A downtown Claremore loft has been transformed into a barre and yoga studio, fulfilling a dream of local woman Cristi McKinney.
McKinney, a wife and mother of three, grew up in Claremore, and is excited to be sharing her passion with her community in the form of her barre, yoga and fitness studio, Studio Ninety Nine.
"I've done a workout called barre for years, and I've always had a desire to bring a barre and yoga studio to Claremore, so that's what we're doing," McKinney said of herself and her husband.
A high school basketball injury and multiple knee surgeries left McKinney frustrated with traditional workouts that caused pain on her joints. In the midst of that frustration, though, she found barre and everything fell into place.
"Barre is low impact, high intensity workout that fuses Pilates, dance, and functional fitness training. Through this class, we incorporate small isolated movements to fatigue the muscles, larger range of motions to elevate heart rate, and provide choreography that will give you a total body workout to make every second count," she said. "It gets its name from the fact that we use a ballet barre for stability."
While barre is growing in popularity, McKinney said there are still a few misconceptions.
"The number one thing I hear is "I'm not a dancer." Well, I'm not either. You definitely don't need to be a dance. I'd say 95 percent of my clients that come in have never been to a dance class ever," she said. "The second misconception, I think what a lot of people don't realize is what an intense workout it can be. It's a head-to-toe workout in an hour."
While at the barre, the class will have a view of downtown main street.
"The Studio Ninety Nine space is awesome! We're in downtown Claremore, above District on Main. It's a historic Claremore building. We have the original Coca Cola brick wall on one side," she said. "It's all been remodeled. It's beautiful and clean, an oasis. It's absolutely gorgeous and I am so excited to share it with the community."
Since breaking the news of the studio opening on social media, McKinney said there has been an overwhelming outpouring of enthusiasm and interest.
"Nothing but a positive response. We've never had anything like this. It's an affordable, boutique style workout. The whole experience is just something like we haven't had before," she said.
The class schedule, which will be released by the end of the month, will also include a few varieties of yoga—like fire flow hot yoga—taught by Kassidy Eubanks.
Studio 99 will host an open house at the end of February and is hoping to be fully open the first week of March.
More information about the studio and class schedule can be found on the Studio Ninety Nine Facebook page, but there was something McKinney wanted folks to know first: " This is not for a certain fitness level or age level. This is for every age, every fitness level and I want every woman to know that. This isn't something for a certain kind of woman or person. If you have a beating heart, this is for you. We want to create an experience where every time you leave your space you feel a little better than when you walk in. It's a way for us to cater to the community of Claremore."