sweat gracefully with ballet

ballet dancing - educators

With so many workouts promising ‘dancer body’ results, Eaton Centre educators Jessica and Keri decided to go straight to the source and try the real thing.

sweat gracefully with ballet

We leapt and chasséed our way over to City Dance Corps in Toronto to attend a Power Barre ballet class. Our excitement (and slight apprehension) to break into dance came from a combination of watching too many episodes of “So You Think You Can Dance” and our goal to try a new way to sweat each week. Most studios offer drop-ins and you can expect to pay roughly what you would for a yoga class.

first position

With both of us brand new to ballet, learning movements and coordinating arms and legs was not as easy as we had thought. We went left when the group went right and did plié when we should have done elevé. No dance experience was necessary and the class had a good mix of skill level from beginners to seasoned dancers (who proved to be helpful for getting extra visual cues).

the burn of barre

We felt the burn in our calves, thighs and, yes, the booty too! Ballet incorporates endurance, strength and flexibility as well as a strong mental component (dancers are constantly working to isolate the proper muscles). We left the class with newly awakened glutes and (we like to think) better posture.

tip toe vs. tree pose

We were surprised to learn that, in some ways, the discipline of ballet is polar opposite to that of yoga. While yoga honours the journey towards inner peace, ballet values precision and perfection. The structure of ballet provides very clear progress markers and the approval of the instructor when you are positioned correctly is supremely gratifying.

what to wear

If you're thinking of hitting up a dance class, here’s what we wore:

  • legwarmers – the extra layer helps muscles warm up faster (and gives you that 'Flashdance' motivation).
  • Cool Racerback tank – a slim fitting tank allows the teacher to check your alignment.
  • Wunder Under crops – the narrow leg is key when you are lifting, pointing and twirling.

We’ve heard people say you should always give hot yoga at least two tries before you decide whether you like it or not. According to Jessica and Keri, the same is true for ballet. Before split-leaping into your first ballet experience, make sure you find a class that suits your needs, intentions and skill level.

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I work with dancers and have always envied their posture and long flexible muscles. Maybe I’ll give it a try…though long with be a stretch (pardon the pun) since I’m only 5’3″.

Comment by Katie — September 1, 2011 @ 10:28 am

So glad to see Lulu lemon branching into areas other than yoga!

Comment by squally — September 1, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

Ballet disciplines can be incorporated in any dance class and add a dimension to feeling the
moves. I’m planning a ballet/hip hop combo class with young boys and girls. I don’t know who I’d have been w/ out my early and teen days studying ballet. Ballet is balance, confidence, music interpretation and physically rewarding.
“lulus love ballet”

Comment by Beth Stephens — September 20, 2011 @ 10:37 am

This is pefect. Everyone needs some sweatwear for dancing. Some clothes don’t capture sweat so well.

Comment by BalletFanatic — March 23, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

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