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Meet Elissa Scannell of The Bar Method Phoenix in Arcadia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elissa Scannell.

Elissa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My best friend from college knew I was trying to get back into shape after years of sitting in front of a computer for long days and told me about The Bar Method classes she was taking in Southern California. I was living in Washington, DC at the time and decided to give these classes she raved about a shot. After just a couple Bar Method classes, I was drawn in by the incredible community and hooked on the results.

I had been in politics for years, and I owned a company based in Phoenix and DC; I was always sad when I visited Phoenix since there wasn’t a Bar Method. In 2014, I began teaching at The Bar Method DC-Bethesda in my spare time, so of course I felt strongly that Phoenix should have a Bar Method studio. In the spring of 2015, after I had been teaching The Bar Method in DC for about a year, all signs just started to point towards me being the one to open it. I was ready to move to Arizona to rejoin my family, but not ready to part ways with The Bar Method.

Teaching had become the thing that excited me every day; it had become my passion and I figured that if I had the chance to turn this new-found passion into a career that I had to go for it. I auditioned to become an owner for Burr Leonard, the founder of The Bar Method, in August of 2015. The studio opened in December of 2016, and I haven’t looked back!

Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t think owning a small business is ever an entirely smooth road, but I have found myself surrounded by incredibly supportive family, friends, clients, and staff. The process of finding the right location and building out the space was long and stressful, but it was all made worth it when we opened our doors at Arcadia Towne Center in December.

Like all small business owners, I have plenty of tough moments and an endless to-do list. And sometimes that to-do list gets sidelined by things like a broken air conditioner (basically your worst nightmare when you own a fitness studio in Phoenix!) or classes that need covering. But, as I mentioned, I am lucky to have a great team and an amazing community of clients who become more and more like family every day. My fiancé is also one of my instructors, and Sean has been beyond supportive of my career change and is at the studio almost as much as I am!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Bar Method Phoenix – Arcadia is a boutique fitness studio, located in Arcadia Towne Center, offering barre classes for students of all levels. The signature method uses your own body weight, the ballet barre, and a few props to create a transformative workout that results in long, lean sculpted muscles. Not only does it reshape your entire body, but it allows you to channel your inner strength and leave class feeling strong, confident and poised. Highly-trained instructors customize the exercises to ensure they are safe and effective for any age and everybody, including modifications for pregnant women and students with injuries. Our staff and community are here to support you from the moment you walk through the door.

The Bar Method stands out because it was developed under the guidance of physical therapists to ensure that it is 100% safe and effective. Teachers go through extensive, months-long training, during which they study anatomy, healthy patterns of movement, and how to make The Bar Method work for everyone. One of my favorite things about The Bar Method is that teachers learn and use every students’ name and give hands-on adjustments throughout class. This gives The Bar Method the energy of a group fitness class with the customized attention of a personal training session.

Our incredible founder, Burr Leonard, wrote a great blog about what makes The Bar Method special:

The Bar Method Phoenix is a large, spa-like space that was designed to making working out convenient. We have showers and amenities to make life a little easier for people headed to and from work, and I am also happy to be offering a kids’ club to make the studio more accessible to busy parents!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes, I love my studio location! Phoenix is right balance of a big city and small(-ish) town. The Arcadia community has been so supportive, and I love getting to know my neighbors and finding more ways to be involved in the community. The Bar Method itself is known for its sense of community, and I feel like that spirit fits right in with the Arcadia neighborhood!


  • Our New Client Special (30 days of unlimited classes) is $99
  • For a limited time, you can take your first class for just $15 (regularly $25)

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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