When walking into Smart Barre, the light blue and cream décor of the studio serves as a preview of the calm, yet enthusiastic atmosphere it provides. Smart Barre is made to be a place for women to exercise and have fun.
The two women who started this business together, Allison Poston and Kristi Rittby, were close friends long before their TCU days. The two said they grew up together and went to high school together at North Carolina School of the Arts where they practiced dance.
Poston said their age difference caused them to go their separate ways until they reconnected as dance majors at TCU. They again lead semi-separate lives until they decided to work together to build this business.
Neither of the women graduated with a business degree from TCU, but that didn’t stop them from starting the business in both Fort Worth and San Antonio.
Poston opened the studio by herself, but it only took one month and attending one class before Ritty said she was ready to team up and open another location.
Catherine Roe and Karlee Kautz are current TCU dance majors and also work at Smart Barre. Their major alone would qualify them for the positions at the studio, but the extensive 50 hours of training they had to go through makes them knowledgeable and dedicated instructors, Poston said.
Smart Barre is “a combination of pilates, ballet, yoga and resistance training fused into one,” Roe said.
“This is the best job,” she said. “It doesn’t even feel like a job because we like it so much, and we love being able to get other people to love it just as much as we do.”
Kautz said with a laugh, “It’s way more fun than running at the rec center.”
In addition to the peaceful atmosphere of the studio, the staff is passionate about something else: their members.
“There are two things we want to make sure people know,” Poston said. “First, we want anyone who walks in our doors to have an internal perspective on their own beauty and acceptance of what their body can do. Second, we want them to walk in, feel comfortable in a really pretty environment and get a really awesome workout in a short amount of time.”
It doesn’t matter whether or not you have a dance background, Rittby said, because there are people who walk through the door who don’t have any dance experience at all.
“It doesn’t matter what age you are, it’s about knowing your body,” she said.
This story was updated on Nov. 4, 2013 at 4:52 p.m.