Raising the ‘barre’ for fitness

 Kim Hackett teaches a class at BodyByBarre.

Kim Hackett has devised a successful business around a fitness program that changed her life.

“It’s called BodyByBarre,” Hackett said during a recent break between classes at her studio on Tamiami Trail South. “I’m the owner and an instructor here. The barre is a ballet barre, which became a big fitness thing in the early 2000s when Natalie Portman got to be in incredible shape in a ballet movie called ‘The Black Swan’ as a result of the barre workout. The ballet barre is used in a fitness session that stresses balance and resistance.”

Hackett embraced the barre workout when she developed chronic heel and hip pain during her own workout regimen of long-distance running. A friend recommended a barre class up in Sarasota, which combined dance exercises, strength training, cardio and Pilates. She was immediately hooked, quickly realizing barre was therapy uniquely tailored to her conditions.

When the Sarasota studio instructor balked at opening a location in Venice, she decided to obtain her certification from the International Ballet Barre Fitness Association and opened her own studio in November 2015.

“I became the only one in a 20-mile radius who was teaching this method,” she said. “The attendance steadily grew through word of mouth and before I knew it, I had a business. Now I have six instructors, 60 monthly members and another 60 or so who buy class packages. Our studio was recently recognized by The Venice Gondolier as a Best in Venice and we just received a nomination from the Venice Chamber of Commerce as 2019 Business of the Year.”

Originally from Chicago, Hackett has lived in Venice since 2003. BodyByBarre offers a variety of 55-minute fitness classes in such areas as barre, yoga, TRX training (which incorporates suspension straps to use gravity and one’s own body weight to tone up, burn fat and stabilize the core), personal training, weight loss, and fitness for golfers.

Prices range from $16 for an individual barre/yoga class, $18 for an individual TRX session and $65 for a personal training session to $119 a month for unlimited classes and $350 for six personal training sessions.

She added what makes her fitness classes unique is their small size and special, individualized attention to clients’ needs.

“Our motto is we keep you guessing and you keep your body guessing,” Hackett said. “Every single class is going to be different, as my instructors mix and match the pieces that go into successful workouts. It’s a welcoming environment and my teaching staff is very special. I pay my instructors more than the going wage. I incentivize them and they make extra money on certain class packages. I have a great team and I treat them well. Accordingly, our clients — who range in age from their 20s up to 82 — have seen great results.”

BodyByBarre is located at 1952 Tamiami Trail South, in Venice. Class times range from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. most days. For more information, call 941-786-5955, log on to BodyByBarre.me or visit the Facebook page.

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