Barre Class Heads to the Bar

If you’ve ever wondered why it has become more popular than ever to attend fitness classes in breweries, coffee shops or even on rooftops, Cori Williams, the owner of Beer City Barre, has some answers.

“People like to be out doing things,” explained Williams. Events like her recent ‘Barre and Bites’ class held at Lucy’s Cafe help introduce people to her services as well as to local establishments.

“Our events also break down barriers,” Williams added. “Maybe I can’t get my friends to meet me for a barre class, but if there is a promise of socializing, people find it less intimidating.”

In fact, the intimidation factor played a part in the focus of her company, as she was a member of the Core Pilates community in Rockford until it closed. Beer City Barre, located on Monroe St. across from the 6th St. Bridge Park, was her chance to create the warm, tight-knit community she craved.

“It’s scary to go to a new class or gym for the first time,” Williams said. “You have questions running through your mind: ‘Are they going to be nice to me?’ ‘Will it be too hard?’ If you don’t feel welcomed, you can feel self-conscious.” Williams explained that by focusing on creating a friendly atmosphere, relationships have been forged naturally at her studio.

Cori Williams, the owner of Beer City Barre, hosts classes across the city.
Cori Williams, the owner of Beer City Barre, hosts classes across the city.

Williams, 34, grew up in Rockford and received her exercise science degree from Grand Valley State University. After spending seven years in the health insurance industry, she started Beer City Barre in September of 2016. Reflecting back on her first year and a half of business, she returned to what motivated her to start Beer City Barre.

“There’s never going to be a right time to take a leap,” said Williams. “You have to continue to believe in your mission and keep your head down, focusing on your own thing. Not everyone is going to love you. It’s easy to get bogged down with the entrepreneur roller coaster, but it is important to simply be true to the vision that brought you here.”

In addition to traditional barre classes, Beer City Barre’s April events include a monthly Barre & Brew at City Built Brewing Company and a Self Love Beauty photo shoot, which will offer photo shoots of fitness practitioners in Self Love Beauty’s apparel.

For more information on Beer City Barre’s events, visit: https://www.facebook.com/beercitybarre/

Header photo courtesy of Beer City Barre

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