Barre Classes in Tulsa
Fitness trends come and go, and local businesses are toning bodies all over Tulsa with the fast-growing barre craze. Barre classes combine ballet, yoga and pilates for what enthusiasts describe as full-body workout with fast results.
Brenda Oakes and Andrea Mason opened Barre3 in July 2014, offering a week of free classes and introductory membership prices. Oakes said she had come to barre classes looking for a leaner body, and “found community.” She drove to Oklahoma City, where Mason owns seven studios, to take classes and fell in love with barre. “The workout, the people. The results.”
Katrina Morgan, co-owner of Pure Barre, echoed those thoughts. “I was a dancer, and when I started barre workouts, I saw immediate results.” To be sure, most people begin exercising for the results, but often, these can be hard to quantify. Katrina explained results this way: “Inches. My legs were smaller than they’d ever been.”
Megan Harlan co-owns both Tulsa locations of Pure Barre with Morgan, and had experienced barre in Dallas. Having had shoulder trouble, she was looking for a workout that enabled her to strengthen with little joint stress. “We create long, lean muscle with small isometric movements.”
Any barre class will focus on the entire body and will remind participants to squeeze and tuck, and hold and pulse and to keep going. Approaching the barre for a newbie might be intimidating for these reasons.
I took a class at both of these two studios, each time cursing the full-length mirrors and my penchant for ice cream, clearly visible in said mirrors. The movements were easy to learn, so easy, in fact, that at first I wondered what the big deal was. And then the instructors asked us to go deeper, or to hold it longer or to extend a leg.
That’s when the quakes arrived. Barre-lovers look for the quakes as a sign that they are exhausting the muscles, “reshaping it,” according to Morgan, which is how they say the results occur. In a lunge or squat, the muscles heat up and shake in embarrassing ways, but all instructors assure me that this is good, this is normal, and I’m not alone. Each studio used upbeat music and mic’ed up instructors who traveled the class adjusting poses and encouraging us. As we moved from barre to floor to barre, I worked up a significant sweat, and my muscles were in an uproar in the days that followed.
Every barre studio will differ and will offer unique experiences. Barre3 offers childcare to its clients. Mason said, “This is your 60 minutes. We want you to focus on you.”
Pure Barre doesn’t offer childcare for that same reason.
Both men and women of all ages can take barre classes. A background in dance is not required, and studios vary on whether clients need socks or bare feet. Barre3 said their oldest client is 81, and Pure Barre has a student in her late 70s. Oakes and Harlan, from different studios, said that there is room in Tulsa for all kinds of barre studios, and that for everyone, it’s a personal preference. They did suggest that clients younger than 16 may have more difficulty with body awareness, and, therefore, were a case-by-case subject when it came to taking barre classes.