In the completely awesome ballet film, Etoiles, the narrator asks the wonderful Marie-Agnès Gillot if she loves ballet and she responds that love is perhaps not strong enough of a word, instead ballet is something that consumes you. That’s a pretty strong statement and yet how many of us spent many of our waking hours in some sort of thought or action ballet related?! I know I spend a heck of a lot of time consumed by ballet. I’m constantly looking for ways to work more classes into my already over-packed schedule. I’ve been looking like crazy for a DVD that would fill in the days when a “real” ballet class just isn’t going to happen. In my opinion, there is no substitute, nothing that is actually an hour, an hour and a half of class. My next thought was to find a way to enhance my ballet work in other ways, so lately I’ve been taking time to do push ups, crunches, foot exercises and stretches. I try to get this in every day but let me be honest and tell you that stretch or get a few more pages done on my dissertation and I’m going to dissertate – not because I want to do that more but the dissertation does sort of have a ticking time clock on it with no mercy even for a dancer-in-training.
So I picked out a workout video that is ballet inspired but not really dance-y. I chose to start with the Ballet Beautiful Blast Series, there is also a 60-minute workout video, but I think we will move onto that later. Please refrain from bringing up that movie starring that person, but yes, this video is by the dancer who trained that person for that movie. I think the point of the video is to end up with a balletic looking body without actually doing ballet… I’m confused by why anyone would want to do that if you want to know the truth! Because in my view, an awesome balletic body would be a great side effect of learning ballet, but I want to learn ballet for the love of ballet itself and the notion of being able to dance from time to time. At any rate, here is the plan… for the rest of November on days when I don’t have class, I’m going to do this video and see if it helps at all with strength and balance for actual ballet. I’ll review the video and update you on how this goes. I started Monday and I have to tell you the backs of my arms and my glutes are definitely sore today, so that’s a good start.
Stay tuned and fingers crossed!
Cool, let us know how it goes! I haven’t worked out (separately from ballet) in a while, but I do general workouts on the Wii (EA Sports Active 2) and sometimes a flexibility workout with a DVD from Essentrics.
Oh, how do you like the DVD from Essentrics? I’m naughty with the Wii and just end up playing rock band or something fun even with the best intentions of working out with it! I’m discovering the need to add cardio to my ballet class-ready workout schedule… the more we actually dance, the more I realize that I am lacking there too!
The Essentrics DVD is pretty good. (I have “Flexibility Workout for Athletes,” which is geared toward sports athletes but as you probably know Essentrics has a dance sensibility/background.) It’s got a few rough edges — since the narrator/leader is just on voiceover and not shown onscreen, sometimes both you and the fellow “students” are like, “wait, how does this go exactly?” 🙂 But otherwise it’s a pretty good stretch/flexibility workout, kind of medium/intense, for me at least.