A trip to the Barre

One would think when a group of fabulous bloggers get together for a morning of working out, lunch and shopping they would snap at least one photo. Well, that’s what one would think but not what happened on Saturday when Shibani, Suzanne, Michelle, Tabitha, Jessa and I made a trip to Beachwood to check out a Barre fitness class.

I’ve been hearing my friends and family in NYC, Boston and Chicago rave about this workout that incorporates a ballet bar, a touch of yoga/pilates and strength training. So when Jessa told me that CLE finally got their first barre studio, it was time for a blogger field trip out to Beachwood (sad there isn’t a studio on the west side!).

All in all, it was an interesting workout. I, for one, prefer to walk out of a workout dripping in sweat. This was much more stretching, core work, pulse moves, ‘poking’ and high repetition. (Side note: A few of us couldn’t stop laughing when we did some of these ‘thrusts.’ We have the sense of humor of 12-year-old boys!) The Barre class might not have been a great sweat sesh but my hamstrings and triceps were screaming come Sunday morning.

If Barre Cleveland was closer to home, I might make sporadic appearances. However, I’m unlikely to drive 45 minutes to attend a studio class. And, if I’m being completely honest, the studio is overpriced for Cleveland. Sure, they will probably do just fine due to their location, but I hope to see Barre Cleveland reduce their prices to reflect the market – $25 a class isn’t going to fly!

After class, I also made my very first trip to Lululemon. I know realize why I don’t step foot in there – holy hell it’s expensive! I sound like a cheapskate don’t I?

The east side may have gone up a point or two in my book this weekend – what a fun morning with some great girls!

Barre Cleveland on Facebook.

Have you ever been to a Barre class? What did you think?

73 comments to A trip to the Barre

  • We went to Lulu after class last night and it had just closed!! Was so bummed. :(

    • When you gals didn’t get on the highway ahead of me I wondered if that’s where you were going! I love it there- but agree with Alana it is PRICEY! I got a pair for xmas, but can’t see myself making regular purchases…for now anyway!

  • I’m so glad you are honest about these places being crazy expensive! I need to hit the lottery or find me a sugar daddy to be able to afford it. I love the idea of the class though. Next time you are heading out east, look me up!

  • poke – poke. haha. yes, they will probably be happy us immature westsiders think its on the pricey side. but … i will see you guys at psycle on friday night!

  • I went to this yesterday. I am a little sore today but not much. I expected more ballet incorporations. I’ve taken ballet fit classes before (pretty much barre classes before they got popular) and the ballet moves really get you sore and our of breath and sweaty!
    If this was on the westside and closer I would go more. but that drive and price I can’t do.

  • I love how I’ve read about the “poking” twice! $25 feels steep especially when I went to a great yoga class for $13 with Shibani.

  • It was fun getting to chill, thrust, sweat and poke with you ladies!

    Just realized the twitter backlash of this blog post and I’m always sad when businesses don’t really accept the candor of social media. We’re young and if $25 is too pricey for us, well then that’s just reality. The hard thing about the specialized workout facilities is that if you’re already a member of a general, “gym”, it’s nearly impossible to additionally join specialized studios – i.e. Yoga, Barre, Spin, Pilates, without spending an absurd amount of money… That’s a car payment! It’s hard for I think anyone, to justify and make those sorts of expensive decisions and these companies should help us out a long the way – i.e. offering beginner’s discounts that are lower that $100/month. My Yoga studio offers first 30 days for $40 bucks which I think is fair. The blog itself was well-written and honest, and that’s what blogs are meant to be.
    Regardless, it was FUN spending the day with you ladies on my side of town and will fo sho be seeing you at Psycle soon!
    xo Jessa

  • Alana – did Barre ever respond to your tweets or did they just block you? What’s the story?!

    Crystal – I am sad about that too! What they don’t know is that you’re actually their target audience, someone who is passionate, who lives on the east side and would act as a cheerleader for the brand. When they’ve proven success with people, then, IMO, they can justify the $25 price tag… until then, let people experience what you’re offering and get amazing results at an affordable price. xo!

    • admin

      There were many very rude responses that I couldn’t believe I was reading. I saved them all. I’m going to blog about it tonight – I don’t want her business to fail but she shouldn’t talk to anyone, especially potential paying customers, they way she did online!

  • Mario F Salwan

    Just stop the posting about Barre Cleveland and take down all the existing posts. We know that you stole the class and we can pursue legal action against you for that and that is why it is ridiculous that you complain about a price when you never paid for the class. You were never given a discount code by Barre Cleveland and somehow you used that to enter the studio. I am sending you this message to politely ask that you remove all the content about Barre Cleveland from your blog and twitter and we will not get the Beachwood Police involved on this theft of services.

