1. Posture, posture, posture!
You can always spot a ballerina in a crowd because of her immaculate posture. Remember your grandmother telling you to stand up straight? Studies show the benefits of good posture are not just physical. It has a huge psychological upside as well. Beyond looking taller (and slimmer!) standing up straight increases mental clarity, energy, and best of all, transmits self-confidence and authority. And who doesn’t need an antidote to all the slumping over computers, tablets, and smartphones involved in modern life? Ballet builds incredible posture that makes you look and feel fantastic!
Ballet literally teaches you how to stand on your own two feet (or one foot, as the case may be). Whether you are in flats, heels, or athletic shoes, time spent doing ballet helps with all the “balancing acts” we perform each day. Ballet footwork develops the muscularity of the feet and increases awareness of how to stand from the ground up. At the same time, ballet teaches “placement,” a combination of proper body mechanics and alignment that helps you control your movements and adds “poise” to everything you do.
3. Core strength
People often admire the extended arms and legs of the ballerina, but incredible core strength is really what drives her physical grace. Ballet (and Everyday Ballet especially) teaches how to initiate and sustain movement using deep abdominal muscles. Developing core strength and awareness also helps to mitigate back pain. My students report that getting connected to this region makes them feel uniquely feminine and powerful.
Flexibility helps protect our bodies from injury and is a quality that ballet offers in spades. Unlike static or passive stretching, ballet increases flexibility through movement. This means that the muscles are lengthening and strengthening at the same time. Ballet technique works the body in extension with integrated, full-range motions. This produces long, lean, sculpted and flexible muscles that look as good as they feel!
Ballet is a technique with many layers of complexity. It requires generalized focused attention. Just as yoga follows the breath, ballet hones total body awareness through the relationship of movements with music. Dancers go deep inside their bodies to feel the details of the technique, and in doing so, discover more of themselves both physically and mentally. Ballet is a beautiful journey into the body! The technique offers structured guidance that helps you appreciate and access more of your capacity to move and truly enjoy your physicality.