Lava Barre’s Vanessa Ligorria, center, teaches students to balance without a barre.

To celebrate Lava Barre’s first birthday, co-owners Lauren Price and Vanessa Ligorria threw a pool party. They liked hanging out on the deck so much that they decided to ditch their Arlington fitness studio to hold class there — at least once a week.

That’s how Pop-Up by the Pool started last Tuesday at the Capitol Skyline Hotel. The aquatic facility is a hot spot for weekend bashes, but this is the first time it’s tried to make a splash with an exercise program.

“What goes together better than fitness and a pool? I thought it was a great idea,” says hotel general manager Jeff Ragonese, who’s considering installing a barre on the 17,000-square-foot pool deck if the concept works out.

For Price and Ligorria — and their students — the new venue is a way to refresh their workout routine. Because there isn’t a barre out there yet for anyone to hold on to, the thigh series that involves standing on one leg automatically becomes tougher.

“It’s really challenging your balance and core when you take the barre out,” Ligorria says.

The temperature is another test, says My-Van Nguyen, 34, who called the class “heated Lava Barre.” But the devoted student didn’t mind sweating Tuesday because she knew a dip in the pool was coming next.

“It’s a good motivator during the workout,” the Arlington resident says. Although curious stares can make it a bit more embarrassing to pulse legs up and out or do some pelvis tucking, Nguyen doesn’t mind as long as she’s helping expose more people to her favorite kind of workout.

Katie Ginsburg, 28, wasn’t lured by the promise of a dip in the deep end as much as the scenery swap: “It’s nice to have something different to look at.” When Price told the class to roll on their backs after a strenuous butt-toning section, the dozen women in class got a view of the bright blue sky along with their glute stretch.

It’s easy to see how someone could get used to this, says Price, who’d like to offer more weekly pop-ups — by the pool and beyond. Later this month, Lava Barre will also launch a series outside in Rosslyn.

“We’re always changing up classes, so clients are being challenged in cool ways,” Price says. And they have a new way to cool off, too.

Pop-Up by the Pool is held at 5 p.m. Tuesdays at the Capitol Skyline Hotel (10 I St. SW). The $10 fee that covers the class and admission to the pool benefits the Sitar Arts Center in Adams Morgan. Get more information at