It’s just before 10 a.m. and I’m already on a train bound for Manhattan. Rising before noon isn’t my ideal way to begin a Saturday but I’m optimistic (if not a bit terrified) about the Pure Barre class I’ll be taking as part of SELF Magazine’s inaugural Up & Out Studio event.
For more than two decades, the publication’s Workout in the Park wellness festival drew thousands of women to Manhattan’s Central Park for a day of exercise, beauty consultations and healthy treats. This year, SELF took its flagship event in a new direction, offering intimate group exercise classes—among them, Barry’s Bootcamp, Flywheel and Plyojam—that are more aligned with the evolution of the fitness space.
“What was happening in the marketplace was all these great studios were becoming the hottest trends, which is not new this year, but certainly is something that’s growing prolifically,” says Eric Johnson, associate publisher-marketing at SELF Magazine. “We really wanted to recognize that and to create a program that was more on-brand, more on-trend with what’s happening today with the studio partners. They’ve got such tremendous followings of their own; it makes sense to go where the consumers are going.”
As I enter the event, held at Spring Studios, I feel myself growing tense. I’ve never taken a Pure Barre class. The last time I was near a ballet barre, my pink tutu had the power to make all of my mishaps adorable. What if I can’t hack it as an adult? What if I pass out and have to explain to my boss that I was unconscious for half of my assignment?
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