Ballet fitness has been a trend around for decades! Why else do people flock to Barre classes to sweat, yet not dance and have pleasure! Have no fear about trying a strenuous ballet class and enjoy the experience. Here are some myths and how your inner ballet dancer can shine!
1. Coordination, flexibility, and thinness are not required for ballet.
You can start ballet at any age, even in your 70s. Forget perfectionism and competition. This is time for yourself to do something you always wanted to try while conditioning and stretching your body both mentally and physically. And the camaraderie!
Ballet is a wonderful workout that can put you in the best shape of your life. The structure of a ballet class including the barre and center works to tone your entire body, including arms and legs.
2. The only thing barre class and real ballet class have in common is the barre.
It is helpful to know what to expect, Barre classes and full ballet classes are not the same! Posture and form are important aspects to ballet technique. Your entire body is engaged in each exercise.
Barre classes use props to contract muscles in repetitive routines to sculpt specific areas of the body. There are no props in ballet class unless you consider the barre, your partner, a prop. Your own body works with gravity to provide resistance while you use your whole body during each exercise. You use your abdominals and back throughout class while extending, bending, and raising your arms and legs. Over time your full range of movements will become fluid and elegant.
Ballet emphasizes moving with proper alignment working efficient and fluid body mechanics. That means your legs (calves and thighs), hips, waist, bottom, back, and arms become stronger, longer, and leaner affording greater poise. Ballet can change how your body looks and how you move with music to inspire.
3. A ballet workout can be intense like a boot-camp workout.
The intensity of class builds as you progress over the weeks. The first class may leave you wondering whether you are working your body fully, within a month you will be aware how many parts of your body may feel fatigued or leaves you sore when you awake the next day!
The more familiar and proficient you become in your ballet technique, the more you will see the fruits of your labor. No need for calisthenics or crunches, ballet’s total-body workout can ultimately develop long and toned muscles, as well as a strong, athletic body. Ballet dancers are among the strongest and most versatile athletes in the world; they make it look effortless. That is the artistic side of ballet!
Ballet is about strength and control. Ballet can offer long, lean, strong, and flexible muscles when performed properly and offer balance, control, grace and posture. Ballet can also work to protect your body from injury and enhance all your other activities! Football players have been known to take ballet like Lynn Swann, Vance Johnson and Akili Smith to help their game with speed, agility, flexibility, and strength- just to name a few! See: What Ballet Does for Football.
Hundreds of years ago ballet was only for the privileged few when Louis XIV used ballet for entertainment and to build an elegant physique. Today ballet is more accessible than ever. So, try some pliés and relevés, and find your dancer’s body as you move with elegance and ease!