Soon after moving to Australia from New York City, Michelle Kluz encountered a serious problem: she couldn’t find a barre studio that was right for her. As an avid runner with a cross training regime, she was after something effective. And as the former CEO of Pure Barre in NYC—North America’s largest barre studio chain—she was allowed to be a little picky. And thank god she was. Instead of settling, Michelle decided to open her own.
Launching this week, The Barre Project is unlike any other barre studio we’ve ever experienced. Instead of bright lights and perfect posture, it’s got disco hues, pumped up tunes and some serious moves. It’s energetic, lively, and a whole lot of fun.
“In my experience of most barre studios, the bright lights, perfectly poised clients, and unique technique made me, and newer clients, feel intimidated,” Katy Neville, Head of Programming at The Barre Project, told us.
“I wanted to create something that broke down those barriers and made it easier to forget your to-do list. My mission was to combine the escape-like atmosphere you get at spin/cycle houses with the low-impact body-toning results of barre.”
The result? The Barre Project’s energetic classes complete with a rainbow spectrum of LED lighting and carefully curated empowering playlists—think the spirit of SoulCycle with the body sculpting of ballet.
But the studio isn’t the only thing they’ve changed. In need of a fitness regime that would yield serious results, Kluz reinvented the traditional technique entirely. With the help of the world’s most experienced barre practitioners, she fused the principles of strength and interval training, Pilates, yoga and dance to develop an exclusive method that’s widely effective.
When we got word about the new opening, we had to try it. Offering free workouts last week, we jeté-ed on down. One class in and we’re hooked. Not only is it designed to get you in the zone from the minute you walk through the door; it’s got a wicked sense of character and community. First off, clients were asked to write their name on the glass along with the answer to a question, for us: “Why do you workout?” We found out that Michael’s wife makes him and Katy loves champagne—we got to know each other from the get go, which turned into support when the going got tough (warning: 5 minutes in).
We sweat our way through the Signature class but there is a wide variety to choose from and the team guarantee you’ll never do the same class twice—with results at its core, plateauing is not an option.
“Each class has a different energy and feel but every class will change your body and your mind,” says Neville.
The Sydney studio, opening this week on Castlereagh St, is the first of many. With plans for a second space in Sydney already underway—and classes like that—we have a sneaking suspicion it’ll be the F45 of the barre world. High five!