Exercise is a pleasurable activity for both would-be athletes and recovering pyromaniacs desperate enough to settle for burning calories. Fuel fitness regimens with today's Groupon: for $35, you get five fitness classes at Pure Barre in Okemos (a $95 value).
The Pure Barre technique merges components of ballet, Pilates, and weights to whip bodies into shape with an intense 55-minute workout. Set to energetic music, the exercisers employ the ballet barre as they carry out series of concentrated isometric maneuvers and runway-style pose-offs designed to tone arms and thighs, firm bottoms, and fortify abs. A stretching session follows each of the fat-burning workout's strength segments to help practitioners build long, lean muscles without bulk, and the routine's no-bounce mandate means it remains easy on joints. Since it allows individuals to work at their own pace, the no-impact technique also helps new mothers get back into shape as it targets common post-baby problem areas such as the abs, hips, and thighs while sparing newly formed eyeballs on the backs of heads.
In 2001, founder Carrie Rezabek Dorr began teaching dance classes in her very first studio. A lifetime of choreographing and performing across the United States had prepared her to teach others how to nurture their passion for dance. But an interest in fitness led her to explore mixing ballet and exercise in an effort to bolster her students' health and flexibility while reducing their chance of injury. Now called the Pure Barre method, Carrie’s fitness regime tones the hips, seat, arms, and abs by combining small movements with barre exercises that tone without building bulky muscle. This new regime ignited a fire under her students that soon spread to other studios across the United States. Today, instructors from Alabama to Washington continue to teach Carrie's method, while she continues to refine her techniques and search for the lost city of El Dorado.