    • Kyle

      Are you serious?!

      • Susan

        New Barre studios are opening up everywhere and hopefully they will put Barre Cleveland out of business. Mario and Yana are the worst business people I’ve ever dealt with

    • Pete

      This is a joke, right?

    • Jables

      Way to make your company look like the biggest group of douchebags in the tri state area.

    • John

      Wow.. you made consumerist.com because of this not-well-thought-out comment. Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the Streisand effect…

      • BillyBob

        Agree with the sentiment…but really dude, you rip someone for not thinking before writing in the same breath of you writing the gem ‘not-well-thought-out comment’ ? LOL

    • Bannshee

      Hey there, Barre Cleveland! I’m a PR manager and just thought I’d offer up a couple of observations:

      A) You’ve made Consumerist today (http://consumerist.com/2012/06/write-a-blog-post-about-pricey-gym-get-accused-of-stealing.html). Expect to see your negative comments on this blog plastered all over the Interwebs. So far, the reaction on Consumerist has been highly negative. Not great for your brand reputation.

      Plus, you look like a bully. The Internet hive mind hates NOTHING more than a big ol’ meanie coming along and trying to intimidate a little guy (or gal, in this case). The Interwebs LOVES underdogs and will go to bat for them 110% of the time. If you’d like a good example of this, please reference this story about Cook’s Source Magazine…which was eventually hounded out of print by the Internet Justice League: http://www.pcworld.com/article/209968/how_not_to_piss_off_the_internet.html

      B) As long as the author didn’t post anything libelous, you probably have nothing that you can do legally to this blogger. If you willingly distributed your code via social media (Twitter, as I understand it) then you’ve put it in a public forum where there are hundreds of millions of users. At best, your complaint is frivolous. At worst, you look like you’re infringing on her civil right to freedom of speech. And oh my word, is there nothing like trying to silence someone to bring out the venom of today’s Internet vigilantes.

      C) Please let me introduce to the Streisand Effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect. Your studio’s name is likely going to hit the mainstream, and not favorably. Censorship isn’t a smart option, particularly in today’s world of uncensored, real-time social media.

      Now that I’ve offered my comments, let me offer some advice: start dealing with the damage being done to your reputation NOW. Don’t do anything stupid like Judith Griggs of Cook’s Source did. Apologize, admit your error, and take your licks from the Internet justice mob that’s heading your way. Craft a reasonable response to the Consumerist query you received today (they mentioned that they’ve asked for your side of the story). Ignore this opportunity to tell your side of the story at your own peril. Your brand is already being diminished, so I’d suggest you take action RIGHT NOW.

      Good luck to you, I think you’re going to need it. I’d offer you my services but I don’t do crisis management, particularly for clients whose point of view I don’t agree with.

    • Annie Nonimous

      Threatening to have somebody prosecuted unless they do something, like take down blog posts or pay money, is a crime in many places.

      • Annie Nonimous

        Ohio Revised Code 2921.21 Compounding a crime.
        (A) No person shall knowingly demand, accept, or agree to accept anything of value in consideration of abandoning or agreeing to abandon a pending criminal prosecution.

    • Falconer

      Mario, in my humble opinion, you are a complete idiot. If you are an (the) owner of Barre Cleveland I must say I would NEVER do business with an a$$ho1e like you.

      Tell you what…why don’t you send the police to my house? Better yet why don’t you come to my house? You are a POS!

    • Ken

      Dear Ms. Munro,

      I am an attorney, a member of the First Amendment Lawyer Association, and a blogger. One of my hobbies is offering, or locating and coordinating, pro bono help to bloggers subjected to frivolous and malicious legal threats.

      If I can be of any assistance in finding local pro bono counsel for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me

      • Jeff in Middletucky

        Oh, snap! Popehat’s on the case! (By the way, keep up the spirited, erudite posts RE: The Oatmeal v. the Petulant, Amoral, Censorious Douchebag™.)

    • Airren

      “I am sending you this message to politely ask that you remove all the content.”

      After you politely accused Alana of being a thief? Are you kidding?

      (also from Consumerist… Alana, you’re famous now)

    • farquar

      This should be in the book “How to Destroy a Business”.
      The lady posts a review that is NOT negative and the business is determined not to let it go and to self destruct.

      Vacancy coming soon!

