Not your typical ‘barre’

Pure Barre introduces new workout to Southern Indiana

Pure Barre owner Megan Wade talks over options for the main entrance with instructor Catherine Blevins while touring the studio in September.

Pure Barre owner Megan Wade talks over options for the main entrance with instructor Catherine Blevins while touring the studio in September.


After 12 years in medical sales and being away from her family, Megan Wade is chasing her dream.

Call it sweat equity defined.

Wade, 38, Louisville, has opened Southern Indiana’s first Pure Barre studio on Charlestown Road in New Albany. After sweating through the isometric workout for four years at a Louisville studio — three of those as an instructor — Wade felt it was time to open her own business.

Only the fourth Pure Barre studio in Indiana — the closest Hoosier location is in Indianapolis — Wade’s 1,500-square-foot facility boasts eight instructors teaching the nation’s largest and fastest growing barre concept.

I took my first Pure Barre class and immediately became addicted and stuck with it for four years.I decided to take a leap of faith and open my own studio.

Small, focused steps might better describe Wade’s move as well as barre workouts. Barre — set to upbeat music and an encouraging instructor on a microphone — “lifts your seat off the back of your thighs, tones your arms and thighs and flattens your abs in record-breaking time,” Wade said.

“Usually clients see results in 10 classes or less. Consistency is the key here.”

Barre is women-focused and music-driven while suitable for any age group and physical fitness level, according to Wade. Ballet bars are used for stability and balance, while mirrors help participants with their form.

“It’s small, focused movements within your muscles,” she said. “It gets your muscles to the point of fatigue where the muscle will start to burn, start to shake. And then we do stretching exercises so we work on creating long, lean muscles.

“We want the clients to come out with the body that a female wants.”

Miranda Popp has felt the burn. An athlete all her life — including as a former rower for the University of Louisville — Popp swears barre is the only exercise that has helped her regain her core strength.

“That is something I’ve been missing for a number of years, core strength,” said Popp, 34, a mother of three. “Somehow this is a really special type of workout where you are using those muscles and strengthening them in ways that I never found any other exercise to do.”

Pure Barre instructors, which include Wade and Popp, must attend a four-day training session at the company’s Spartansburg, S.C., headquarters as well as completing a “rigorous” home practice session, Wade said, before achieving certification.

Instructors play a vital role with the workout, which typically lasts 55 minutes.

“The teacher’s job is to walk around the room and make sure each client is in the best form possible,” Wade said, “and to push the client as hard as they possibly can. The teacher cues them on proper form and controls the room to help the client have the best workout possible.”

While barre doesn’t include traditional cardiovascular movement “your heart rate does go up,” Wade said. “You will sweat. It’s an instructor’s job to push you to hold the counts long enough to where the muscles start to burn and shake and get to the point of fatigue.”

Popp, New Albany, expects big things for the business.

“I do believe this is something that we need here,” she said. “We have nothing like it in Southern Indiana. We know this is something that has been missing for such a long time.”

Wade thought Southern Indiana was primed for a Pure Barre studio, with the bridges about to open and and the region in a growth spurt.

“This is where everyone wants to go,” she said. “If you look at the area and local businesses that come, the community is wonderful in the way they support local businesses. Barre is growing and I felt this is the area that it needed to go and that it would thrive that that the community would support it.”

Wade’s goal is to create a community of women in Southern Indiana — the same experience she had in Louisville.

“I also want to provide a fitness routine for women who have never been able to find a release or an outlet to work out,” she said. “It’s a place where women are taken care of and can come in and truly leave everything at the door, take their class and come out walking a little taller and feeling a little better.

More info:

For more information on Pure Barre New Albany, 4317 Charlestown Road, New Albany, contact Megan Wade via email at “Like” PureBarre on Facebook at for updates on client specials, classes and to “meet” the Pure Barre New Albany team. To sign up for classes, visit its studio page of Pure Barre’s Website and search by location at


Published in the October/November 2015 issue of Southern Indiana Fitness Source

// article: Jason Thomas        // photos: Tyler Stewart