For Good Posture and Developing Gracefulness
Read how to use ballet for elegance! What is this page about? Good Posture, Poise, Graceful Ballet, Audrey Hepburn ballet.
Introduction to Ballet
Ballet is an excellent sport or form of exercise. I would encourage anyone who is not particularly fond of the gym
or exercise to try to get to a ballet class.
Most of the ballet exercises are stretching exercises with slow, purposeful movement of the body.
It is accompanied by a live piano (if you are very fortunate because it is rare these days) or classical music from the sound system.
Benefits of Ballet classes
- gracefulness (ballet exercises are all purposeful and very mentally engaging)
- good posture
- a lean feminine body without looking like an muscular athlete.
- a taste for classical music
- exposure to the beautiful art of ballet
- body awareness
- a useful exercise routine without exposure to harmful UV rays
Some Ballet History
Ballet started in the 15th century and was developed to perfection in the French courts.
It is rated on a measure of physical endurance, skill, physical demands, stamina, flexibility
and a number of other scales to be the number two most difficult and challenging sport in the world. (Soccer is number one).
Until you have taken a ballet class yourself, one has no idea how much work goes into the gracefulness of ballerinas.
Quite surprising isn’t it?
Ballet dancers always move with such grace, elegance, beauty and softness.
Yet there is so much strength, control and discipline of character that goes on behind it.
Audrey Hepburn attributes much of her stance and
poise to her absolute devotion to ballet in her younger years. She wanted to be a ballet dancer
but was deemed too tall. She turned to acting to supplement her income and voila, the rest is history as you know it.
Ballet for Elegance For Us and our Daughters
It is not surprising that mothers all sign up their tiny tots for baby ballet.
Rather than wishing their daughters become prima ballerinas, they wish their daughters attain good posture, grace and poise.
Ballet dancers have to
- Practice every day for at least an hour
- Maintain a very strict diet.
- Attend a class at least 3 times a week.
- Practice good sleeping habits.
- Try very hard to get into a good ballet school and in the process
- Learn to audition, perform and handle rejection,
- And then try very hard to get a job with a prestigious ballet company
- Spend a fair amount on classes, ballet gear etc.
- Give up their careers should they decide to get pregnant.
It’s pure devotion to the art.
There is a lot of work and research that went into developing the art of ballet.
In ballet class, the exercises that are used are extremely different from your usual jogging, aerobics, cycling, step classes.
Many of these exercises develop the inner thighs which slim the thigh instead of muscle-bulking it. We hardly use the inner thigh too much in our everyday life so it is important to focus on it. They also strengthen your ankles and back and even your upper and lower abdomen, without all those nasty stomach crunches.
That doesn’t mean it is easy.
I remember my ballet teacher telling us to jump in five sets of 16. And we had to point our toes as hard as we could point in the air, maintain a very still lifted body posture, keep a calm face (and not pant), arms have to be held gracefully including fingers and land each time softly and not with a huge “thump”.
It was incredibly hard to do. The idea is to make it look so easy and effortless.
That is why in ballet, it always looks so easy. You may even dare to think, “I could do that!”
Recently when Pilates and yoga became popular, I’ve noticed they incorporated a few exercises that resembled ballet.
The probable difference is that ballet is done always upright at the barre and in the centre (of the studio without support) and never on lying down or on the floor.
I started ballet when I was about five but quit after a few years because all my friends left the class.
Without my friends I stopped also, much to my regret later. I picked up ballet again as I know appreciated the value of ballet for elegance in my late teens and vowed never to leave it. I was obsessed then, doing part time ballet school and university at the same time. I ached perpetually.
While now I am not practicing to be a ballet dancer, it has good benefits. It provides exercise, maintains flexibility, it gives good posture. I have had friends who had back problems, have had their doctor recommend ballet classes.
More over, I’ve always been a dancer. I love dance and so I especially love the art of dance. No other dance is more graceful and beautiful than one of the oldest dance form in the world. Ballet for elegance!
Your First Adult Ballet Class
What you’ll need for class:
You’ll need a pair of ballet shoes, regular ‘gym’ clothes preferably with a pair of tights that tables to your ankles so that the teacher can see your movements.
This attire is more acceptable now than back in the past where a leotard, ballet tights and very neat hair in a bun is required. I still try to make an effort to dress this way so that my mind is “in the zone.”
Call to check if the ballet class you are taking is an absolute beginners class. If you are not too concerned, just go for it, monkey-see-monkey-do style!
All the best for your ballet class!