How Barre3 is Empowering Women

Aug. 27, 2018Barre3 is a group exercise class that’s captivating people of all fitness levels and bringing them together at the barre. We spoke with Sarah Heitman, owner of the West Seattle barre3 studio, about what makes this fitness program so different than anything else out there.


What Is barre3?

Traditional barre is an exercise based on ballet that incorporates yoga elements into the movements. Long holds and tiny movements make for a surprisingly intense workout that targets specific muscle groups.

Okay, so that’s barre — but forget all about that, because barre3 is a totally different animal. Barre3 is in a class all its own. It may be built on the same basic principles and movements as barre, but this class incorporates bigger movements designed to make you SWEAT.

Created by founder Sadie Lincoln, barre3 studios are now located all over the US, with online workouts also available for those who can’t make it into a location.

Get barefoot and get to the barre — barre3 classes turn up the heat while still meeting you where you are your own fitness level, for an exercise program that challenges you, without utterly destroying you.

Meet Sarah Heitman, Studio Owner

Sarah found her own personal passion in the incredible sense of inclusion she felt when she set foot in a barre3 studio. Last year, this barre3 enthusiast quit her corporate job to open her own barre3 franchise location in West Seattle, and she’s been a barre fly ever since.

We chatted with Sarah to learn about the incredible culture of inclusion so many barre3 participants can’t stop talking about, and learn about the ways this exercise program works to support women.


For Moms, By Moms

At the level of the exercise program itself, barre3 was designed by moms, for moms, and follows barre3’s commitment to produce exercises that meet you where you are. From pregnancy to postpartum, barre3 instructors are trained to work with women to custom tailor workouts to be safe and effective, while still sparing you enough energy to chase your toddler around Target.

“These exercises are perfect for new moms because they have a focus on strengthening your back and core,” says Sarah. “This helps you regain your center of balance after pregnancy when everything has shifted around.”

Even better, most barre3 locations provide on-site daycare so that moms don’t have to choose between self-care and parenting. For those who have sick kids or can’t make it into a location, in-home streaming is available, with new workouts added every week!

Who Run the World? GIRLS

Even more impressive than their commitment to moms is the incredible girl power at work behind the fitness behemoth that is barre3. Most of the company is run by women, and the company is actually a franchise. This means you’re not just employed when you run a barre3 location — you’re a business owner and get the opportunity to define your own success.


Bringing Women Together

Anybody who’s been to a barre3 class will tell you, there’s something special about it. That’s because barre3 staff members are actually specifically trained not just to set up a membership or lead a class, but to create an overwhelming sense of belonging in their members.

Making eye contact and engaging members at the individual level is a part of their job — they want you to feel like a part of a group, not just a part of a class.

Barre3 takes an inside-out approach to wellness, focusing on mindset as much as it does fitness. They believe in providing women who feel alienated from others by motherhood or careers with a sense of belonging.

These practices have helped their members not just physically but mentally as well in their battles with everything from anxiety to postpartum depression.

Giving Back to Women

Barre3 is committed to helping women in any way they can, which is why last month they donated a whopping 20% of their proceeds from memberships and tanks to the Every Mother Counts campaign. This organization helps struggling mothers gain access to prenatal and postpartum healthcare in developing countries and in the US.

Built on a foundation designed to support and uplift women from the moment they walk in the door to that heart-pounding feeling of I can’t, barre3 is there saying — You can, and we’re here for you.



Have you ever been to a barre3 class before? What was your impression of it? Tell us on Facebook or Instagram and tag us in the post! @AvocadoMattress and @barre3!


Destiny Hagest

By Destiny Hagest

 —  Destiny is a freelance writer with a background in sustainability and natural health. She lives in the mountains of central Montana with her husband and young son. When she's not writing or chasing her toddler, you can find her wandering the quiet wilderness in search of wild herbs and antler sheds.

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