Bunheads current, former, and aspiring have been flocking in hordes to DC and Maryland barre studios for months to get a taste of the latest exercise craze. But thanks to Lava Barre, the first and only all-barre studio in Northern Virginia, NOVA barre enthusiasts no longer have to trek to the District to get in a workout. The studio on Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon opened July 1, and now runs approximately 30 classes a week.
Co-owners Lauren Price and Vanessa Ligorria, both Virginia residents, were all too familiar with the commute since they’ve been taking and teaching barre classes in DC for several years. After developing a close friendship while teaching together at B.Fit, the women began making plans to open their own studio closer to home. The name, Lava Barre, comes from a combination of their first names.
Lava Barre offers five different classes, each with a different focus and all designed to make you sweat. During the Lava Rock class, for instance, expect burpees and mountain climbers mixed in with a normal barre routine. We opted for the studio’s signature class, Lava Barre, which is recommended for anyone new to the method.
Unlike many local studios, the ladies at Lava Barre take you straight from warmup (the usual high knees, pushups, planks, and tricep dips) to the barre. “We want to start you burning calories from the largest muscle group in the body right away, so that you will continue to burn throughout the class,” says Ligorria. “But we are careful to thoroughly stretch the thighs before and after your barre work to ensure we are improving your flexibility, too,” adds Price.
After we made it through the grueling thigh- and glute-toning portion at the barre, we moved on to arm work with light weights. But “light” doesn’t translate to “easy,” as evidenced by the burn we were still feeling in our triceps three days later.
“We want women, the majority of our client base, to have definition in their upper body, so we don’t go light on the weight work,” says Ligorria.
The class ended with the always-entertaining “back dancing,” but it was longer and more intense than at many of the local studios we’ve visited. Ligorria and Price say it’s designed to be the last chance to burn calories, engage in a cardio burst, and work on defining your glutes.
Lava Barre places a great emphasis on teaching proper form. Classes are capped at 15 students, meaning your instructor is able to advise you individually several times throughout the course.
“We hope our clients leave each class feeling a little stronger and more flexible,” says Ligorria. “And perhaps they’ll make a new friend,” says Price.
Lava Barre classes are $24 for a single class—the first class is complimentary if you use the promo code HOTLAVA—and $45 for a three-class package for newcomers. Through August, you can buy a one-month unlimited package for the discounted price of $125. Discounted rates and childcare are offered for new moms and dads.
3260 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 571-483-0468; lavabarre.com.