Ballet And The Gym

Ballet And The Gym

Most of us have been there. Whether it’s a recurring new year’s resolution, a big birthday, a life change or your favourite jeans getting too tight, we grit our teeth and start searching for a deal at our closest gym. Sometimes we want to lose weight, to tone up or simply feel healthier. Whatever the reason, the gym is so often the first port of call. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Personal Trainers are fantastic for setting up programmes to help achieve goals. Just one tiny problem – we have to actually commit to going to the gym and following those programmes regularly to get the benefits. Be honest, how easy is it to find excuses not to go, especially as winter closes in, or when lovely summer evenings lengthen out and the wine and the BBQ call….

There is certainly no doubt that keeping bodies moving is key to a healthy life. There is also evidence that if we find something we love to do we keep on doing it, whereas we're not so good at sticking with things we think we ought to do. Whilst lots of us are dedicated gym bunnies, many others put going to the gym into the ‘ought to do’ category and by March those memberships bought in January after the holiday season's excesses are not used…

So, how do we keep moving if we don’t fancy the gym, injuries or aging bodies keep us from running and team sports aren’t our thing? This question is especially pertinent as we age. It’s all too easy to watch sport rather than do it, to drive instead of walk and to tuck up at home with our favourite boxed set.

Walking, gardening, housework and cycling are things most of can and probably do do to some extent. However for adding some spark to your movement regime, you really can't beat ballet - well we would say that wouldn't we!

Ballet is a unique addition to your life at any age. Whether you're returning to it after a break or just starting out, the combination of physical and mental benefits can't be equaled.



You might think a ballet studio could be intimidating but once you're at the barre the only thing that matters is the dance. You are focused on you, and your barre neighbour is the same. The only person watching you is your ballet teacher, so you're free to focus on the practise, to point your toes as far as they will go and most of all enjoy that special feeling that humans have enjoyed forever; dancing to beautiful music. Not quite the same experience that you generally have in the gym where the focus tends to be on the body beautiful. In the ballet studio, all bodies are beautiful without judgement.

Of course, it's not really an 'either or' situation. Core work, strength and weight training are all very valuable tools and ballet focused strengthening class, yoga, Pilates or Gyrotonic practise will only make your dancing even more beautiful and enjoyable. But if you have a busy life, or limited energy resources, ballet will offer you a fabulous one-stop-shop to get moving and leave class with a big smile and a soothed soul. 

And about leaving class - it seems dancers are a social lot, so many classes end up in the coffee shop after class. Ballet brings together people for so many different reasons, and in the studio everyone is equal. Socialising afterwards is fascinating meeting people that you share a passion with but who you wouldn't otherwise meet. When we say every BODY is beautiful that applies to everybody too.

"Ballet is important and significant – yes. But first of all, it is a pleasure."

- George Balanchine.






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