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Balance at the Barre: Oxford Studio Offers Quick, Effective Workout

Pure Barre of Oxford offers classes seven days a week from morning ’till night for all ages and body types. / Photos by Amelia Camurati

A few floors above High Point Coffee on North Lamar sits a unique studio and shop for women in need of a quick, effective workout routine every day of the week.
IMG_7442Pure Barre of Oxford at 265 N. Lamar, Suite E, offers 55-minute classes seven days a week from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. for all ages, body types and lifestyles. Owner Madison Newton is a University of Kentucky alum and became involved with the national franchise eight years ago and fell in love with the low impact, low weight work program.
The program is geared toward women because of the low impact work with small dumbbells and body resistance exercises with a ballet barre. Newton said one of her major goals for the studio is that classes start and end promptly while still delivering a good, useful class to her clients.
“The cool thing about Pure Barre is it runs true to time. Women don’t have a lot of time. We barely get an hour to ourselves, so our biggest commitment is making sure every single time you come in here, you get the exact same experience that’s going to challenge you.
Classes begin and end with floor exercises.

“We always say as soon as the studio doors close, it’s all about you. You get to tune everything else out — your kids, your job, everything.”
Mary Nelda Lott started the Pure Barre program in August when a friend dragged her along to a class. Now, she has nearly 100 classes under her belt and can see a difference in both her body and her wellbeing since beginning a regular practice.
“You don’t come in and feel overwhelmed or judged,” Lott said. “I came in with no dance training, I don’t point toes, but I didn’t feel intimidated like I do when I walk into a gym. It’s welcoming.”
Mary Nelda Lott has taken nearly 100 classes at Pure Barre since August.
Mary Nelda Lott has taken nearly 100 classes at Pure Barre since August.

Lott said she spent tons of money in the past on gym memberships and workout equipment for the house but “could always come up with an excuse not to work out.” Now, after recently returning from a vacation, she is anxiously ready to get back into the classes and resume her practice.
“I could see how quickly it worked, and it was something I could do without being overwhelmed,” Lott said. “The more you do it, the better you get with the techniques. It starts out where you can handle it, and as your technique gets better, it gets harder and works your body harder.”
Newton said Lott is among many who have taken to the program quickly. Since the studio opened in April, they have seen a flood of women interested in the program who continue to take classes.
While Newton recommends three to four days a week to see quick results, many of her clients are in the studio six or seven days a week. Thankfully, since the workout is so low stress on the joints and muscles, Newton said this is not a bad plan for your body.
Body resistance exercises at the ballet barre build lean muscle without bulking up.

“The really neat thing about the technique is because it is low impact and low weight work, it’s something you can do long term,” Newton said. “You’re not hurting anything or breaking anything down. It improves all the areas women focus on with the longevity aspect of it.”
Pure Barre offers multiple payment plans, ranging from a pay-per-class arrangement to unlimited monthly memberships. To encourage more students to attend, Newton said the studio also offers discounts to those with student IDs.
A typical class starts with a warm-up on the floor to stretch and raise the heart rate, followed by exercises at the ballet barre and more floor work. Small medicine balls, weights and stretch cords are also incorporated into the workout.
Newton said though the class focuses on the areas women struggle with most — thighs, core, seat and arms —the exercises change each time.
IMG_7388“It gives you the consistency of knowing where you’ll be working from without it being mundane,” Newton said. “It keeps you guessing every class, and that’s what gets your body to change really quickly.”
Pure Barre also offers a selection of tank tops, stretch pants and socks for the workouts. Newton, who was previously running a studio in Birmingham, Alabama, noticed a large number of students and young women wearing baggy shirts, slouchy shorts and tennis shoes around town and wanted to make a change to the typical Ole Miss wardrobe.
“Our whole motto is if you look cute working out, you’ll feel better doing it,” Newton said. “We believe if you dress like you take care of yourself, like you feel good about yourself. It’s been fun watching that progression, too, and it’s really empowering.”
Many of Newton’s clients are athletes and have other workout practices outside the studio, but Pure Barre’s program only enhances what is already done. And for newbies foreign to the workout world, Newton said the studio is a perfect place to start.
“We want to make it fit into everyone’s lifestyle. So if you are a runner, complement it with that,” Newton said. “For us, it’s never competition — it’s how do you make it work for every person.”
For more information, contact Newton at (662) 638-5272 or oxford@purebarre.com, or visit their website.
Amelia Camurati is editor-in-chief of HottyToddy.com and can be reached at amelia.camurati@hottytoddy.com.

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