Pure Barre is a hip new workout technique
By Katie Thomas Explorebigsky.com Contributor

BOZEMAN – “Hold onto it…only 20 more to go! Working that Pure Barre leg!”

This encouragement inflicts both fear and pride as one pushes through a set of toning tracks known as the Pure Barre technique. Think yoga meets ballet meets weights meets pilates…and then allow the beautiful space at 34 E. Mendenhall in Bozeman distract you from that satisfying but possibly painful burn you feel.

A toning workout based largely on ballet, Pure Barre was founded in 2001 by professional dancer and choreographer Carrie Rezabek Dorr. Its focus is building long, lean muscles using small isometric movements, and the workouts are set to upbeat music. It’s a little like mellow dancing and stretching and is different than any other workout in the Gallatin Valley. Among Pure Barre’s claims to fame are the absence of jumping or bouncing, which ensures the joints are protected, as well as focusing on abs, hips, seat and arms.

Upon entrance to one of the hour-long classes, the shoes come off and the muscles turn on. It’s a rich, intimate space that sees patrons of all ages, shapes and sizes. The local studio has customers of both genders from ages of 18 to 78. Each of the six instructors is certified in Pure Barre.

Although Pure Barre started out as an uncertain endeavor in a Michigan studio without so much as a bathroom, franchised studios can now be found nationwide. The workout found its way to Bozeman about a month ago, when Kaitlyn Kurn opened a studio on May 22 after deciding to move from San Diego, Calif.

Kurn grew up dancing competitively and discovered Pure Barre in San Diego in 2010. She was smitten. Having spent the past 10 years visiting her parents and the mountains around Bozeman after studying International Business at the Munich Business School in Germany, Kurn knew this was the place.

“You have to have danced at a competitive level to own a studio,” Kurn says. Her background working in the fashion industry is evidenced by the items for sale in the studio entryway, including clothing, jewelry, gifts, and Pure Barre equipment and DVDs.

Kurn’s father is an entrepreneur and small business owner, and after growing up watching him run his companies, she decided that she wanted the same for herself.

“A lot of people don’t realize that a franchise is not some huge corporate entity,” she said. “It’s not. By taking classes here, you are supporting a local business.”

Next time you find yourself driving down Mendenhall and that caterpillar green of Mint* Dental catches your eye, be sure to check out Pure Barre. Don’t let all those elegant ballerina-looking figures in the window scare you away—Pure Barre is for everyone who is open to trying a new workout.

“If you can hold onto a bar, you can take Pure Barre,” Kurn says.

Classes are seven days a week, and signup is online. Choose from single or recurring reservations, and a range of class times.