LAKEVIEW — A ballet-inspired workout class chain is opening its first Chicago location in Lakeview Saturday, one of several planned for the city.
Pure Barre focuses small movement workouts with a ballet barre that are intended to slim people down by toning arms, abs, hips, thighs and the seat. The company started in Michigan in 2001 and now has more than 150 locations planned across the country.
Hanah Vissepo, 23, will be running the Lakeview location. The former art education major converted to Pure Barre's 55-minute classes after years of running. She would run for hours but was "really bulky and really stiff," she said. Her trouble spot — her thighs — did not slim down like she wanted them to.
"Not to be like, 'Oh, I looked so bad.' I was just so much bulkier," Vissepo said. "My lower body, especially."
She started attending Pure Barre classes at the recommendation of a friend. The Nashville, Tenn.-native hated it at first, but after several classes, "the light bulb clicked," she said.
Two years later, she dropped teaching art to pursue teaching Pure Barre, she said. And now, the svelte blonde is two sizes smaller than when she was running, she said.
"I feel so much better, and I’m flexible," Vissepo said. "And no lunch lady arms."
While Pure Barre is ballet-inspired, clients won't be doing any plies in the class. It's based on "lots of tiny movements," some of it while holding onto a ballet barre, Vissepo said.
Classes cost $23. New clients can buy a month unlimited for $100, and unlimited months after that cost $225. The company also offers class packages where people can buy 5 or 10 classes to use in a year. The Lakeview location will five to six classes each weekday, three on Saturday and four on Sunday.
People can also buy five weeks unlimited for $100 up until Friday at midnight online.