Christina Pazcoguin taught a hard barre class with some challenging choreography. It was an excellent workout for a Wednesday evening. The Pure Barre Columbus Circle location is a bit hard to find. It’s tucked up on the fourth floor of an office building next to the big mall at Columbus Circle, but once we found our way in we were welcomed with open arms! Keep in mind that this studio can be very crowded during the after-work rush.
Every Pure Barre class, regardless of studio, follows the same formula: standing warm-up punctuated by planks, moving into arms with weights. This is followed by thighs, then seat, then two separate ab sections: one at/under the barre and then a section on mats on the floor.
At this class, Christina made mostly effective use of the space. It was such a large class that we were initially waitlisted and then struggled to find a spot to lay our Velcro tube, ball, and mat. The crowd was large enough that she staggered us into four lines to do our initial marches and pull downs, but we were almost on top of one another’s mats as we curled up into little balls and practiced v sits to warm up our core. The arms section started out with tricep dips and moved quickly into some kneeling tricep extensions, and then we were on to lunges combined with rows. The arms section also included a bit of challenging choreography with some standing side lunges and multiple types of curls executed in quick succession.
The thigh, seat, and initial abs sections all made use of our Velcro strap, which has two separate hand-sized loops to grab onto and was connected to the barre. For thigh, we used the strap to keep us stable in chair and waterski poses, which fired up the tops of our legs all the way down to our feet. We then got down on our knees and hung off of the strap to strengthen and tone the seat, which was challenging! Our seat section also included a foldover series in which we kicked out with our heels flexed and brought our knee towards our chest by pointing the foot. When we finally got to abs, we were ready to chuck our strap at Christina, but using the strap to deepen our twists to each side and develop our oblique muscles was an effective move.
The class was super large, as mentioned, and full of what seemed to be a lot of friend or coworker pairs. The age and fitness level was probably average – all women in their 20s or 30s, mostly experts at following Christina’s choreography and generally seeming pretty fit.
Christina did a great job with hands-on form corrections and we thought she was good at handling the size of the class. We would have loved it though if Christina gave a little more guidance on a new position before telling everyone to just try it – we definitely needed to hear her explain directions again a few too many times. Christina’s music was good but not particularly memorable. Go to her class if you are a good listener who picks things up really quickly and doesn’t mind a crowded barre class. You’ll be challenged in a good way for sure.
Pure Barre Columbus Circle is conveniently located just one block from the subway (1, A, C, E, F) and across the street from the Time-Warner Center at Columbus Circle. We almost walked right by 1841 Broadway since there’s no Pure Barre signage anywhere, but a friendly doorman directed us to the fourth floor. Once there, we walked down a hallway where several small businesses seemed to have offices, including one that’s possibly a new rowing workout studio – we were totally intrigued! We found Pure Barre at the end of the hallway. The studio is large, spacious and well-ventilated, which is a good thing in this high-traffic area that attracts many fellow classgoers. The changing area was small but did have a pretty good set of toiletries including a “body wipe” that advertised it would get you cleaner than a shower. We’ll have to try it next time. The boutique was also easy to miss as it was a single rack of clothing tucked right in with the cubbies and could use better placement if Pure Barre wants us to remember all those new sports bras and accessories we obviously need! The bathroom was also less than ideal as we needed a separate key to go back into the hallway and let ourselves into the two-stall, bare bones spot. This location has focused on the right thing – a good actual studio space – but could improve on the rest.
1841 Broadway #330, New York, NY 10023 Columbus Circle Barre $$$$
Pure Barre Columbus Circle
Columbus Circle Barre, $$$$
1841 Broadway #330, New York, NY 10023
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