In this week’s TALK series, McLean Today sits down with Gracie de Luca, the manager and an instructor at Pure Barre McLean. The 50 minute group class workouts — offered in the studio and virtually — focus on low-impact, small movements that promise to strengthen and tone your entire body.
Q. What is Pure Barre?
Pure Barre is a form of exercise that revolves around the bar. We focus on low impact workouts that create high impact results. We now offer 5 class formats — Classic, Empower, Reform, Align and Define, which came out a couple weeks ago.
Q. How many members do you have? How many staff?
Right now we have 125 members. It took a pretty big hit after Covid so we’re still in the process of rebuilding and getting back our members. We have nine staff members right now. We have six teachers, two desk associates, and including me, it’s nine.
Q. Do you need fitness experience to start coming to Pure Barre?
I don’t think so. The barre classes are very easy to follow — even for your first class — because the teachers are telling you what you’re doing and they demo parts of the form. Even if you’ve never been before, you’ll catch on pretty quickly.
Q. What is your fitness background?
I became interested in fitness after being a manager at Lifetime Fitness in Fairfax. My current workout routine revolves around being a Pure barre instructor. I have to learn new choreography for every single class I teach, I teach evening classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I practice a lot at home so I consider that a great workout. I am [also] currently getting my masters in social work at VCU [Virginia Commonwealth University] online and I will be graduating in 2024.
Q. What is your favorite part of the job?
Definitely working with the staff, I love all my girls that work with me. They’re all super fun to be around and super helpful. It’s nice to be able to make them happy as a manager. That’s honestly the best part of it.
Q. What is the most challenging part of your job?
Probably the marketing and publicity aspect. I run the social media aspect. There are always going to be hard decisions to make as a manager and a lot of the time you have to do what makes the most sense for the studio.
Q. What is your goal as manager?
My personal goal is to get us to the place we were before COVID, or a better place in terms of numbers and class format and time availability. Just so we can make the members we have here happy and also attract new ones with a full class schedule. During COVID, the studio closed down for a period of time and then they were back to doing social distancing classes. Even though [the studio] was back open, people were still scared to come which is understandable. A lot of people canceled their memberships. After that, all of our studios, at least all of our sister studios, really took a hit in terms of membership counts. So we are just trying to rebuild from what happened.
Q. Do you have a favorite restaurant to go to in McLean?
Chesapeake Bagel Bakery. That place is so good for bagels and breakfast sandwiches. They’re bacon, egg and cheese sandwich is so good. I like to get their plain bagels with cream cheese as well. Honestly, everything is really good.
Dania Reza is the social media content curator for McLean Today. She is a junior at McLean High school and is an assistant design editor-in-chief of her award-winning school news magazine, The Highlander.
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