The Ballerina Body

What do you think of when you hear the term ballerina? For most people its a petite, strong, graceful woman dancing in pointe shoes. I was a ballerina for 19 years until injury forced me to retire from the stage. I stayed active, but I eventually lost my “ballet body.” I missed my muscles, my length, and my strength. I tried to keep up with classes, but it was too painful (both physically and emotionally) for me to continue on a recreational basis.

Over time my muscles got soft and my movements became clumsy. I was surprised how quickly it happened. In less than I year I looked like a completely different person, one I didn’t like. I no longer found myself attractive. I had once found immense pride in the body that could balance for a quadruple pirouette, and perform on pointe for the entirety of a ballet. But that was gone. My body began to depress me, and no matter what form of exercise I did – kickboxing, yoga, pilates, running, p90x, weightlifting, etc. – my body didn’t look the same.

Thank God I discovered The Ballet Physique. I literally gasped in joy when I saw their ads for the first time and immediately ordered their 2 disk DVD box set. For those of you who aren’t familiar with The Ballet Physique and other similar programs (Pure Barre is the most widespread), it is a method of exercise that is based in ballet. It uses basic balletic movements in a manner that is straightforward and effective. It was perfect for me because the motions were familiar to my body, but the structure of the program was different enough from that of a typical ballet class that I didn’t feel the emotional pain of walking into a studio and not being able to perform at the level I was used to.

Let me tell you, it is hard work. The movements are simple, and there are modifications for every move that make the workout completely doable, even for beginners, but you will be sweating. It was completely worth it though because in just 2 weeks I began to see results. My posture was better, my movements were more graceful, and my calves were beginning to be defined again.

I’ve had the Ballet Physique for 3 months now, and I love what it’s done for my body and my confidence. I haven’t even been doing the program regularly (blame finals) and I can see my legs looking longer and more toned, my stomach tightening back up, and my arms becoming more defined. The best part of it is that I am getting the same type of muscle development as I had when dancing full time – long, lean, strong, but not bulky or heavy-looking muscles. I feel graceful and elegant again!

I definitely recommend that you try The Ballet Physique or any ballet-based class or DVD if you’re interested in developing that ballerina body. Hey, there’s no downside to looking like this-

ballet

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5 thoughts on “The Ballerina Body

  1. great post, great advice 🙂 if i may ask sugar… how was it to dedicate 19 years of your life to ballet? I suppose it was so much more than completely wonderful…

    • Aw! I’m so glad you enjoyed my post.

      Spending so much time in the world of ballet was indeed wonderful, but also hard work. In all honesty it included some of the best and worst times of my life. There is nothing greater than the feeling you get while in class or on stage doing something you love, and doing it well. But there is also a dark side of ballet, where you’re constantly striving for an unachievable perfection. My closest friends are the ones who I spent hours training with, and I will be forever grateful for all that ballet has taught me both about myself and the world. The decision I made to walk away from ballet was probably the most difficult choice of my life, and one I question to this day. However, I have found that I will always carry ballet and my experiences with me. Ballet taught me how to work hard, that success is earned and not given out overnight, that I am capable of pushing through the tough stuff in order to get to where I want to be, and how you have to dedicate yourself 100% to doing what’s important to you if you ever want a chance at happiness. There will be more posts on this topic in the future, but right now I’m still just figuring it all out little by little 🙂

      Thanks for your comment!

      • 🙂 Oh, i’m sure it involves a lot of work, time and so on.. but it still seems an amazing way of spending a part of your life! I don’t know if i think of it right, but to me it looks like a wonderful experience that keeps you fit, helps you express your feelings, emotions, deep thoughts… besides the pain gained from all the striving for perfection, i swear i can’t find one little bad thing when it comes to it. And if i think of this striving from a different perspective, i think it is good somehow, because instead of messin’ up like other people do to ‘have fun’, ballet dancers strive on their way to something different- to something perfect, refined and graceful. Well, that is how i see it, in a few words… i may be wrong as i haven’t been in that world, i just see it from my perspective 😀 if you won’t mind me asking… why did you walk away? Was it because you wanted a break, a chance to having a normal life, having more spare time for doing other things too? Or because of the pain and the injuries? Anyway, no matter the reason, i think you’ve made a good decision… you spent some of your life in that universe of pointe shoes and graceful moves; now it’s time for you to ‘take a bite’ of the other pleasures life has for you. 🙂 and i have just one more question before closin’ up 😀 if after a pause from ballet, you want to go back to it, is it possible? I suppose it is, right? I mean… more work will be needed, striving, perseverence… i have recently read on the internet about a ballerina that after a few years, started again. 🙂 i think i am ready now with all i wanted to say haha xD kisses and hugs xx

      • I totally agree with you that ballet is an awesome way to spend a part of one’s life! I ended up walking away from it for a number of reasons. I had a very bad ankle injury that required my taking 3 months off and intense physical therapy, some eating issues I needed to resolve, and I realized by heart wasn’t in it any more. I decided that dancing professionally wasn’t the future I wanted, and I really wanted to go to college :).

        As for your second question, I’ve tried going back a few times and have gotten too busy with school and work to really dedicate myself to it. I don’t think I could ever get back to the same level I was dancing at when I first quit, mainly because of the emotional side of being that competitive in the ballet world, but I hope to get back on pointe after graduation and to start dancing again for fun and exercise.

        Thanks for all your questions! If you have any more, please don’t hesitate to ask!

      • You’re welcome! Thankies for answering them! 🙂 what college are you attending? Anyway, i hope your wish will come true and after graduation you’ll start again and get to a higher level than before :3 good luck at college!

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