You may have been told that ballet helps so much with balance, flexibility, toned muscles, and more. Well all of that is true and I can tell you that from my personal experience. Ballet is not exactly like a sport, except it’s harder than a sport because it requires a ton of concentration and energy. Ballet makes your entire body work by using your arms for port de bras (movement of the arms), legs for grand battement (large beating), toes for tendu (stretched), or degage (disengagement), and many more.
Ballet is also a great source for good posture for someone who is always hunched from bending over. It requires you to constantly have a straight back, so that from your head to your lower back is a straight line. From a person looking at the dancers on stage, it probably does not look hard to do, but ballet dancers make it seem that way. It takes up a lot of your energy and if you do the movements correctly, one simple move should be making you sweat buckets. All of the hard work that they put in during practice, is resulted in a good performance given.
Ballet is really helpful for the muscles that you build from daily practice. It is not those big bulky kind of muscles but the nice toned ones you mostly get in your legs from all those leg workouts. So you would probably be better off doing ballet than trying to go to the gym and get that 6 pack you always dreamed of, if you are a lazy person.
Kate, age 13, has also been doing ballet for a while and I asked, “How has ballet helped you in any way?” She replied with, “It kept my body active and toned my muscles, instead of making them buff. It also helped me with my time management because ballet has a lot of discipline for timing and exactness.” Miss Alice, a ballet teacher, said, “From all the leg work I give you, you’ll be grateful when you are in your 70s and 80s and still have strong knees.”
If you are a person trying to get healthy and burn some calories and fats, then ballet is the right kind of “sport” for you. You can burn more than 400 calories every hour depending on the dedication you put into the lessons . It also keeps you conscious of the amount of food you are consuming. You would not want to walk into class with a bloated stomach and get side cramps because you ate too much. Simple veggies with some kind of dipping sauce is an example of a nutritional snack if you get hungry before class. This is my 10th year of doing ballet and all of these facts have been true for my body, for strength, and healthwise.
Joanne Son, 8th grade
St. Brendan School