Ballet Exercises - Better Shape for Ballet

by Tamara Rose
(Fair Oaks, California, US)

Ballet Exercises - Better Shape for Ballet

What kinds of exercises could I do to get in better shape and become a better dancer?

Hello my name is Tamara. I'm fourteen and dance is my passion. Even though I haven't done dance in two years, I always dance. In my room, at my friend's houses, basically whenever there's an opportunity. My point is, I would like to be in better "dancing shape." I am in shape right now from doing sports such as cross country and basketball and cheerleading this year, but I'm not exactly in shape for ballet. So I was just wondering if you could give me some exercise suggestions. Thank you so very much.

Tamara Rose


Ballet Exercises - Better Shape for Ballet

Reply by Odette

Hello Tamara,

Thank you for contacting me on ballet exercises, it is a pleasure to hear from you.

Firstly, it makes me so happy to hear your passion for dance. Always hold onto this passion you have, as it is very special and is what makes a dancer unique. The legendary dancer Martha Graham once said, "Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion".

I completely understand you would like to be in better "dancing shape", as you rightly say, ballet does have a particular shape compared to the regular sports. Although dancers are essentially athletes, incredibly strong and physical. Dancers muscles are so toned and powerful, yet their bodies are still lean and elongated creating lengthened lines. It is the rigorous training in a ballet class that can create such a shape, as the dancers are continually engaging the correct muscles in specific exercises which sculpts the body into this lengthened look.

Therefore, the most beneficial way to achieve the dancing shape is to take regular ballet classes, as is engaging the right muscles on a regular basis will let your body sculpt into the desired shape for ballet. However, pilates is also a good idea to achieve a leaned and lengthened shape.

Pilates or yoga are very popular exercises for dancers to do aside of their ballet classes. Pilates is great for core strengthening and toning the muscles. Many dancers like to have a pilates session before ballet class because it engages your core stability.

Also, swimming is a great exercise for dancers as it doesn't bulk up the muscles yet is still extremely good for creating a better dancing shape.

Nutrition and a healthy diet is very important especially for dancers as our body is our tool so we have to look after it by supplying it with the right food. Having a balance that is the key. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, whole grains and lean proteins. Drink plenty of water too, 2 litres a day is the recommended amount. Green tea is very good for you too.

Best Wishes,


ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page

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