Ballet has been scientifically proven to help strength, balance, coordination, and overall physical fitness. Ballet takes a great deal of focus, persistence, and technical training to perfect, and even professional ballerinas aren’t perfect, but they sure are graceful. You don’t have to want to be a professional ballerina to benefit from ballet though. Ballet plays a role in every style of dance. Imagine putting on your makeup. Ballet is the foundation. You need a solid foundation and consistent coverage in order to make the rest look beautiful. Ballet can be repetitive at times, but that’s so you can continue to improve what you’ve already learned. You can always add different color eye shadow or lipstick, but the foundation remains the same. The same goes with ballet. You can add harder steps or apply ballet to other styles, but the basics remain the same.

    Ballerinas have had different stigmas about them over the years. The way the look, eating disorders to maintain a certain physique, how tall or short you have to be, etc. Until recently, when ballerina Misty Copeland broke the status quo by becoming the first African-American principal dancer in the American Ballet Theater. She has been a pioneer for ballerinas of all kind. She also serves as an inspiration for the next generation of dancers, showing that hard work, commitment and persistence really pays off.

    For younger or newer dancers, ballet seems to be the style pushed to the side. They want to do jazz, or hip hop for the fun upbeat music, or tap to make music with their feet. All of which is great of course, but starting in ballet will only help make the other styles come even faster. Ballet classes use classical music, so I totally understand why most young kids don’t jump for joy when they start ballet, but ballet teaches them to appreciate the simplicity in the softer music. When they start to understand the complexity that comes with ballet and the longer they continue to train, the better understanding they get for this beautiful art.

    Anyone can benefit from ballet. If you’re looking for something new to try to get active, consider taking a ballet class. It’s never too late to start!

Paige MelansonBallet, Dance