I’ve recently had a sort-out of my dvds and rediscovered a ballet workout that has been gathering dust for many years. It’s called The New York City Ballet — Complete Workout. I’m not sure exactly what possessed me to buy it at the time, perhaps a Sunday supplement decided it was the latest thing.
I vaguely remember attempting the whole disc, and feeling agonising pain the next day in my arms and legs.
However, I read the blurb on the box and was convinced to pop it on again. It says the workouts are «designed to help you develop the strength, grace and poise of a ballet dancer». Apparently the exercises will give me «the lean abs, firm buttocks, contoured waist, sculpted legs, slim thighs, strong arms and perfect posture I have always dreamed of».
So, feeling pretty motivated to give it a second chance, I put on my trainers and had another go.
The sections are well thought-out and explained and there’s a glossary of terms, so it suits beginners to ballet (like me). It has no cheesy upbeat soundtrack, is filmed artistically, and looks very classy (unlike me, in trainers rather than ballet shoes). However, it takes a lot of balance and is not always easy to keep up with, making me feel uncoordinated at times. The movements are quite different from more traditional aerobics-style workouts, in that they are very precise and repetitive. Most movements have a name, as in yoga, although I think it will take several goes for me to remember all of the terminology.
Overall I found it challenging enough to want to continue and improve, but not too daunting. With practice I expect it’ll become easier and I’ll be able to select the chapters with the exercises I personally need most.
And not too much discomfort the day after!