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Pure Barre readies second exercise studio, this time on the Hill

Pure Barre is moving to the second floor here

Lawyer-turned-exercise instructor Michelle G. Davidson is preparing to open her second Pure Barre DC studio, this time on Capitol Hill. The first one is located at 2130 P Street NW; the next one, at 407 8th Street SE above the Metro Mutts pet store, is slated for an early March opening.
Morning and evening classes are “at capacity” at the P Street location, Davidson says, and that demand spurred her to seek out a place to open Pure Barre’s forthcoming location.
“We think we’ll be done in six weeks or so” with design and build at the new site, Davidson says.
Then the space will be ready for barre classes, which combines floor work and weight-training with exercises deploying waist-level bars mounted on the wall similar to the ones ballet dancers use. The barre method works all the major muscle groups, Davidson says.
Set to “motivating music,” as Davidson puts it, a Pure Barre class typically lasts 55 minutes. “It’s based on ballet moves but also Pilates techniques. It uses isometric movements that work the muscle to the shaking point.” Warmups and cooldowns bookend every class.
German dancer Lotte Berk (1913-2003) is thought to be the first person to develop bar-based exercise techniques. The method taught at all Pure Barre franchises was developed by Pure Barre founder Carrie Dorr, who opened her first studio in Michigan in 2001.
A 2005 graduate of George Washington University Law School, Davidson had been enjoying her work in the field of insurance law when she took her first barre class in New York City, which she says changed her life.
“It was a very difficult decision to leave the law, but I wanted to do something I was more passionate about,” says Davidson, who is certified as a Pure Barre teacher. She will be one of five or six teachers working at the Capitol Hill studio, which will probably offer six classes per weekday to start.
“Everyone can do this method,” she says. “The first class can be overwhelming because everything happens so fast, but after a few, you catch on pretty quickly.”

Read more articles by Amy Rogers Nazarov.

Amy Rogers Nazarov is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist with more than 25 years experience as a staff reporter and a freelance writer, covering technology, adoption, real estate, and lifestyle topics from food & drink to home organizing. Her byline has appeared in Cooking Light, The Washington Post, Slate, Washingtonian, The Writer, Smithsonian, The Washington Post Express, The Baltimore Examiner, The Sacramento Bee, Cure, The Washington Times, Museum, and many other outlets. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors and tweets at @WordKitchenDC.
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