    • Bannshee

      One more thing: if you need further proof of the damage being done to your brand, please check the results for “BarreCleveland” on Twitter:

      http://twitter.com/#!/search/realtime/barrecleveland

      I’m telling you, start making amends NOW before this goes any more viral.

    • 5up Mushroom

      Too bad there isn’t a delete button on these comments. eh?

    • jack burton

      Oh my… Instapundit just picked up this incident. That’s like the 800 lb gorilla deciding to play with your luggage. Might as well have headlines in the New York Times front page.

  • I cannot wait to read your blog tonight!!!!!! This is just unbelievable

  • VerizonAL

    Same here can’t wait to read the Blog!!

  • This is just crazy! Barre Cleveland is talking themselves out of business each time they “put pen to paper.” Many of us have quietly followed this conversation and formed opinions based on what we’ve seen. I’ve never met the bloggers who took this class, I have no personal relationship with them and thus no bias. However, I’m firmly on their side here. I wouldn’t give Barre Cleveland a dime of my money after the way they’ve presented themselves.

    The class may be expensive. Or, it may be in line with other studios offering such things. The market will figure that out on its own. However, I believe that Alana has a right to express her opinion and I read this blog precisely because her opinion interests me!

  • John Heaney

    Alana,
    What a terrific case study in how to misuse social media. Were all of their communications to you through Twitter or did they send you emails? Did they simply object to your complaint about the pricing or were they thin skinned about your description of their class routine as well? Was there ever an attempt to actually have a conversation with you or did they immediately resort to threats and intimidation?
    By all means, let’s get the Beachwood PD involved in a silly blog conflict.
    If they wanted to get the attention of area bloggers, they’ve succeeded.
    Please, please, please keep the post up. You’ll get another great post about becoming Most Wanted Blogger on the Beachwood PD bulletin board. ;D

  • This was all brought on by Barre Cleveland. She re-posted your blog post on her twitter acct over a week after it was posted, saying “Westsiders think we’re too expensive”. How offensive! Your post was informative and kind. You stated YOUR honest opinion regarding the price. She’s the one who chose to re-post it.

  • Threatening legal action against bloggers who used a discount code and then didn’t write favorably about the studio sounds a lot like malicious prosecution to me. But that might just be my law degree talking…

  • I am completely and utterly appalled by what I have witnessed via Twitter and the comment left on this blog post. We have freedom of speech and if you want to disagree with this bloggers opinion, that is fine. However, threatening legal action and being flat out rude on social media outlets is outrageous. I plan to not only tell my social media friends about this, but also family and friends who live on the east side who may have attended a class. I have never been more disgusted in my life. Also, like Renee, I have never met this blogger either and have silently been following this conversation through media outlets.

  • Bridget

    I am shocked and appalled at this. I go to Pure Barre (their competitor/national chain) as I can afford the classes, but Pure Barre has a great community and they also offer regular discounts with packages. I don’t live anywhere near Cleveland but after seeing this, I am just disgusted. I cannot believe a fitness studio would accuse you of stealing a class. (Not to mention after you said you liked the class!) Pure Barre is a thriving booming company because they VALUE their customers and they value their reputation…Barre Cleveland should take note.

    If I did live in Cleveland, I would nevet set foot in this studio, not based on price but based on principle. Any fitness studio that threatens a customer, and threatens them publically, is just plain gross.

  • I’ve been following this all on Twitter and I had to come comment. I was going to join you guys to check out Barre Cleveland but when the weekend came I totally forgot. But it’s close to my house and I was still going to pony up the $25 to give it a try – I’m a fitness class addict and the Barre concept is new to me. And yes, $25 is expensive -even for the area – there are tons of other non-Barre offerings within a few miles for around $15 per class.

    However, there is no way I’m going now. From the bad attitude on twitter over your overall positive and honest review of a class, to the comments she made above, this person needs to get off her high horse and take some customer service classes. There was a code floating around the twitterverse for a free class – if the owner isn’t smart enough to make the code single-use, then she can’t really expect it not to be shared. And then accusing you of THEFT? Holy hell! She’s blaming you for her failure to understand how the internet works? Wow, just wow. I kind of want her to call the Beachwood Police just to give them a laugh.

  • I’m not sure where to begin. Many companies offer discounts or free samples to people in the hopes of snagging a new customer or client. If that comes via groupon, mailers, the little ladies at Costco or klout, it is all the same. You always run the risk of someone not enjoying your product, but the advantage of someone falling in love outweighs the risk. What is most disturbing is the anger on a commentary that is more in favor of the company than not. Had this not errupted, while not for me, I would have probably mentioned them to friends. Now? Not a chance. I suggest Barre reads the klout infuencer ethics.

