Ballet Lessons Now Partof Many Fitness Classes

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 10, 2006 | Go to article overview

Ballet Lessons Now Partof Many Fitness Classes


Byline: Christian Toto, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Audiences typically admire more than just the artistry in a ballet production. They see the lithe dancers and their exquisitely balanced physiques and marvel at their form.

It doesn't take admission into a ballet school for non-dancers to see similar results. Students with the Washington School of Ballet's beginner programs hope they, too, can reap the benefits of the classical dance form.

They aren't the only ones turning to ballet to stay in shape.

Elements of ballet are seeping into fitness classes as health experts continue beating the drum about the benefits of not just stretching movements but keeping one's core strong and healthy.

Washington School of Ballet director Rebecca Wright says her school's classes feature teenagers and senior citizens alike staying fit through ballet.

"People in their 60s and 70s devote themselves every single night to taking these adult classes," says Ms. Wright, who adds the lessons improve students' circulation, stamina and coordination.

"We do everything equally on both sides so the body is completely balanced," she says.

The sessions often attract people who either couldn't become professional ballerinas in their youth, or those who simply adore the art form and want to stay enlightened about it, Ms. Wright says.

From an aesthetic vantage point, ballet offers something traditional fitness classes lack. Students often move to classical music, not the latest Top 40 ditties or hip-hop grooves.

The classes offer benefits beyond the music and the dance form's unassailable grace. The movements can be anaerobic, featuring high-intensity moves for short durations, Ms. Wright says.

"We move for short periods of time vigorously, then we stop," she says.

Ruth Tallmer, a former ballerina and dance instructor, has taught ballet to football players and even a bodybuilder through the years. Now, Mrs. Tallmer is teaching the ballet-inspired dance conditioning courses at the Sports Club/LA in Northwest.

"I don't think there's as complete an exercise as ballet," says Mrs. Tallmer, who predicts ballet fitness moves will hit the mainstream in a similar way Pilates did a few years back.

"It's the next wave ... it's a natural progression," she says.

While Pilates often is performed on a mat or on a machine called the Pilates reformer, ballet moves involve standing, weight-bearing positions that improve overall strength.

The leaping movements alone offer additional benefits.

"Nothing works your legs in the same way," she says.

The dance conditioning course incorporates ballet-inspired motions like plies - where the dancer bends at the knees - even though it may not appear like ballet to the untrained eye.

"I extricated the movements that are just presentation," she says. "They don't know they're doing ballet, but they are."

Mrs. Tallmer learned firsthand how much ballet tones the body when she stopped dancing professionally years ago.

"There were certain areas of my body, the back below the brassiere line, that looked flabby. I hadn't gained weight. It was dropped muscle," she recalls.

Still, ballet-inspired exercises aren't commonplace here yet, partly due to cultural barriers.

"It's something that men think they don't want to do," she says. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Ballet Lessons Now Partof Many Fitness Classes
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.