Barre + Pilates

Pure Sweat, Pure Fun, Pure Barre

Photo: Pure Barre Wilmington/Facebook

As a big fan of barre fitness, I am always seeking opportunities to experience the various styles of this technique. Lately, I’ve had my eye on Pure Barre, and there was no better place and time to try it out than at the Wilmington location during our visit to Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina.

My sister and I had just driven 12-hours from New York to this popular southern beach spot, munching on snacks the whole drive down. Albeit the healthier kind, we felt the guilt of each calorie setting into our bodies after each bite, and vowed to burn it all off as soon as we arrived at our final destination, especially since we planned to be beach-side and bikini-clad. That was the point of this trip after all.

Well, Pure Barre is the perfect method to achieving that “bikini body” because it targets and tones your body, builds lean muscles, and burns calories using the ballet barre and isometric movements set to good energy music. “Good energy” because the pace of the music changes depending on the routine the instructor has planned for the class, but always encouraging. And although the movements are low impact, you exercise your whole body including the common problem areas for women–your “seat”, thighs, abs, arms–generating just the right amount of those feel-good endorphins that give you the confidence to rock your favorite two-piece at whatever size you feel sexy in!

My sister and I were feeling bold and wanted a little more cardio so we opted for Pure Barre Platform which “combines quick bursts of high intensity, yet low impact cardio work with periods of lower intensity muscle-sculpting movements” using the ballet barre, a platform (or step), and a set of hand weights.  We’ve both done some sort of barre class before and regularly, but Pure Barre Platform takes it to a whole nother level, challenging our bodies and making us sweat like this was our first time ever working out.

Drew Showing Us How It's Done - Pure Barre Wilmington, Wilmington, NC [Photo: Joan Misa]

Drew Showing Us How It’s Done – Pure Barre Wilmington, Wilmington, NC [Photo: Joan Misa]

Our super-fit and bad-ass instructor, Drew, didn’t take pity that we were newbies to this method either. She knew that we were there on a fitness mission, challenging and pushing us at every step, kick, squat and flex of the muscle, at the barre, on the platform and down on the floor, making sure we were in proper form and did the proper moves for optimal burn and workout. This happened from the beginning to end for the next 55 minutes.

But once you get into the groove of the workout, Pure Barre Platform turns into a super-fun “dance” party with your closest girlfriends, particularly at this location. Even though we were out-of-towners, the vibe was so positive and welcoming, we couldn’t help but be engulfed in the love. The southern hospitality of the studio, its staff and members made it easy for us to feel comfortable with executing the workout moves that outsiders find awkward and odd, allowing us to focus on the sweat and burn, and ultimately giving us an enjoyable Pure Barre experience.

Not by chance, this was the mood set by the co-owners of the studio, Alexandra O’Rourke and Katelyn O’Rourke-Lippert, sisters who immediately fell in love with the brand after taking a class at another location. After class, we met one of the sisters, Katelyn, who shared with us how Pure Barre has affected her life. She said, “As soon as we discovered the potential and benefits of Pure Barre, my sister, Alex, and I knew we wanted to share it with other women and decided to open a studio in Wilmington, the franchise’s 100th location. Since we opened the doors in October 2012, the studio has turned into a close family that support each other in and out of these studio walls. Pure Barre has impacted all of our lives tremendously!”

Pure sweat and pure fun doing Pure Barre? Absolutely! And we totally would come back to do it again at this studio with these incredible ladies!

For more information about Pure Barre or to find a studio near you, visit To feel the Pure Barre love and sign up for a class at the Wilmington location, click here. Monthly unlimited membership and drop-ins are available.

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