GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It’s February, and a lot of you might not even remember your New Year’s resolution. B but if it has anything to do with getting fit, there’s an option in West Michigan that’s raising the “barre.”
Pure Barre studio opened in Grand Rapids a little more than a year ago, and on any given day you’ll find a class full of clients focused on making every move count.
“We use the ballet barre for resistance and balance,” explained Pure Barre owner, Kiersten Kemp, “and we use very small isometric movements incorporating some Pilates movements with very light weights. We use very small movements to fatigue the muscle to the point where they’re shaking and then we stretch them back out to get the long and lean dancer-like look.”
That look is in high demand; more than 100 locations have opened up nationwide since 2001. The Pure Barre method actually started in the basement of an office building on Michigan’s east side.
Founder Carrie Rezabek-Door has a business degree from Michigan State University and a law degree from Wayne State University, but she holds an even greater passion for fitness, dance, and Pilates.
“The Pure Barre was founded in Birmingham then it moved to Mid-Michigan with Midland and studios in Ann Arbor then moving westward to Okemos,” said Kemp. “The next step was West Michigan and Grand Rapids seemed to be a great place for it.”
Pure Barre client Nan Carpenter is one of the regulars, and she says it has really paid off.
“When I started last March, I had a desk job for 20 years and I wasn’t in shape at all,” said Carpenter. She likes how you gradually feel better and stronger, increasing your balance and core strength, which helps in daily life. “Just being able to get down on the floor and play with my grand children..it’s a wonderful feeling.”
Carpenter even convinced her daughter, Amanda, to sign up for classes while she’s away at college in New Jersey.
Kayla Topping never misses a class and admits she’s addicted to Pure Barre. ”It’s a workout that I’m not bored with. It’s a good atmosphere it doesn’t matter if you’re young or older or if you have any dance experience. I can tell my arms have been more toned, my thighs, my seat, my stomach; it’s a mental thing, too. I absolutely just feel like this is me time when I’m here.”