From improving posture to boosting self-confidence to conditioning your core and toning your body for a better physique, the benefits of ballet are bountiful, as well as beautifying. Stay in shape and get graceful by taking a regular ballet class.
BASICS OF BALLET CLASS
Typically, ballet class starts with warm-up exercises at the “barre,” like “plies” that stretch Achilles tendons and muscles in your legs, followed by “tendues,” where you brush the floor with your feet and then “pointe” your toes.
You may be asked to do some stretching after your barre work before starting combinations in the center. After center work, you may travel horizontally across the floor or diagonally from the corner.
Tip for Jumps: Always begin a jump with bent knees from a good “demi plie,” keeping both feet on the ground. Make sure your heels are firmly planted, feet are not “rolling” inwards or outwards, and knees are aligned over your toes before you become airborne.
Tip for Turns: Always remember to “spot.” Focus your eyes on something stationary in the direction you are headed and keep fixated on that spot, as you turn your head to face that same spot in your rotation around your axis, your spine.
BALLET AS A FOUNDATION
Ballet is an excellent foundation for branching out into other forms of dance. Whether it’s jazz, belly dancing, flamenco, or social dancing like salsa, bachata, shag, and ballroom dancing, you can build from the basics of ballet.
BALLET AT ANY AGE
Bring your loved ones to ballet class! You can start your 3-5-year-old in creative movement and even encourage the males in your family to take it. Smart football players take ballet for added agility.
For the elderly, ballet can be a form of therapy that keeps senior citizens in motion while stretching muscles, strengthening bones, and fighting dementia.
A PERFORMING ART
Ballet is a performing art that allows you to develop your own sense of artistry or artistic expression. Expand musicality, rhythm, and movement as you literally learn and grow by leaps and bounds.
AN ATHLETIC SPORT
In addition to being an aesthetic art form, ballet is also an athletic sport that will improve muscular strength, flexibility, and range of motion, as you stretch and strengthen, boost coordination and balance, correct alignment, and become more centered. And, gain body awareness and physical self-control. Leaping, bounding, and jumping are all good for cardiovascular health, improving stamina and increasing endurance.
Ballet is not just physically challenging, but can be mentally challenging as well. Get a good cognitive workout learning, memorizing, and practicing different ballet movements and combination sequences. Support your mind-body connection and boost your overall consciousness.
Many of us are unaware that we are slumping and go through life without a strong center, which can lead to longer-term health issues. Ballet helps develop crucial core strength as you constantly practice good posture and alignment that will support your body, whether sitting or standing. Good posture will become ingrained.
HAPPIER, HEALTHIER HORMONES
Your body releases endorphins in the intense physical exertion of a ballet class and can enhance your experience by providing a natural high or feel-good factor. Additionally, classical music is known to enhance the workings of the brain and assists with focus and attention.
Share an active interest and get outside your comfort zone in a supportive community. Ballet can be a bonding experience and helps children get active and stay social by connecting with other dancers and dance instructors. The National Dance Education Organization claims ballet and other dance forms foster teamwork and important communication-building trust, and promotes cooperation. Engaging in ballet and other forms of dance can help students overcome shyness and awkwardness, as well as conquer anxieties of performing in front of a group. Learn to connect with your audience to express yourself artistically and creatively. Develop your own innate sense of artistry with this creative outlet!
Ballet is an ideal after-school or work activity, and you’ll enjoy a relaxing, yet energizing environment to shift your focus and get you moving! Whatever your reasons for taking ballet, it’s worth a try and can benefit the whole family!