  • If I read your blog, you liked the class, had fun with friends, thought it was interesting and enough so to share their FB page and was honest about the price of a class, which isn’t something you can deny when you compare other drop-in rates. However, this is been moved up to crazy train status by Mario with an empty threat of the Beachwood Police Department.

    I would drive 25 minutes for a new class to try and was thinking about trying it because I’ve previously taken Yana’s classes when she was at Urban Active and absolutely loved the class dynamic. But get it together!

    Accept that you don’t understand how social media works, your tweets probably weren’t the best idea to Alana, learn from it and don’t do it again with other consumers.

  • Stephen

    It’s a shame this new company is treating its customers like this and even worse, giving many “eastside” small businesses a bad name. Regardless, keep fighting the good fight, Alana! Socially media FTW!

  • Ha

    Looks like Mario F Salwan managed to step in it accusing you of theft. I would imagine if you saved screenshots and your receipt then you’d have a nice case of slander against the owners.

    That said, when you own Barre Cleveland you can drop the prices of classes yourself ;-)

  • Hi, found your blog through the post on Consumerist and I don’t think you wrote anything out of line. In fact, you posted an informative review that I’m sure a lot of people who live in the area really appreciated. Instead of taking your feedback and doing something productive with it, the studio decided to react completely inappropriately. Totally out of line, I think. I’ve done the Bar Method and they’re really expensive too, so I bought the DVDs. I highly recommend them. ;-) Can’t wait to read your post tonight!

  • Cat

    I’ve subscribed to your blog thanks to Consumerist.com. SO you’ve added a reader, and Barre has lost one more potential Eastside customer! I’ll be telling everyone I know to stay far away from there, now that the owners of that business have shown their true colors.

  • Kimberly

    I’m almost positive that you would have libel case against Mario since he is accusing you of theft in writing when you didn’t steal anything. Criminally, he is committing extortion by telling you that you’d better do what he wants or he will have you prosecuted. A good lawyer could get you some cash for Mario’s illegal behavior on your blog. You might even be able to have him prosecuted if you found a really sympathetic DA. It’s doubtful, but I would try if I were you as behavior like his should not be allowed to continue.

    • BillyBob

      This is a disgusting example of a sue-happy society. Alana is not damaged in any way other than perhaps annoyed/amused at BC’s ridiculous communications. She does not deserve cash, and what you’re suggesting is selfish and a ridiculous exploitation of our legal system. Gimme a break.

  • Lisa

    Hey Alana

    I dare say you’ve added quite a few readers with the firestorm that Barre Cleveland has created. I read it when you originally posted it and took it exactly as it was meant. I didn’t even take the part about the cost being expensive as negative and, let’s be honest, $25 for one class IS expensive. In all honesty, had you of written this blog about my company, I would have shot it out in my Twitter as positive feedback because that’s exactly what it was. So anytime that you want to write about my company, feel free – although I am sure you won’t have a need to deal with workers’ compensation anytime soon. (and if you do, you call me directly and I’ll make sure you’re fine!).

  • People never cease to amaze me.

  • Wow! Don’t think we’ll be trying out Barre Cleveland anytime soon! Looks like they’ve deleted all their tweets too.

    Bob
    SaveLakeErie.com

  • Chris

    People really need to learn that using legal threats to suppress First Amendment rights doesn’t fly on the internet :(

  • Chris

    I know just the lawyer for Barre Cleveland. Charles Carreon! http://charles-carreon.com

    • ljvb

      Time to send up the popehat signal :)

      While the dude over at popehat is rather busy with his most recent fight with Mr Carreon.. I am sure he would be amused by this story :)

      http://www.popehat.com (I have no connection with the site other then reading some very amusing legal things there.. :) )

  • Oh please..they want you to take the posts down because you were being, gosh, HONEST? sniff, sniff! Hey, Barre gals..If you wanna run with the big dogs. you gotta learn how to shit in the tall grass.
    ‘Tis the price of doing business! Not everyone is going to be happy with your services. Instead of being an Internet bully, how ’bout looking at your business practices, put the mean girl hat away and do something about it.

    Choads bug the shit outta me.

  • Victoria

    http://www.dln.com/sheriffsalesforeclosure/details/id/76515

    Appears Mr. Salwan has some legal problems of his own.

    Isn’t the internet a remarkable thing?

  • Just saw this story on Instapundit. Congrats!

    Now, a few things:

    1. Barre Cleveland is definitely in the wrong here in terms of trying to silence you. As far as I can tell, you said nothing offensive, insulting or inaccurate. It was a review; that is, opinion. And you are entitled to it. They should have been happy for the publicity. I’m on your side 100% in this dispute.

