Living in one of the biggest cities in the country comes with several perks. Cities like LA, New York and Chicago get the hot, new workout trends well before the rest of the country. Barre classes are no exception. Since Black Swan hit theatres in 2010, barre studio have started popping up all over the country. These ballet-themed workouts incorporate isometric contractions and dance-inspired moved that sculpt and tone the legs, butt, and core. That said, residents of Chicago have access to some of the best barre classes in the nation. Keep reading to find the best barre studio for your fitness needs.


exhale offers an abundance of health and wellness services, including fitness classes, teacher trainings, and spa treatments. According to Huffington Post, their barre classes were developed by “the world’s foremost living barre experts.” In addition, their classes incorporates elements of yoga and high intensity interval training. While the workout is challenging, you shouldn’t worry about your dance experience. Classes are geared toward beginners, and instructors are on-hand to help you develop your skills. exhale also offers and advanced barre class for veterans. exhale’s chicago location is situated in the historic Gold Coast neighborhood.

Pure Barre

Dancer, choreographer, and fitness guru Carrie Rezabek Dorr opened the first Pure Barre studio back in 2001. These classes combine ballet-inspired movements with isolated contractions that burn fat, maintain muscle, and improve mobility. Purre Barre also borrows thumping playlists and high-energy instructors from the SoulCycle workout model. After eight years of growth, Pure Barre became a national franchise in 2009. Today, they have more than ten locations the Chicago and the surrounding areas. Visit their website to find a location near you.

Bar Method

Developed by an expert in barre techniques, Barre Method offers a disciplined, ballet-inspired workout that is slightly more traditional than the first two location on the list. At Barre Method, instructors place an additional emphasis on precision, form, and balance. Don’t be shocked if an instructor uses physical contact to try and help you alter your form. The Barre Method was founded in San Francisco, but there are now 80 locations around the country. There are five in the Chicago area alone. Check out their website to find a location in your area.

The Barre Code

Perhaps the most diverse studio on the list, The Barre Code amps up traditional barre workouts with cardio, strength training, and restoration. Their cardio class offers a high-intensity workout with plyometrics, kickboxing, and dancing, while the strength training program includes isometric contractions and small controlled movements. The last class type, restoration, is meant to widen your range of flexibility and improve overall mobility. It’s also supposed to assist with physical, mental, and spiritual recovery. Barre Code has four locations in Chicago.


Barre3 offers some of the most intense workouts on the list. Classes tend to include a lot of cardio and few instructor-designated breaks. On the other hand, instructors will always help with modifications and understand when you need to drop out. They also tend to be less traditional than purists like Bar Method. Barre3 has more than 127 studios around the country and hundreds more workouts online. If you do happen to visit their Chicago location, make sure you ask about their free childcare services.

Bellicon Studio

Bellicon Studio also offers a different take on traditional barre classes. Their “barre and bounce” classes integrate trampolines for added toning, breath control, and weight loss. In class, participants alternate between barre exercises with the bellicon t-bar and endurance-building trampoline exercises. Other classes include pilates, high intensity interval training, and strength training. While barre exercises help with strength maintenance, trampoline exercises emphasize mobility and muscle growth. Bellicon Studio only has one location in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago.

Studio Fit Chicago

In contrast to many of the other organizations on this list, Studio Fit Chicago focuses on individual customization and personalization. Rather than prescribing a one-size fits all method, this studio assigns participants a personal trainer that helps with scheduling, exercises, nutrition, and more. Their job is to help you figure out how your body works and address it with a comprehensive and customized approach. Classes include barre, yoga, cardio, dance, sculpt, and pilates. Studio Fit Chicago has one location in Lincoln Park.

Getting Started

When you’re ready to make a decision, there are only a few preemptive steps. Supplies are usually provided by the workout studio, with a few key exceptions. Participants are expected to bring their own grippy socks, which help maintain traction during some ballet-inspired moved. You should also bring your own water bottle and stay hydrated throughout class. Last, but not least, let your instructor know if you have any prior injuries or limitations. They should be happy to help you with modifications and altered poses.