Adult Ballet: Not Just a Trend
And Why YOU Should Do It
I’ve met a lot of people – women and men – who ask me if they should start taking adult ballet classes. Many of the people I speak to have images in their minds of the professional ballerinas with their legs stretched high above their heads and decide that they won’t be able to do it.
‘I’m not flexible enough’, ‘I’m not strong enough’, ‘I have no coordination’ and ‘I’m a terrible dancer’. I hear this from almost every person I speak to about adult ballet classes.
I’m here to tell you: none of this is true.
Adult ballet class is not about being super flexible, insanely strong or immensely coordinated. It is about getting to know your body, what it is capable of and improving your physical wellbeing.
Yes! You should absolutely be joining an adult ballet class!
Not Just a Trend
Adult Ballet has become amazingly popular in the last few years, with many gyms and fitness centres offering barre and ballet inspired workouts. Pinterest and Instagram are flooded with photos and videos of ballet dancers working through their exercises in class or at home.
Ballet is a beautiful, almost ethereal art form and sport but its physical and mental benefits make its popularity more than a trend. It’s becoming an accessible form of exercise for millions of people.
Ballet combines strength, cardio and flexibility while challenging your mental and physical limits.
It Will Make You Flexible
You don’t need to be able to contort your body into impossible positions. But adult ballet class will give you more flexibility. This is especially important for those of us who are older.
Flexibility in your back and hips can keep you from developing debilitating back and hip pain that comes from our sedentary lifestyle.
Stretching can also help you relieve stress and anxiety and we all need a little bit of that, don’t we?
A New, Stronger You
Ballet is a full-body endeavour. To perform the simplest ballet exercise, a plié, you need to engage your core, pull down on your trapezius (your back muscle) to hold your arms in the correct position, keep your arm muscles engaged, hold your posture correctly and keep your leg muscles in the turned out position.
All of these muscles get stronger every time you plié, not to mention every other barre exercise you do! A stronger core will improve your posture and relieve pressure on your back, you’ll tone your tummy, your arms and your legs and shape your butt!
This almost goes without saying. An adult ballet class is certainly more fun than running on a treadmill every day for thirty minutes – at least it is for me. Each class provides a familiar structure with your barre work while adding a new and fun element when you dance in the centre.
It’s an amazing stress reliever, too! Even when I feel tired and frustrated after a difficult day, it takes less than two minutes in my ballet class for me to relax, laugh and have fun and forget my horrible day.
I often get bored with workouts – who doesn’t? – and my ballet classes are never boring.
Supportive and Social
I have rarely met a group of people – in class and on Instagram – that are as supportive and social as the adult ballet community around the world.
Fellow dancers are encouraging and friendly, despite the fact that we are all on our own personal ballet journeys. We all have different strengths and flaws and exercises we are trying to correct and yet, there is a feeling of camaraderie between all of us.
We can share our experiences, talk through things that we are struggling with and ask advice; not just about our ballet but family, friends and work.
It really is an incredible community that wishes the best for one another and it is a community that you can join too!