Barre Forte uses events to build community in Edwards
“Lift and hold and lift and freeze,” Katelynn Walker said into a headset microphone over the sweet, sweet sounds of Pitbull blasting on the stereo. A group of eight or so women adjusted their grip on the ballet barre in front of them while doing calf raises, squats and small lateral movements, burning out their calves and thighs. Walker expressed her love for Pitbull, to which the women grimace-smiled through the pain. After a final count of eight, the women relaxed and stretched out the building tightness in their legs.
Walker’s Wednesday night class is classic barre, and it’s not dissimilar to what barre looks like across the United States. And while Barre Forte is a regional chain of barre fitness centers – there are eight in Colorado and a few in Kansas and South Dakota – the Vail Valley location hopes to push beyond its on-paper purpose. Operating out of the Edwards Village Boulevard plaza, the studio hopes to bring women – and men – together over exercise and events in the local community.
Beth Robinson and her partner Jess Denton license the Edwards location, which has been open since July of last year.
“We want to incorporate what’s going on in the world to bring the community of Edwards and Vail together,” Robinson said.
This Saturday, Oct. 19, Barre Forte is hosting a Barre-A-Thon to support Breast Cancer. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, Robinson thought it would be a good way to raise money in a fun and engaging way. Teams of four will compete in an all-day barre competition, with 8 classes between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Each class costs $10 per person, and funds will be donated to The Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group.
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To make it interesting and incentivize teams to keep going when they get tired, prizes will be awarded to the best-dressed team, highest participation per team and to the person who takes the most classes. There will also be cocktails and snacks to help keep both the party and the endorphins flowing.
“So many of us know or have been touched by cancer, breast cancer, and we really want to support that since the majority of our clients are women,” Robinson said.
Additionally, all pink clothing items at the studio are on sale this month.
Later in the month, Barre Forte is hosting its bi-annual Shake, Sip & Swap. On Saturday, Oct. 26, attendees will start with a free 9 a.m. class on the lawn outside the studio, followed by a clothing swap with light breakfast snacks and mimosas. The swap has a $5 cover, and participants should bring 5-7 articles of gently used clothing to the studio by Friday. All unclaimed clothes will be donated to the Bright Future Foundation.
And while barre tends to be a women-centric exercise, Barre Forte set up its Movember Max Out for the month of November. Robinson said that they do see men in class occasionally, usually enjoying a class with their significant other. But with November being Men’s Health Awareness Month, both guys and gals can come to class from 5:30-6:30 p.m. followed by drinks, bites and Thursday Night Football at a local restaurant.
“Hopefully you can come and you can say ‘hi’ to everyone in the class,” Robinson said. “It’s about making connections in our studio to take to the community.”
For more information on Barre Forte, schedules and to read a full description of the classes offered in Edwards, visit barreforte.com/locations/vail-valley-colorado/.