After 10 years away from home, Caroline Harris returned to Kansas City in 2016 with her husband and two kids and began the year-long journey to open her own Barre3 studio closer to home.
While living in Chicago 8 years ago, Caroline started attending pilates/yoga/exercise classes. After moving to Austin, Caroline found Barre3 and as a client-turned-instructor loved leading Barre3 classes. So when she and her husband moved their family back to KC to be closer to friends and family, she saw a need for a Barre3 studio here.
KC’s First Barre3
She spent her first year back in KC networking and hosting underground classes, literally in a church.
“I invited everyone to attend our classes to grow our community,” Caroline said. She taught free classes and spread the message of Barre3. She loved connecting with like-minded people and was thrilled to find a space in the Brookside area in June of 2016 and leased that space in December. She opened in April of 2017 at 18 West 63rd Street.
“I loved the supportive community of Brookside,” Caroline said. “I loved the vibe of the community, I loved the space, all the natural light, it just felt good.”
Caroline has lived in Miami, Chicago, and Austin. “I’m used to culture and walking everywhere,” she said. “Brookside is a walkable, chill neighborhood. I love that quaint, cute, charming feel and closeness to the Plaza.”
Celebrating her 2nd Anniversary in Brookside on April 10, 2019, Caroline's Brookside location includes a large, well-lit workout room, childcare (the Play Lounge), and a growing team of instructors.
“Our clientele is super genuine, authentic and supportive,” Caroline said. “They want to be here because they’re looking to get a challenging workout that balances their body and their mind. It’s one hour where they can focus just on themselves.”
Building a Community
Many Barre3 instructors were formerly clients or were already familiar with Barre3.
“It’s a place where people don’t feel judged,” Caroline said. “You can show up as who you are. Our community is warm and welcoming. People are connecting with others in a meaningful way. We are building something special.”
What Makes the Job
“I love the community, the empowering workouts, and what our brand represents—teaching people to be balanced in body and empowered from within,” Caroline said. Barre3 is a franchise and as a small business owner, Caroline appreciates the support from the home office and a network of other Barre3 owners.
It’s all about community and people, Caroline said. The 3 in Barre3 stands for balance—balance in exercise, nutrition, and connection. She believes that connecting with others in a meaningful way is equally as important as exercise.
“As human beings, we have a need and desire to connect,” Caroline said. “We often feel lonely and isolated due to living in the digital age and can fall into the comparison trap of social media. Barre3 creates a community and provides that connection and embraces the value that every body matters.”
Everyone can do Barre3
Barre3 is a judgment-free zone. Anyone can do it, from professional athletes to new moms to those who are recovering from an injury.
“It’s like fun physical therapy,” Caroline said. “It’s a 60-minute low-impact workout that optimizes every minute without injury. Clients leave a workout feeling energized, joyful, and refreshed.”
A typical Barre3 class includes routines with their signature approach of sustained holds, micro-movements, and cardio bursts that leave clients feeling balanced in body and empowered in mind.
“Our approach to health and wellness is unique,” Caroline said. “We are a culture of good health encouraging people on their pursuit of balance. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach and empower our clients to adapt their workout so it feels good in their body.”
“Finding balance is about acknowledging the imbalances we face every day without shame or judgment,” Caroline said. “That’s what makes us unique. We cultivate a practice that embraces imbalances as opportunities to move life forward towards a more balanced state.”
“I want to be that different voice,” Caroline said. “We’re all pursuing balance and we are all pursuing our own definition of health and wellness. I want to encourage people to workout to feel better, reduce their stress, and be able to enjoy activities with those who matter most, not to beat themselves up for what they ate or for some unrealistic image they see in a magazine.”
Summer of Strong
Barre3 offers memberships beyond working out in person. A membership also gives clients access to a treasure trove of healthy recipes and guidance. This summer, Barre3 is kicking off their Summer of Strong campaign with a #barre3anywhere challenge.
“We are encouraging everyone to move their bodies for 28 days,” Caroline said. “Whether that’s in the studio taking a class, on vacation hiking or swimming, or in your living room doing one of our online workouts. As a fun incentive, for every class you take in the studio, you will be entered to win giveaways!”
Barre3 is a premium fitness brand and a growing community of individuals who together are redefining what success in fitness means.