New Kid on the Block: Bari Studio

While traveling the world as a management consultant specializing in the oil industry, Alexandra Perez used to squeeze in a workout whenever and wherever she could—not just to stay fit and clear her mind, but as a cultural experience. “I took so many different types of classes,” she says. “They use a lot of barre in London, for example, and a lot of suspension bands in Holland.” But with so little free time, she found it tough fitting in cardio, weigh training, and yoga. “I kept thinking that when I moved back to New York, I’d find that magical workout that can do it all.”

She moved back to New York City only to discover that the magical workout didn’t exist—so she invented it. Called Bari, it’s a mix of high-energy cardio (“with a lot of music because I’m from South America,” she says—she grew up in Venezuela) that also incorporates barre work, suspension bands, and the spiritual “centering” of yoga. Friends and family loved it, but Perez couldn’t always locate a space with a barre and bands—so she decided to open her own place, Bari Studio.

A Wharton graduate, Perez developed a business plan in July, and by October she took a leave of absence from her job and got certified in Pilates. She lives near Union Square, but she wanted to set up shop in the West Village and Tribeca. We all know who won: “I have a big crush on Tribeca, she says. “Just yesterday, my sister and a friend were handing out flyers and they were like, ‘This neighborhood is so great! Everyone is so nice!'”

She leased the old Kaleidoscope Tile store at 23 Leonard (between W. Broadway and Hudson), transforming the 3,000 square feet into two large classrooms (with exposed brick walls), a changing room, and two bathrooms. There’s also a kitchen, which will be a drop-off point for Joule Body, a homemade cleanse by Yvette Rose. Perez wants Bari Studio to have a real sense of community around it. To that end, the wall where a mural is taking shape (right) will also have an area for local news updates.

Besides the 55-minute Bari classes for women, Bari Studio offers classes in Budokon (a martial-arts sort of exercise where men are welcome) and Budokids (there are two levels: pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, and first through third grades). “What’s especially great about Budokids is that your child can burn off some energy and learn something while you work out.” And there are power yoga classes, too.

Curious? Drop by the cocktail party on Friday night (7–10 p.m.) and say hello, or better yet, take a class this weekend—they’ll be donation-based until Monday, so you can test them out.

Bari Studio is at 23 Leonard (bet. W. Broadway and Hudson), 212-966-2274;

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  1. Actually, this is a bunch of lies. She did not invent this. She stole the idea from a business in Philly. It’s pretty embarrassing that her value level is so low.

  2. I took my second class at Bari this morning and I am hooked. It’s a great addition to the neighborhood.

  3. My experience so far with Bari has been amazing. The classes are always different, and I find something new to enjoy every time. I’m hooked and will definitely keep coming back!

  4. Love the work out. Can’t wait to go again. It’s a fun and upbeat class that works every muscle in your body. A bit of pain the next day, but definitely worth it.

  5. OMG! Alexandra is amazing! She kicked me butt this weekend… but i guess its true, no pain no gain! Love it!

  6. I have taken both methods, and they do have their similarities, but that definitely does not mean that she “stole” the idea. She added her own new ideas, and she succeeded in making it original. Also, responding to “BS”, its not professional to question Alexandra’s “values” while critiquing her new studio.

  7. I think Bari Studio is the best thing to happen to Tribeca. I have not taken a class yet, but just based on the description, plan on changing my trip and staying in Tribeca versus midtown so I can take a class “daily”. By the way, in reference to the “other class in Philly”, that one has Too many requirements necessary prior to taking a class – not a “friendly” studio for people visiting the area! Bari welcomes everyone!!

  8. Its not a bunch of lies. Its a studio that has been built with extreme care.
    I have visited every exercising room, the entrance, the reception, the paintings in the wall, every detail is just perfect.

    The exercises are terrific, I have not seen this in any other place and I have exercised in many places.

    She has her own ideas, and you cannot comment on her values.

    Her studio and her personality are awesome.

  9. I took a class at Bari and the people were not welcoming. I won’t be going back.