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Sami Sweeney, manager of Pure Barre studios in Washington

Everyone has been buzzing about barre for a few years now, and if you’ve tried it, you know it fuses elements of ballet, Pilates and weight-lifting into a full body workout. We caught up with Sami Sweeney, owner of Pure Barre throughout Seattle (Bellevue, Capitol Hill, Green Lake, Queen Anne and Redmond to name a few), to talk about reopening her first Seattle Pure Barre studio in the U District. The studio, at 4552 11th Avenue Northeast, holds regular classes in the 1,600-square-foot space (taught by "barretenders"), accommodates 25 students per class, and guarantees to get you in perfect form (or close to it).

Sami, you were the first to bring barre classes to Seattle in 2010 and now you have six Pure Barre locations in Seattle and the Eastside. What is it about barre that you love? 

I'm a fitness class junkie and have personally experienced nearly every fitness concept imaginable. Pure Barre is unlike any other technique in the industry. Our technique blends elements of ballet conditioning, Pilates, and weight work to create a fun, fast-paced, and effective workout. I love how Pure Barre focuses on strengthening the body without placing unnecessary pressure on the joints. You fully maximize your time in a Pure Barre class, working all of your major muscles to the point of fatigue, and then stretching them to create strength and flexibility. Plus, our teachers in Seattle are amazing!

Do you offer any other workouts at the barre studio?

We have two major categories of classes. Pure Barre and Platform. Pure Barre is our nonimpact signature-style barre class and Platform is our high-intensity cardio class. Our Platform class is still performed at the ballet barre with a platformlike piece of equipment.  

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Inside Pure Barre's U District studio.

Image via Pure Barre 

How long until you see results and what results are we really looking for?

Clients tend to see results in as few as 10 classes. You'll experience a stronger midsection and seat in no time! Postural strength is a major focus in Pure Barre. Toned arms, slimmer thighs, and enhanced confidence are few of the other benefits we commonly hear about.

What have you learned along the way about Seattleites and barre as a whole? 

Seattleites are very loyal once they discover something they love. The numbers reflect this: Our studios' retention is among the highest in the country. Our city is generally fit and active and will gladly invest in any form of exercise that keeps them doing what they love outside of the gym or studio. Pure Barre works, and our clients know this. Many take Pure Barre to keep them strong and capable for ski season, running, hiking, biking and moving outdoors.

Many of our clients join because their surgeon or physical therapist told them to try barre, or they are tired of getting injured doing their current workout regime. I caution people to listen to their body when trying new styles of fitness. Always balance effectiveness with safety. Like anything in life, seek those strategies that will continually provide results without harm.  There is no sense in sprinting five steps ahead only to get injured and take four steps back. If your body feels worse than before you started, that's a sign that you should try something else. 

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