What defines the fitness world—even more than an endless thirst for flat abs and toned calves—is its tendency to drift in and out of trends. Aerobics in the ’80s, Tae Bo in the ’90s (remember Billy Blanks?!), P90X and Insanity in the 2000s. I’d make the argument that SoulCycle is this decade’s exercise fad. But given that the high-octane spinning classes won’t make it to Denver until September, I probably would have settled for naming barre the workout of the moment. That is, until I started researching the ballet-based exercise regimen.
Barre has actually been around since the late ’50s, a predictor of and precursor to the sexual revolution and women’s movements that would come in the ’60s and ’70s. Decades later, barre has become streamlined, franchised, and glossified, but it’s still just as popular as it was when second-wave feminism swept the nation—and truthfully, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to fade away any time soon.
Exhibit A: Colorado’s fourth location of Barre3 opens on Friday, March 16, at 32nd Avenue and Lowell Boulevard in the Highland neighborhood. Owner Julie Gordon was a dental hygienist and yoga teacher before she fell in love with the Barre3 ethos as a client at the Cherry Creek studio. “This workout has changed and transformed my body,” says the 41-year-old Denverite. “The length of my muscles, how strong I am, how quickly I recover after spending a day on the slopes skiing or hiking fourteeners or doing backpacking trips.”
She ended up buying the Cherry Creek franchise and then decided to expand the Barre3 presence to north Denver. (Other locations exist in the DTC area and in Highlands Ranch.) Although Gordon acknowledges that the movements in her classes are similar to those of competitors such as Pure Barre, which has multiple studios throughout the metro area, she touts the modifications Barre3 can provide—including simpler versions for those who are recovering from injuries, pre- or postnatal, or new to working out—as well as the childcare offerings and gorgeous cork floors. (While the first two aspects aren’t revolutionary, the floors are indeed beautiful.)
This weekend, there’s even more to boast about: Barre3 is hosting free classes at the new studio from Friday through Sunday. You can also expect giveaways from area shops, plus treats from Noosa Yoghurt and the nearby gluten-free eatery Just Be Kitchen. Once the giveaways and discounts are gone, though, what remains is a booty-tightening, muscle-lengthening, killer workout—and that’s the piece that has endured through the decades.
If you go: Barre3’s new location is at 3241 N. Lowell Blvd. Visit barre3.com for studio details and class schedules.