the 411 on the latest barre3 boutique in Tar Heel town.
Why Chapel Hill?
There is a great barre3 studio in Raleigh, but for those of us in Chapel Hill/Carrboro it is just a bit too far to be convenient. I wanted to provide a close convenient location to my community in Chapel Hill. I have lived in Chapel Hill for six years. I recognized the need for another barre fitness option in my community. When my children were young, I kept hoping that someone would open a barre3 here. I would have given anything to have a barre3 studio to go to when my children were babies so that I could take advantage of the play lounge option, and where I could not only get in a great a workout, but connect with others. Finally, I thought to myself ‘maybe I should just open one myself!’
Kudos on making it happen. What experience led you here?
I spent my 20s working in professional music theater in New York City and regionally, so dance was a big part of my life. After I had my first child, I was working as sales rep for MindBody Inc. (MindBody is the online scheduling and studio management software that we use at barre3). Barre3 was my account, and so it was through that job that I first became aware of barre3. As I neared the end of my 30s, I was getting restless working in sales and starting to wonder what I would do next. This just felt like the logical and serendipitous next step.
Do all barre3 locations offer the same curriculum?
All barre3 locations teach the same class, so no matter which location you go to anywhere in the country, you are getting the same workout — one that balances strength training through isometric holds and small one-inch movements with seamless recovery stretches. And unlike other barre-inspired workouts, barre3 incorporates larger, functional movements with cardio to jump-start the metabolism and re-oxygenate the body. But barre3 corporate also empowers the franchisee to ‘make it our own,’ so the culture of each studio also reflects its owner and its community.
What is unique about this Chapel Hill location?
The people! At the end of the day, it’s our clients who make this studio a fun and vibrant place.
There are so many reasons I personally responded to barre3, but I would say the two biggest reasons were the modifications we offer in our workout, and barre3’s focus on whole-body health. We recognize that we are all diverse, so fitness should not be one-size-fits all. We believe that you are your own best advocate and teacher. Our job as instructors is to give you the tools to develop a deeper awareness of your body so that you can continue to break plateaus and build strength in the years to come. We also believe that exercise is only part of the answer to a healthy lifestyle. Equally important is connection (mind-body connection and connection to others) and nourishment. And this does not mean dieting, it means eating healthy whole foods!
How does barre3 stand out in a crowded fitness market?
Too often these days we are bombarded with the message that we are never doing enough, and that we need to punish our bodies into shape. I love barre3 because it makes me feel strong; it allows me to push myself to my physical edge while honoring my body at the same time; and it has helped me find more balance in my life. My goal is for all of my clients to feel this way, and to look forward to coming into the studio to move with us.