Ultrarunners Raise the Barre With New Studio on Platte Street

Denver's been getting quite a workout lately, with all the indoor cycle studios and fitness franchises popping up around town. Now you can add Barre Forte, 1553 Platte Street, to the lineup: Colorado ultrarunners Amy O’Connell and Sarah Brittenham opened the doors of Denver’s second licensed Barre Forte studio on June 25.

“What attracted us to the licensing versus franchise agreement common with many barre studios is that franchising can be pretty strict, and the two of us already have pretty strong personalities,” O’Connell says. “Barre Forte’s licensing option was the perfect model for us.”

According to the Barre Forte website, licensing is also more affordable; Barre Forte will provide O’Connell and Brittenham with advertising and merchandising support, putting them under the umbrella of an established brand.

O’Connell and Brittenham are both serious athletes who discovered barre classes as a fitness option that kept them injury-free. “Barre is really well known for aiding in injury prevention and active recovery,” O’Connell explains. “You don’t take the time to strengthen your core when you’re running 100 miles a week, and you can get burned out, as well. Barre is a way to still be active and ‘maintain’ before, during and after your workouts.”

Before deciding to open their own Barre Forte studio, the women took barre classes at various studios in order to determine what type of instruction they wanted to provide for their clients. “Part of the reason we love Barre Forte so much is that it’s so different from any other workout,” Brittenham says. “I’ve been to every barre class, and this one is just more intense, and the flow is fabulous and just makes sense; it’s so fluid that you don’t even know you switched muscle groups.”

In addition to providing their clients with solid instruction and an engaging workout, O’Connell and Brittenham say they're doing so at an affordable price. For new clients, the fee for one month of unlimited barre classes is $100, and the first class is always free. Additionally, the studio offers an auto-pay month-to-month option for $150 that can be canceled at any time. O’Connell and Brittenham are also offering discounted rates to mothers in the Highland area with proof of address, as well as to K-12 teachers and employees of Platte Street businesses.

“We want to be a studio welcoming everybody, and by not setting such a high price point, we are communicating to our clients that we know they might want to try something else, and that’s okay,” Brittenham says. “You’re not locked in with a contract. so you’re free to go try other things — but we’re confident you’ll love Barre Forte so much and come back.”

For more information, visit or check out the studio’s Facebook page.
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Lauren Archuletta is a contributor for Westword's arts section, covering Denver's health and wellness scene. Follow her work for tips on cheap workouts and which yoga classes include mimosas and beer.