Raising The Barre

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Pure Barre Manhasset brings a new world of workouts to town

Pure Empower is designed to keep the heart rate up for the full 45-minute class. (Photos courtesy of Pure Barre)

If you’ve ever searched “barre” on the Internet, you’ve probably seen images of women in tank tops and leggings, high ponytails bobbing as they hold light dumbbells out to either side or pulse in a squat position with a small rubber ball balanced between each thigh. The workout appears to be simple enough, but as any Pure Barre class-goer can attest, it isn’t at all what it seems.

“It’s always challenging, it’s always different,” says Jenny Bernholz, co-owner with Deena Cavalli of Pure Barre Manhasset. “This is such a challenging workout every single time, and it’s really getting results. It specifically targets the arms, the abs, the seat and the thighs.”
Bernholz and Cavalli both grew up playing sports, and the duo met while playing Division I lacrosse at The George Washington University. Each woman left lacrosse in the past after earning her degree, but never gave up an active lifestyle. Enter Pure Barre.

Bernholz, with her passion for marathons, found Pure Barre as her favorite complement to running. Combined with moving to Long Island with her husband and discovering there was no Pure Barre location in the area, Bernholz took her newfound love for the workout and turned it into a business opportunity.

“I never really had it in my head to open a business, but once I learned a little bit more about the company and then how you open a franchise, I talked to Deena and it’s really been wonderful,” explains Bernholz, who celebrated the five-year anniversary of their Pure Barre opening this past January. “This community has been so warm and welcoming from day one. We got really, really lucky.”

Jenny Bernholz (fourth from left) and Deena Cavalli (fifth from left) opened Pure Barre Manhasset in January of 2014.

The studio offers three different classes: Pure Barre, the 50-minute classic format that guides clients through low-impact, high intensity movements to strengthen and tone muscles; Pure Reform, a 50-minute resistance-based strength training class that incorporates resistance bands and sliders; and Pure Empower, a 45-minute fusion of barre and interval training that uses ankle and wrist weights to keep the heart rate up for the duration of the class.

Each class holds no more than 20 guests, with a waitlist holding another 20 guests hopeful for a spot. The studio discourages distractions and asks that clients leave their cell phones, along with their shoes, in the provided complimentary lockers. All necessary equipment like dumbbells, mats, resistance bands, rubber balls and sliders are provided by the instructor. Attire may be anything you’re comfortable in (don’t forget socks), but guests are advised not to wear shorts. First-timers are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes early to fill out a waiver and familiarize themselves with the space.

“We generally say allow yourself to be a beginner no matter your background,” Bernholz says. “It’s always going to be challenging, whether it’s your first class or your thousandth class.”

And Bernholz doesn’t lie. Pure Barre is certainly no walk in the park. Clients leaving the studio thank her for an intense workout and joke that they’ll be feeling the burn for days. Sample a class, and you’ll quickly understand. The sweat pours faster than you think it will, and you’ll be certain to mumble expletives while tucking, holding and pulsing your way to a leaner body.

As studio owners, Cavalli and Bernholz not only receive the physical benefits of constantly participating in barre classes, but they also receive the gratification of providing community members with the same sense of physical accomplishment.

Pure Barre strengthens and tones the entire body.

“Just when someone comes up to you, maybe they’re new to Pure Barre, and they talk about the changes in their body and how much stronger they feel,” Bernholz says of what is most rewarding for her in co-owning the studio and bringing Pure Barre to Manhasset. “Seeing people smile when they work out, smile when they leave, it’s a sense of accomplishment that you’re helping someone achieve. I love it, I love what I do.”

With both women coming out of college with business-related degrees and a passion for athletics, Bernholz comments that it simply made sense for the pair to open Pure Barre in their community.

Manhasset residents and those who have never tried the workout before are welcome to a free trial class. After that, single classes carry a $34 fee, with packages ranging from four classes for $99 to 20 classes for $479. A 12-month annual contract is $199.

“We hope to stay in Manhasset for a long time,” Bernholz muses. “Pure Barre is going to continue to change and evolve in the best way.”

Pure Barre is located at 1681 Northern Boulevard in Manhasset. Want to take a class? For more information on Pure Barre, visit purebarre.com/ny-manhasset.

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