Articles

10 Secret Benefits of Adult Ballet Training

Maybe you took dance classes when you were younger; maybe you never have and are thinking about starting as a total beginner. No matter who you are, you don’t have to be a professional ballerina to reap benefits from adult ballet classes! Here’s the scoop:

1. Strength

Ballet isn’t just cardio. In fact, regular practice of ballet can give you just as much strength as training with small weights. This gradual increase of strength will make your movements more fluid, but you’ll also find that you’re more fit to carry things in your everyday life. [1] One of our students said it made her better at her work:

“As a Director of Photography, I can operate the [heavy camera] systems without issues because of my arm strength!”

2. Endurance

Ballet won’t just increase your strength for one-off activities. You’ll find that you’ll be so fit, that you can do strenuous things quite easily. Many of our students have seen improvement in their stamina and cardiovascular endurance. After starting adult ballet classes, you may be pleasantly surprised at how effortlessly you can walk up multiple flights of stairs.

3. Coordination

When you combine the postural, core, and stabilizing strength ballet provides, you get a nice side effect: improved coordination. One student happily lets us know that they have “much improved control over my body.” In a world full of screens, it’s easy to feel disconnected from your body. Ballet can put you back into it!

4. Flexibility

A great portion of the ballet barre is devoted to stretching after every sequence, so it seems natural one’s flexibility would improve greatly. One student let us know:

“Before starting with Align, I had limited movement in one ankle due to a bad sprain. Taking adult ballet classes allowed me to regain my flexibility in my ankle!”

5. Posture

The entire ballet form is based on incredible posture. Adult ballet students will often tell us that they have improved posture due to increases in core/postural strength and body awareness. As one student put it:

“My posture has improved, and now I’m more aware of the way I carry myself. Especially when I’m at sitting at my computer, I make more of an effort to sit properly so I’m not hunched over.”

Even professional ballerinas use the kind of ballet exercises we use in beginning adult ballet classes to maintain their perfect posture! [2]

6. Improved Energy

It would make sense that ballet releases powerful endorphins which can lift one’s spirit. A weekly ballet class could be the fresh start to your week on a Sunday, or a welcome refresh on a Wednesday or Thursday!

7. Cognitive Development

Students have also told us that they feel an increased sharpness in their cognitive function. We suspect this is due to the mental processing one must accomplish in class. Some studies show that dance training can possibly slow or prevent Alzheimer’s. [3]

“Learning combinations on the left and the right, as well as balancing, has worked my brain in new ways,” said one Align ballet student. Another student told us: “I use a part of my brain that was never used in 40 years as engineer.”

Learning ballet routines can keep your mind sharp – stretching not only your muscles, but also your memory. [4]

8. Weight Loss & Body Image

Ballet is an excellent “all in one” exercise, combining extensive stretches with concentrated movement. Excess fat is shred and muscle tone improves. One student told us:

“My body has completely transformed. Before starting adult ballet classes, I did lots of cardio, but was still gaining weight. Now, ballet is my only form of exercise, and my body is leaner and stronger.”

Of course, we like to emphasize that anyone can do ballet, and that health can be achieved at every size! As one student positively notes:

“One of the things I love about Align is that it’s for everyone. You see people of all genders and ages in class. Different body types. And, you aren’t expected to be this tiny, willowy thing. The focus is on what you can *do* with your body, and the atmosphere is supportive and encouraging, which makes it a joy to attend.”

9. Confidence

You would think that the challenge of ballet would deflate confidence – but results consistently show the opposite. Students are always telling us that they’ve experienced an increase in their self-confidence, and will feel increasingly better about their abilities and their bodies.

As one student put it:

“Because I’ve been successful in ballet classes, I feel I can try out more new things.”

Meanwhile, an older student told us that taking adult ballet classes gave them “confidence” just because they were doing ballet over the age of 40; realizing that you can learn a new skill at any point in your life is a huge confidence boost.

10. Clear Mind/Sense of Calm

Recent scientific studies can back us up on this: dance can increase your overall life satisfaction. [5] Our students believe the deep concentration needed to remember ballet positions and routines clears the mind, like meditation. Students report a better sense of well-being after class. These results seem to last well beyond the time spent in the studio!

One student told us that taking adult ballet classes turned out to be “the best form of stress relief I have found. The combination of physical intensity and concentration required help me clear my mind, no matter how preoccupied.” Another student said that they appreciate that they can “get a few hours of being able to turn my brain off and just be in movement.”

Stressed? Maybe the solution is ballet!

Sources:

[1]: https://www.livestrong.com/article/530979-ballet-fitness-level/
[2]: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/wellbeing/diet/3334420/The-pointe-of-good-posture.html
[3]: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-17/dementia-and-alzheimers-symptoms-eased-through-dancing/8281508
[4]: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201310/why-is-dancing-so-good-your-brain
[5]: http://www.the-standard.org/life/dancing-boosts-health-relieves-stress/article_63b27627-c2cc-59cd-832c-14c8a2319487.html