Changing the Face of Fitness with Barre3

Missy Dunn, the owner of barre3, says our perceptions surrounding fitness are broken.
two fitness instructors with weights

Enter barre3 at 2560 University Ave. and you’ll notice a plush carpet with a communal sitting area. Clients are encouraged to relax and lounge at the hot tea bar.

Missy Dunn, the owner of barre3, says our perceptions surrounding fitness are broken.

“It is all about shame,” says Dunn, a self-described “professional worker-outer.” “Fitness these days is all about making us feel like we are not enough; we are not thin enough, we are not fit enough.”

At barre3, the hourlong workout includes people of all sizes and uses language that focuses on breath and self, not on image. Every pose can be modified to fit the athletes’ needs, and a communal ballet bar gives participants a chance to connect with each other.close up of instructors

Dunn says students can use this bar as a metaphor for support. If they are having a wobbly day, they have something and someone to lean on.

“Changing what success in fitness means is bold, it is brazen,” Dunn says. “It is innovative and it is not easy, but I think it is really important.”

Although there are mirrors in the studio, Dunn tells participants to forget about their reflection and think about how they feel.

There are no “drill sergeants in this room,” she says.

“Everybody is different and looks different and has different abilities,” she says. “And thank goodness for that.”

Sponsored by barre3 2560 University Ave, 608.467.9788, barre3.com