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SMU Daily Campus

SMU Daily Campus


Pure Barre forms fitness community for SMU students, University Park residents

Pure Barre forms fitness community for SMU students, University Park residents

Amy Andrus waits patiently at the check-in counter at the Greenville Pure Barre studio. Sitting behind a wooden desk, she sifts through the 7:45 p.m. class roster on an Apple desktop computer, checking off clients’ names as they enter the door.

The door swings open and rings.

“Hi, Last name?”

“Hi, it’s Belt.”

“Thank you! Don’t forget to take your shoes off and put your socks on before entering the studio.”

A similar conversation ensues until all 10 women are checked in and are seated inside the large, mirrored room. The carpeted floors are peppered with different colors while wooden ballet barres wrap around all four walls. The students, ranging from ages 18 to 50, sip iced water and stretch before their teacher arrives. Each person has their Pure Barre equipment laid alongside them, ready for use: one small medicine ball, a long, single red stretching tube, a short, double circle stretching tube and a light set of fly weights.

The clock reads 7:44 p.m.

Andrus submits the roster form and starts class. She walks past the French doors into the studio and heads straight for the iPod dock. She scrolls and finds her “Pure Barre” playlist and clicks it twice. As a dance remix of Selena Gomez’s “Good For You” blasts through the speakers, Andrus puts on her headset and instructs the class.

“Welcome to Pure Barre everyone,” Andrus said. “My name’s Amy and I’ll be your instructor for the next 55 minutes. Prepare your body for a fusion of yoga, ballet and pilates. Let’s begin.”

The women immediately follow Andrus’ lead. Mirroring her movement, the women stack their arms on top of each other and spike their knees high to meet their chest, warming up their legs and abs.

“…And lift, and lift,” Andrus said. “You’re in your last 10 seconds…make them count!”

Students immediately push harder. A young woman wearing all black pushes so hard her legs start shaking. An older woman sweats profusely through her shirt.

“You’ve only got a few seconds longer,” Andrus said. “6…7…8…9…10. Great job everyone! Now head back to the center of the room for a well-deserved stretch.”

The first segment of class is complete. After stretching comes thigh, hip and seat work before finishing with abdominal exercises and a cool down.

For the next 45 minutes, the class focuses on Andrus’ every word. Women huff, pant and grind through the straining poses and isolated movements that work the entire body.

After the final stretch, Andrus congratulates the class.

“Give yourselves a round of applause for a job well done,” Andrus said. “Please wipe down everything red and return it before you leave. Have a great rest of your evening.”

In addition to University Park residents, SMU students like Daniela Huebner and Alix Singer attend Pure Barre classes.

Singer, an SMU junior, has been going to Pure Barre since 2008 when a studio opened in Arizona. She is a regular at the Dallas location.

“I keep coming because it makes me feel good about myself,” Singer said. “I like that I am accomplishing something and getting stronger mentally and physically.”

Huebner, a recent Pure Barre member, started going to classes two months ago. She goes multiple times a week since discovering the fitness class.

“Pure Barre makes me feel more energized and accomplished, and the work done in class really does make a difference- just two months I’ve noticed an increase in my flexibility as well as muscle strength and endurance,” Huebner said.

Both Singer and Huebner credit the staff at Pure Barre for motivating them to continue coming, including Lindsey and Andrus.

Andrus has been teaching Pure Barre for four years. The SMU alumna hopes to inspire and motivate clients to have a good workout like she experienced when she was a student.

“I took classes for about one month in during college and I fell in love with the workout,” Andrus said. “I had my own fitness goals and reached them, so I thought [teaching] was a great opportunity for me to help others reach theirs.”

Andrus teaches three days a week at the Greenville studio with about eight other teachers including Beth Slough, Pure Barre Dallas owner.

Slough is amazed at the popularity and growth Pure Barre’s made since its opening five years ago. She hopes it continues to grow as more people join to have fun working out in a close-knit community.

“We can definitely credit the success to our teachers…and the clients have really embraced the technique and the staff,” Slough said. “Both parties love what they’re doing and it’s great to see that.”

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