A New Barre for New York City

| 17 Feb 2015 | 01:14

Meegan Gregg, director of operations for fitness studio Barre3 West Village, gives us a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the studio's launch

A new exercise studio that just opened in the West Village is hoping that New Yorkers' quest for that perfect workout will end at the ballet barre. Barre3 gives workout classes that tone and shape students through a combination of ballet work, yoga and Pilates. The inaugural studio, which had its unveiling on August 25th, is located on 8th Street, and its founders see the friendly atmosphere there as reminiscent of their corporate home in Portland, Oregon.

With over 70 Barre3 studios throughout the country, this is the first to open in New York. Chelsea resident Meegan Gregg discovered the Barre3 workout when she lived in Portland and quickly became hooked. "I just got totally into it," she said. As a result of her passion and commitment, she was sent here to serve as the director of operations at the Manhattan flagship location.

As far as her goals for the studio go, Gregg said she hopes to make it as welcoming as possible. "We want to offer a third place for people - work, home, and Barre3," she said.

For people who have never taken Barre3, how would you explain it?

Barre3 is a combination of ballet barre, Pilates and yoga. It's perfect for all fitness levels. It tones and shapes the body, but also emphasizes the mind/body connection.

What is the benefit to taking a Barre3 class as opposed to other workouts?

It really lengthens the muscles and works the body in a naturally functional way. We try to develop a very balanced body, so we don't overwork anything. We do a lot of back body work. So I would say that it's a total body workout that balances and lengthens the body.

What is your background in the fitness world?

I don't really have a background in the fitness world. I worked in a bunch of different jobs. I worked for a hedge fund, a marketing company, a production company. I was planning on living in Portland for just a few months, and then going back to San Francisco. But I started taking barre classes when I moved to Portland, over three years ago, and then started teaching them there.

How did the studio's New York location come about?

We wanted to have a presence in New York, so the owners, Sadie and Chris Lincoln, and Amy LeClerc decided to send me out here.

Out of all the neighborhoods in Manhattan, how did you decide to open in the West Village?

Well, we love 8th Street and just thought it was a great street. The West Village just really resonated with us. It just felt very neighborhood-y and Portland is a very neighborhood-based city, so it felt a little bit less imposing. You see the same people all the time, and that's what we love.

How many people work at the studio?

We only have five instructors in total. I'll probably be teaching 10 to 12 classes a week.

What are you doing to promote the studio? [caption id="attachment_73144" align="alignright" width="300"] Get the workout Barre3 is located at 63 West 8th Street at 6th Avenue, 2nd Floor To celebrate its opening, the studio will offer free classes during its first week of business, August 24th ? 31st. For a limited time, specially priced lifetime memberships will be available. Visit www.barre3.com for more information.   [/caption] Just by word of mouth. A lot of it is through friends, honestly. We have an underground community that has been taking classes with us while we waited to open. You just moved to Chelsea. How long have you lived here?

I moved here in February during the freezing cold winter. So it was a pretty intense time. [Laughs] I had lived in the West Village briefly in 2009. And I spent a lot of time in New York when I lived in San Francisco.

What are you favorite places in the city?

As far as restaurants, I love Prune in the East Village and Nourish in the West Village. Stumptown Coffee is awesome and also from Portland, so they're good friends. I spent an incredible amount of time in the lobby of The Marlton Hotel, getting work done on my laptop, since our studio had been under construction. They have Wi-Fi, a coffee bar, and a great restaurant.