Barre By The Bay: Encouraging community by getting fit and giving back

Instructor Kristen Springer, left, and Whitney Duenas, owner/instructor, lead a class at Barre By The Bay in Port Warwick. (Photo by Cathy Welch)

Walking into a new fitness studio can often be intimidating. Did I put my belongings in someone else’s spot? Do I have the right skill level for this class? Will I be able to follow along?

Whitney Duenas, founder and owner of Barre By The Bay, recognizes these anxieties and creates an environment designed to allow any person from any stage of life to come in and feel comfortable while getting active.

Duenas opened Barre By The Bay as a way to create a strong like-minded community after moving to the Newport News area.

Barre is an upbeat fitness class that uses the rhythmic combination of ballet moves and pilates. Barre is softer on joints and helps strengthen and tone muscles while improving posture and increasing cardiovascular endurance. These unique factors of barre convinced Duenas to fall in love with this fun and engaging physical group exercise during high school. Her passion for barre fitness and working out with others in a class setting helped her appreciate other types of fitness classes as well, such as spin and yoga. Barre By The Bay offers a variety of spin, barre and yoga classes throughout the day, allowing Duenas to provide individuals in the community with the same sense of excitement for community fitness.

Community has been a massive factor for Duenas since the opening of Barre By The Bay. When Duenas moved to Newport News, she recognized the need for a studio that offered all the fitness classes someone would need in one place at a reasonable price. In addition to creating an affordable membership that incorporates everything Barre By The Bay has to offer, Duenas is constantly giving back to the local community. The studio works closely with Girls Inc., donating money from events such as “donations only barre classes” and free community classes. All upcoming events hosted by the studio can be found on its website.

“This area just feels like home,” Duenas says about opening this fitness location in Port Warwick. “After six months we have built such a strong community, and I have met some of my best friends,” she says.

Duenas is continuing to expand her diverse clientele by nurturing relationships within the neighborhood as well as providing classes that accommodate a multitude of ranging athletic abilities. When designing Barre By The Bay and determining what classes to provide, Duenas decided to combine classes by skill level to promote a sense of friendship and unity within the classes. Classes are taught with a variation of activities that provide modifications depending on one’s expertise level.

An additional unique factor about Barre By The Bay is the use of infrared technology in the infrared yoga class. The infrared light catalyzes a wide amount of health benefits, including heightening blood circulation and decreasing muscle soreness. The studio opened earlier in 2019 as the first on the Virginia Peninsula to provide infrared yoga classes.

Duenas welcomes new and returning clients at her studio, encouraging all to enter into a thriving and inclusive fitness community. Barre By The Bay provides on-site childcare so parents can reset and get active while simultaneously demonstrating to their children the importance of physical activity. She invites interested newcomers to come and experience their first fitness class free of charge. Barre By The Bay is ready to help overcome any fitness class anxieties, joining a fit and thriving community.

Barre By The Bay
Address: 157 Herman Melville Ave.,
Newport News, VA 23606
Phone: 757-525-3660
Contact: Whitney Duenas, owner
Business: Fitness studio

About Abigail Barna 24 Articles
Abigail Barna grew up in the small town of Mount Airy, Maryland, then headed to Virginia to obtain a degree in English from Christopher Newport University. Growing up, Abby read every book she got her hands on and even experimented with writing her own stories. When Abby isn't writing or reading, she prefers to relax and spend time with her friends and family. Abby is currently a student at Christopher Newport University and is looking forward to the future and what career opportunities are ahead.

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