Ballet Fitness is there something in it for every woman?

15 June 2014

Having been a professional ballet dancer my whole career, a daily ballet class has been as routine to me as breakfast!

This 1hr 15 mins every morning was the way of keeping my body in shape and practicing key techniques to improve my strength, muscle balance and coordination. This was usually followed by up to 6 hours of rehearsing in the studio, so rarely was I ever sat on my bottom.

Since I stopped dancing full time just under a year ago to set up (with business partner and fellow dancer Flik Swan) everything in my daily routine has changed. I find myself in front of a computer more, on trains up and down to London and in and out of meetings. I still get into the Sleek studio but do 30 mins of training a day on average now. Despite the new routine and the vast difference in the number of hours I devote to exercising, the one thing that hasn’t changed is my body.

With ballet being Flik and I’s common passion and the way we have both kept in shape our whole lives, we knew the body benefits and wanted to incorporate them in whatever we did. With Sleek we have created compact workouts that combines authentic classical ballet technique (the likes of which dancers have used for many years to hone and tone their dancer like physiques) with all our current fitness knowledge. Delivering these highly effective classes live online, makes them convenient and accessible for women everywhere.

Can every woman benefit from ballet based fitness, even if they have never danced before?
Absolutely, especially if you have never done ballet before! Aside from getting your body in great shape, ballet and Sleek in particular has a strong focus on muscle symmetry, good posture and injury prevention. These things translate out of the studio and see women standing, sitting and moving differently in everything they do. Our Sleekers have seen amazing improvements with chronic back pain, hip and shoulder issues to name but a few as well as visible transformations in their posture,carriage and shape.

For those that might be a little overwhelmed by the thought of it being ballet, what should they expect?
There are a fair few ballet and barre based workouts out there now, none of which you will be expected to pirouette or grand jete across the floor. There are no pointe shoes or tutus involved. With a Sleek class, what you will get is a focussed 30 to 45minute workout with it’s roots in classical ballet but adapted to work for even a novice. You don’t even have to be in a studio, classes can be taken live with two way interaction online from the comfort of your own home. We work in ballet flats, bare feet or socks and no equipment is required other than a chair to act as your barre.

Why is this kind of authentic ballet workout good for the body?
We work all the muscle groups with a focus on switching them on in the right order to encourage good technique and maximum benefit from every exercise. We spend a lot of time correcting posture and stretching out muscles as they are used to decrease bulk, increase flexibility and maintain supple joints which in turn avoids injuries and helps with all manner of aches and pains.

Which class would I recommend for a beginner?
Our Barre Technique or Ballet Bootcamp are a great intro and are suitable for everyone.You get a great all over body workout while getting a chance to really nail the right technique. No equipment required other than your laptop a chair and a mat or a towel. Flik and I offer everyone who gets in touch on a complimentary class to see first hand if it is for them. I would urge everyone to ditch any preconceived ideas about ballet fitness and have a go. Everyone can benefit from working smarter not harder!

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