The Benefits of Ballet to your Body
Ballet is a form of exercise that encourages and creates unison between the body and the brain. It trains the brain to take instruction, apply it to the body in the executing steps and with practice, the body becomes more skillful in doing ballet . Ballet can be used as a brain gym to sharpen concentration and memory – there is no way you can let your mind wonder in a ballet class as full concentration is needed throughout the class! In other words, it allows you to put the outside world off to one side and just focus and enjoy being in a movement class. Ballet is good for body alignment and co-ordination as all exercises gets done on the left and right, which means both sides of your body develops equally. I see amazing results in my students from as early as their second week of classes. The body has muscle memory and the more you train the muscles, the more the body remembers and you will receive guaranteed results. Ballet improves muscle tone and creates lean defined muscles, with improved posture and confidence.
In my own experience, before I started doing regular ballet classes my body was muscular, but not defined. Genetically I have a high muscle tone and build muscles very easily. My body was toned because of other exercise forms, but in general I was more bulky. Ever since I took my ballet training more seriously when I was a teenager, my body changed rapidly and my muscles became a lot leaner. From a rounder look, I have changed to a more angular shape with leaner muscles. I decided to get some input from other dancers to hear how ballet impacts their lives.
Odille de Villiers (Graduate from UCT School of Dance) says:
“I gained strength in every part of my body. Ballet exercises all your muscles. I used ballet to change the shape of my body. I was always a sporty person and had very bulky thighs. Ballet lengthened my muscles tremendously. I did other dance forms e.g. African Dance which shortens muscles and ballet helped even it out. Ballet helped me become more disciplined in life. As a child I was a bit of a ‘tomboy’ and I was running around bullying my friends. Ballet had a part to play in grooming and disciplining me. I learnt to be well behaved and where my place is in certain situations. I like the way I move when I do ballet. I enjoy the structure it brings me and it helped me with all my other dance forms. I will never stop doing ballet and will dance until my very end.”
“Ballet is one of the best exercises to strengthen your feet. It is the only form of exercise which has so much emphasis on feet. It is an extremely disciplined and rigid form of exercise. Ballet gives you the best looking defined pair of legs.”
Nadine Buys (Graduate from UCT School of Dance) says:
“Ballet is extremely strengthening and it makes you better aligned. It improved the way my muscles look and it strengthened me to hold myself in various positions in dance.”
Elzabe Jonker (student in my Beginner/Elementary class) says:
“Ballet has become my secret fantasy world where I escape to a place of innocence, fun and friendship. Each class draws me in and allows me to forget all the stress and worry of the day, to purely focus on the movements and just be.”
It has been truly refreshing to hear the point of view from various people and it just goes to show anyone and everyone can benefit from making ballet a regular part of their daily lives.