Published on July 6th, 2017 | by Ashley Danielle Rubin


Raising the Barre

Pure Barre provides a workout that takes several different elements to produce one of the newest and most effective ways to exercise. Recently hearing about this new place in Dothan, I was really surprised to hear that Pure Barre has been around since 2001. It started off with little direction, but has now truly taken fitness to another level. Carrie Rezabek Dorr started Pure Barre in Michigan and it quickly took off. Since her first class, which took place in the basement of an office building, it has expanded to many locations across the country. One of these locations just happens to be in the Wiregrass.

So how did Pure Barre end up in Dothan? When Mary Neal Clark was in college, she attended a Pure Barre class and instantly fell in love. She describes it as “her therapy.” She always enjoyed running and she would exercise regularly, but she really found her knack when she took a chance and went to a Pure Barre class. Mary Clark had helped out with the family business in years past, and had jokingly told her parents that after college she would move back if she could open her own Pure Barre studio. Low and behold, Dothan now has it’s own studio!

I was very nervous to attend a class at Pure Barre. I saw the advertisements when it first came to Dothan, and I was very curious to see how workouts could incorporate a barre. Ah-ha, there’s where the “Barre” in Pure Barre comes in. Having a strong dance background- ten years of ballet under my belt- made some feelings of nostalgia rush in and I knew I had to get over the fear of trying something new. I know it can be very overwhelming to try a new workout place, but Mary Neal is top notch at hospitality. She welcomed me and made me feel completely comfortable in an unfamiliar, yet relaxing atmosphere. I brought a friend along with me to take a little more edge off, and we both had an absolute blast.

You are equipped with all the tools you need to successfully execute the workout. Upon arrival, you find your spot and are encouraged to stretch to warm up, even though you do have your warm-up moves at the beginning. The class lasts for about 55 minutes and it is a total body workout. And yes, you do use a barre, which does help with your balance, but no there are not any ballet moves, so no need to worry if dancing is not your thing! You do sweat- a lot! Mary Neal or one of the six other instructors she has working for her teach the class. They are extremely encouraging and are there to help you- whether that be getting the correct form or your need to modify a movement due to injury. Overall, this workout is not only going to help with losing weight, but with form, agility and balance.

For me, Pure Barre was the total workout. I hope you will check it out for yourself! Pure Barre has a website: Here you can find the schedule for the week, and find more information about Pure Barre. The location we have in Dothan suits about 25 people per class. It has a more personal set-up so you are able to get the best workout and its fullest potential. You can also purchase a membership or you can pay by class- so there is no commitment. Pure Barre is raising the “barre” for your average workout class, go see for yourself!


-Ashley D. Rubin


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