Dancing is the second-best way to let the body do the talking, just short of being born with a mouth in your bellybutton. Speak from the feet with today's Groupon: for $39, you get four classes at Pure Barre in Palo Alto (an $88 value).
Pure Barre sprung from the mind of former choreographer Carrie Rezabek Dorr, who formulated a series of low-impact movements to comprise a fun, fat-burning, full-body workout. Students who have never danced before can leap into the ballet barre’s highly focused routines, which slim girth and hips and fortify abdominal walls against attacks by armies of gingerbread men. Each one-hour class alternates between low-impact strength training and limb-limbering stretching sessions to help clients sculpt lean, robust muscles and shield joints from injury. The schedule's classes, like a Gilded Age novel's baseball-player protagonist traveling the nation to tell people what baseball is, run seven days a week beginning as early as 7 a.m. and as late as 7 p.m.
In 2001, Carrie Rezabek Dorr’s only venue for her Pure Barre workouts—a blend of dance, Pilates, and strengthening stretches—was the basement of an office building. Crowds drawn by Carrie's choreographing expertise and the infectious music of her routines necessitated expansion, however, and Pure Barre soon spread its franchises across the country, spurred by mentions in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Health magazines.
Pure Barre guides students through precise isometric movements that craft lean, not bulky, muscles. By flowing through scalable maneuvers that balance limbs against a ballet barre, participants can lift and tighten traditional problem areas such as the thighs, abs, seat, and arms. The workout is accessible to all fitness levels, and can help new mothers get back in shape. Intimate classes with a limit of 15 attendees ensure personalized adjustments and tips, allowing each guest to get the most from the workout's alternating strength and stretch drills.