Fun fact: I used to be a “dancer.” I use quotes so that you take the term very lightly. Ballet classes began at age 4 and continued through college. Along the way I also took jazz, modern, tap, pantomime, Bollywood, Flamenco, swing, ballroom, African and hip hop. I’m not super proud of that last one. But, I LOVED dancing. I’ve never had a dancer’s body, and I never had natural grace, but I worked DAMN hard at faking it.
Since graduating from college and entering the real world, it has come to my attention that dance classes are FREAKING EXPENSIVE. Granted, I’m poor, so pretty much everything to me is expensive… but I just can’t justify the additional expense of putting myself in a dance class for the hell of it while I’m surrounded by the incredibly talented professional dancers of NoHo; in short, it seems like a waste.
I do miss dancing, however. I felt fluid, and free and my legs were SLENDER AS HELL. People have been telling me to take barre for a couple years, and because of my aversion to group classes, I’ve tended to avoid it. I had one experience about 2 years ago when I auditioned with about 50 other people to become an instructor at Pop Physique; a job I clearly did not get. I left feeling rather unfulfilled by the workout. It was honestly kind of boring. While it did use dance moves, it felt more like dance-yoga than anything constructive.
After going to the core-fusion barre class for the ClassPass launch, and having the opportunity to try different classes for a month for free, I’ve reconsidered my position on barre classes and decided to give a few a try. I had an audition in WeHo yesterday, so I figured I’d check out Pure Barre Hollywood since I had to trek over the hill anyway.
And boy, it was a trek. Granted, trying to get anywhere in LA at 8:30am is pretty much hell, so I wasn’t surprised. I found metered parking on a side street, but once inside I found out that they do have free parking in an alley behind the studio – huge plus. I didn’t snap any photos of the interior because they had signs saying they were a cellphone free studio. Also, because in my waiver they asked if I was a fitness professional and I was worried they would ask me to leave a-la the Soul Cycle conspiracy. The lobby is cute with some couches to wait on, and brightly colored apparel for sale. The studio is a good size, mirrors on two of the four walls, tons of bar space and cubbies for your things.
The instructor was nice enough; maybe seemed a little tired, but she remembered my name. I know that’s probably a silly thing, but I feel like if you’re trying to make a new student in a class feel like they belong, you should probably try to learn their stupid name for at least the 60 minutes you’re spending with them…. but I digress.
The class itself honestly wasn’t super welcoming. Nearly everyone strolled in AT 8:30 (welcome to LA) with miserable expressions on their faces, including a girl that the instructor announced was another teacher there. I don’t think anyone smiled once. The format of the class was broken up into different muscles groups using light weights, a small ball, bands, bar and mat work. I won’t say too much so that they don’t sue me, but overall it felt like a good workout… the instructor was attentive to correcting everyone’s form and my obliques are still sore. The soreness didn’t set in until maybe an hour after, and I initially left feeling like I needed to run or something to have completed a true workout. But then it came with a vengeance.
Would I go back? Maybe. The location isn’t super convenient for me, and neither are the other location options. They ARE offering a really great deal for first-time students right now – $100 for a month of classes; I think she said it was normally $240, and for that price I could afford real dance classes. I’d like to give them another try to see if a different class-time is a little friendlier… after all, their website claims: “women share a sense of community, in which they are inspired and empowered by each other’s fitness and lifestyle goals.” I can’t say I left feeling that instilled in me. My quads, however? Feeing pretty empowered today. Pretty empowered, indeed.
Pure Barre Hollywood
7519 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046