So let me jump right in and tell you about the online program Breaking Ballet. The program is 8 weeks long, although it’s only 6 weeks of videos. The first week is an introductory week. It’s very helpful actually, I always watch an exercise video at least once before I try doing it. I’m not a girl who can just do the thing without knowing more about it – what do I need, what’s the course of the exercise, am I going to be getting on the floor, do I need kicking room, how long is the workout going to take – that sort of thing. So there is a week to download the calendar, learn the basic moves of the program, join the Facebook group, and get yourself ready to get started! If you are anything like me, you need at least a week to figure it all out. The calendar is great. I’m a calendar kind of person anyway so having a calendar already set for me is awe-SOME. Plus it takes the guesswork out of what workouts to do when, in what order, and that sort of thing. So the calendar is a HUGE plus for me. The videos themselves are clean and minimalistic, which I LOVE. I know that sometimes they include a number of people in videos so that you can follow the slow person, the regular speed person, or the hardcore person but I think it’s distracting. I like that I can just follow along with Sarah. There isn’t too much music because that can be distracting too. A mat, a barre (or chair), and this program. Ready to workout.
Most of you will remember (because I keep whining on about it) I’ve been injured, put on weight, stopped working out with any regularity, and haven’t been to class in a million years either so was this program way way way out of my range? Yes!… and no. I pretty much didn’t finish most of the workouts and if I did, I didn’t keep up with the counts or took breaks in between sets. Was I completely discouraged? No! The videos are short so I could do them in succession or take a break in between or even space them out during the day. The exercises were challenging but not crazy so watching Sarah demonstrate was inspiring even if I can’t get into a plié like her, I can still plié which is so much better than watching an exercise that I can’t get anywhere near, i.e. some of those advanced pretzel yoga positions. That is discouraging!
It’s hard for me to stay motivated lately because weight comes off slower when you are older and everything just keeps getting creakier. I enjoyed the Facebook page for staying in contact with other people in the program but mostly with Sarah. It’s hard to feel connected with an instructor or a program with online programs but I felt that the FB group filled that void nicely. The ability to ask questions and get encouragement and ideas was super helpful. At one point, I rolled my ankle while walking around work (hey, that’s my style!) and I posted on FB. Sarah directed me to the floor exercises to keep the weight off of my ankle for the rest of the week and that really helped, to be honest, I should have thought of that but I didn’t.
I’ve always been skeptical of online programs, especially for ballet, but the reality is that so many people really can’t get to class. Going to class can be expensive, hard to schedule and crowded. Online programs are getting better and better and the use of social media makes a world of difference. The truth is that I just don’t have the time and energy to go to ballet class the way that I used to but I want to continue to improve my physical condition as I can and this is a real way of doing it!
The cost of the Breaking Ballet program is £99.00. In full disclosure, I didn’t pay for this 8-week session but now that I’ve completed it, I can honestly say, I would. And I might again, in fact, I’m considering the Pro package. A typical ballet or barre class in Los Angeles is between $20 and $25 dollars per class, plus parking which ranges from $2 to $10 (yes, really!!). So working out 5 days a week at $20 class + $2 parking (the cheapest I could do) for 6 weeks would come out to $660, not including the introductory week and the catch up final week (adding those weeks comes out to an additional $220) vs. $126. It’s a GREAT deal! **Right now, the price is $120 even on the website**
All in all, I highly recommend the Breaking Ballet program to all my ballet and my non-ballet friends too. No ballet experience necessary but if you are an adult ballet enthusiast this program is a great way to enhance ballet training. As for me, I’m trying to get in better shape so that I can return to ballet class and I’m making the Breaking Ballet program a part of that return.