I’ve wanted to give ballet a go for a while, I’m not a complete stranger to it, having done a bit at pre school and a few taster sessions over the years. I’ve always had a strange fascination with it; the things ballerinas can do with their bodies are amazing but also slightly horrifying – professionals go through a lot of pain and injuries. But at a basic level it’s brilliant for improving core and leg strength, flexibility and even gives you a bit of a cardio workout when doing jumps and leaps.
‘Adult Ballet Classes’; in my mind it was either going to be a room of middle aged women squeezed into tutus, galumphing around, reliving their childhood dreams of being a prima ballerina. Or, a room of impossibly bendy 20 somethings, already pros at all the positions and fancy French lingo from their years of training and competitions.
It was neither. It was way more normal. It was fun!
Natural light streams in through the wide windows, the sills of which we use as a ‘barre’ for the majority of the exercises. We also do some more complicated steps, jumps and leaps across the room, which is definitely my favourite part!
Something that our teacher explained, which blew my mind, was that the reason so many of the exercises require us to push down onto and off from the floor, is to build up the hamstring, as that’s where most of the leg strength comes from in a ballet dancer! This explains how their legs are so strong yet slim and they don’t have bulging quads.
So far I’ve taken 4 out of 5 classes (you book in 5 week blocks) and I’ve really enjoyed it; I can feel my progression each week and the classical music we dance to is beautiful and relaxing. However I prefer more routine based and cardio-working classes, so will probably try something new when the course is up – apparently there’s something called Ballet Fitness which combines ballet and exercise workouts – sounds fun!
Taking these classes and getting active again has been so awesome, feeling like I’m heading towards a good place health and fitness wise!