    That said,

    2. I don’t know what your past experience, if any, has been with ballet in the past. Based on your comments, it sounds like you’ve had very little. Having been in dance for well over a decade as one of the few males who will admit to enjoying it, I must say that your experience this past weekend with barre exercises doesn’t sound like anything I’ve ever seen. Granted this seems to have been a barre-workout hybrid, but that doesn’t explain everything. For one thing, if you’re doing the barre exercises right, you should be drenched in perspiration. They are difficult and have very subtle mechanics. Floore barre, another variation on barre, is much harder. For another thing, I’ve been in classes full of teenage girls and I recall few if any laughing at any “suggestive” moves. Those moves are part of dance training, as well as dance itself.

    3. Though most of my family lives in Cleveland and I travel there regularly for Browns games, I live in Indianapolis and thus can’t speak for the Cleveland market. That said, Indianapolis is not nearly the cultural mecca that Cleveland is (though it’s not bad) and here $25 per class for a 90-minute adult ballet class (barre+center+corner) paying class-to-class is considered a bargain. Are you comparing Barre Cleveland’s prices to other ballet studios, or to yoga and pilates studios?

  • Miki

    Congratulaions! You made Instapundit. I posted on Barre’s FB page to let them know!

  • rasqual

    Wow, your web site metrics probably show a good Instalanche!

    The facility obviously doesn’t understand the blogosphere. Cases like these always amaze me because while your own post would only modestly affect their reputation (many businesses miscalculate the market value of their services/products, and that’s not really some evil thing — just something that may need some tweaks), their crazy foray into coerced censorship raises a totally separate issue for which they will be taken to the mental woodshed by every free-thinking, liberty-loving person now widely attracted to the matter.

    Obviously they’re a paper tiger, but now they’re a paper tiger with a bad reputation having nothing to do with their prices. I wonder how quickly, if they’re wise, they’ll apologize to you in public? That is, how quickly they’ll get smart. Or, on the other hand, they could be really, really dumb and NOT publicly apologize (or, incredibly but possibly if they’re REALLY dumb, keep up the silliness).

    I won’t wish you “best of luck” because you don’t need it. You’re in no jeopardy. Their reputation is the only thing at stake — and that’s no fault of anything YOU posted.

    LOL

  • John Heaney

    Alana,
    Thanks for providing the fodder for today’s post: Threats & Intimidation: the New Blogger Outreach ( http://orange-envelopes.com/blog )
    I wonder if they’ll ever learn the basic lessons when you’ve behaved badly:
    1) acknowledge your mistake
    2) accept responsibility and apologize
    3) affirm that it won’t happen again

    Based on their track record I won’t hold my breath.

  • Riley

    Wow, they really are not trying to stay in business are they? I came from the consumerist.

  • S. S.

    Barre Cleveland, if you are reading these comments, you can still make this right. Go now, immediately, to write up an apology on your site, call and apologize to this writer, and then offer a free class to anyone in the city who was offended.

    You should never have reacted to negative feedback in such a hostile way, you should learn to treat cusotmers with more respect in the future.

  • Hi, i think that i noticed you visited my blog thus i got here to go back the prefer?.I am trying to in finding issues to improve my site!I assume its ok to make use of some of your concepts!!

  • Sara

    I live in Chicago and belong to a Barre gym that offers Cardio Barre, Hot Barre, Barre, Kickboxing Barre and Interval Barre for only $99 a month. A drop in class is only $18. To see this gym is charging $25 for a drop in or $35 for a hot barre class is ridiculous! I wouldn’t even pay those prices in Chicago. I am from Cleveland and come back to visit from time to time….bummer I won’t have a Barre gym to go to while in town. Won’t pay those prices!

  • It looks like Barre Cleveland is hoping to attract some customers with a $99 unlimited month offer:

    http://www.travelzoo.com/local-deals/Cleveland/Other/30696?utm_source=localdeal_us&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=1350077_html_cleveland

    I guess they weren’t able to build a solid enough customer base through their questionable social media efforts? ;P

  • [...] the phrase one expects to hear after posting an innocuous review of a local business, but one local Cleveland blogger was threatened with police action if she refused to remove all posts and references to a new [...]

  • [...] Munro’s original blog post did discuss the fact that she thought the price was too high, and that she normally likes a workout [...]

  • [...] on June 4, Alana took to her blog, TheDawgsDish.com, to write about a trip to try out a new ballet-based workout class at a Cleveland-area fitness [...]

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