Barre3 opened doors to Iowa City-area residents this week

Founded in Portland, Oregon, Barre3 has gained popularity around the country. With the leadership of Maureen Beran, Iowa City has its very own studio. The grand opening was on Thursday.


Grace Colton

Barre3, a new barre workout business in Iowa City, is seen on it’s opening day on Thursday March 28 2019.

Kinsey Phipps, News Reporter

The popular fitness studio from the West Coast Barre3 has found a home with studio owner Maureen Beran in Iowa City.

Starting with Thursday’s grand opening, eastern Iowa residents can experience Barre3 at 1312 Melrose Ave. The full-body workout is described on the firm’s website as “sustained holds, micro-movements, and cardio bursts that will leave you feeling balanced in body and empowered from within.”

Barre3 is for everyone, Beran said.

University of Iowa staff member Erika Christiansen, a Barre3 aficionado, was eager to see the Iowa City studio’s opening.

“I had done barre previously in a different state, and I taught it. When I moved back, I was trying to find some classes,” Christiansen said. “We didn’t have a dedicated barre studio. I think it’s really nice to see some community partnerships in that area of Iowa City.”

Beran discovered Barre3 in a podcast in which co-founder and CEO Sadie Lincoln was interviewed. Beran was inspired by the story, and she soon began searching for a studio near her Iowa City home. The closest was in the Chicago area, nearly four hours away.

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As a result, Beran turned to Barre3’s online fitness classes. When she visited her brother in Denver, she took advantage of a nearby studio and tried an in-person class.

“As I was looking around the room and felt the energy, the people were looking inward and focusing on what they need in that moment,” she said. “I felt so humbled in an awe-struck way. I just knew that Iowa City would love Barre3.”

She soon began the process of opening her own studio, speaking with owners across the country for advice and perspective.

“Everyone I heard from said it would be about empowerment — focusing on what people needed inside,” she said.

Beran interviewed with Barre3 in March 2018, and it’s been a year of getting certified to instruct, finding and managing a location, and hiring other instructors. There are five instructors alongside Beran and two more in the certification process, she said.

She has given free classes in the Iowa City community over the past year to spread the word about her studio. She is eager for more people to experience Barre3, she said.

“I think the mindfulness component is the one thing that sets us apart from the rest of fitness studios,” Beran said. “You will be tuned into how your body feels, utilizing your breath as a tool to get you through challenging moments. One of the greatest things I’ve learned from Barre3 is how to trust myself and my body.”

Barre3 also offers a play lounge for studio members. Parents can bring in up to two kids for free, and they are cared for during the hourlong workout. UI student Laikyn Janney will work at the front desk and play lounge.

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“I’m excited to be in the studio working, and taking classes myself, and getting to know the other instructors,” she said.

In the first month of operation, the studio is offering a free, complimentary first class, she said.

New members can receive two weeks of unlimited classes for $49, and through March 31, anyone can get the membership for $99 monthly. After that date, rates go up, Beran said.

“I love our mission — to teach people to be balanced in body and empowered from within,” she said. “Everything we do in this space comes from that.”