Two new local exercise studios mix hints of ballet with a high-intensity workout

Barre exercise is officially a thing in the Tacoma area.

Angie Osborne, with her daughter, Malia, have opened a Pure Barre fitness studio in University Place. Pure Barre is the nation’s largest barre studio franchise.

The Barre Code is another national franchise, and a branch has set up shop locally in the Westgate North Shopping Center with owner/operator Kate Spina.

While the studios at first glance might remind you of a ballet class with walls lined with ballet barres, the fitness programs are not strictly ballet.

“I think Seattle’s growth has definitely contributed to these new studios,” Spina told The News Tribune.

The exercises are grounded in Pilates and mix yoga/ballet moves with core strength training, according to Osborne. All are billed as low-impact, high-intensity workouts. And there’s music.

Workouts can include resistance-type exercise and cardio, working different muscle groups to fatigue, then stretching them out.

“That’s how you get that long, lean muscle. It’s safe and super effective,” Osborne said.

The Osbornes became familiar with it through a family member who worked at a Pure Barre studio in Idaho.

“One of my daughters went to Boise State,” said Angie Osborne, “So when we would go to visit her in Boise, she’d say, ‘Oh, you have to come try this workout class.’”

They did, and they were hooked, according to Osborne.

“It became this routine that every time we went to Boise, for football games, or parents’ weekend or anything, it was always like, ‘OK, when are we going to take our barre class?’”

She wanted a similar studio in the Tacoma area. One thing led to another, and the Osbornes opened the studio in University Place, next to the CityMD clinic and across from Jersey Mike’s Subs.

The soft opening was in May, and they just had their grand opening. The franchise also is set to have a Puyallup location, opening date to be determined.

At Pure Barre, depending on the class, there are 14-16 participants. You can buy a membership or pay by class ($25 each), with the first one free. There also are trial offers at reduced rates available, as well as discounts for teachers and military veterans.

The 5 a.m. sessions, for example, have turned out to be popular with teachers and their schedules.

“I’m always amazed how busy the 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. classes are,” Angie Osborne said, “because they are almost all teachers.”

If you’re unsure about jumping into a class, they offer introductory “Foundations” sessions, so you can get a feel for the training and learn the terminology with an instructor.

Before you even start, you leave your smartphone outside the studio. No barre selfies.

“You get to be just present in the moment and just do you, which I think we don’t have very much of in our society today,” Angie Osborne said.

As an instructor, Angie said it’s helped her in other ways.

I used to run a lot, and as I got older my knees would hurt. But I have noticed that when I do run now, because of all the tiny movements we do in here that help with muscle stabilization and strengthening around the kneecap, my knees don’t get as sore,” she said.

Malia Osborne, set to give birth in November, said she’s been doing the workouts throughout her pregnancy.

“It’s definitely safe,” she said.

“We have instructors that are trained in specific pregnancy modifications and things that you can do,” Angie Osborne added.

Spina opened her studio in August. She and her husband moved to the Tacoma area from Connecticut.

“What’s fun is we go beyond the barre conditioning with cardio kickboxing, cardio strength and restoration,” she said.

The Barre Code offers about five classes on average per day, also starting early at 5:30 a.m., with anywhere from 5 to 18 participants.

You can try it with a $12 first-time drop in fee, and for now the studio is offering a week of free classes. There are also monthly membership options.

Spina came into the business after growing up as an athlete then being diagnosed in 2005 with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.

“I suffered joint damage, and I had to stay in bed for a while. I couldn’t walk. But after getting on medication, I had to change the way I looked at my body and relearn what my body was capable of doing,” she said.

She sought a fitness regimen that was accepting of everyone and came across an article on Google promoting The Barre Code franchise.

“It wasn’t about weight loss but gaining strength and confidence,” Spina said.

She went to Chicago, took classes at a location and eventually brought the business here with her husband’s relocation.

“As more people start to relocate to Tacoma, they want these places to find community,” Spina said.

Pure Barre

Address: 3556 Marketplace W., Suite 106, University Place

Phone: (253) 225-7518


Website:, Facebook:

The Barre Code Tacoma

Address: 5719 N. 26th St., Tacoma

Phone: (253) 292-9933


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