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Ballet fitness videos to put a spring in your step in 2017

The ultimate YouTube workouts for ballet fans looking to add a little beauty to their exercise regimes this year.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

4 January 2017 at 5.07pm | 19 Comments

Combining core strength with seemingly effortless grace, a ballet performance is the ultimate workout for a dancer. But for us mere mortals for whom even the words 'ultimate workout' prompt a rapid retreat back under the bed covers, finding a place to start can seem an insurmountable challenge.

So, whether you're part of the 'New year, new you' brigade, or simply want to try something new for 2017, here are few of our favourite ballet fitness videos to get you started:

For warming up the mind and body: Sweaty Betty

Anyone hoping to exercise should ensure they are well warmed up before launching into a full routine. Luckily this 'Sweaty Betty Ballet Bootcamp' has not one, but two warm ups: firstly, a pre-warm up demonstration of the ballet positions to help lapsed (or newcomer) ballerinas get back on their feet, and secondly, a gentle warm up to get the heart racing before the full cardio workout. A word of warning, however – if you're hoping to exercise to the delicate strains of Tchaikovsky, you might be in for a shock.

For covering all the bases: New York City Ballet

This film, starring Sarah-Jessica Parker may have originally been filmed more than 15 years ago, but its extensive programme of exercises passes the test of time. Over the course of an hour, dancers from New York City Ballet demonstrate warm ups and stretches, before progressing to floor barre work. 'If you love ballet (even just watching it), you'll enjoy this workout', the description proclaims; a warning to ballet fans that it's certainly easy to spend long periods of time admiring the dancers' poise rather than exercising for yourself.

For those who need a refresher course: Lazy Dancer Tips

Quick demonstrations before each exercise, and multiple camera angles to help dancers understand the shapes their bodies should be making, make this a good springboard for those who know the basics but want to improve. The video also features helpful links to the music being used in each exercise.

For those in the know: The Royal Ballet's daily class

To celebrate World Ballet Day 2016, we released a video featuring Class Teacher and Ballet Rehabilitation Specialist Brian Maloney and Soloists James Hay and Meaghan Grace Hinkis to help those watching at home learn the steps ahead of our live ballet class. All of the five steps shown are part of The Royal Ballet's morning ballet class, which takes place each day for our dancers (and is itself available to watch in full via YouTube).

For a powerful arm workout: Ballet Beautiful

While the jury's out over how many of our audience members are hankering for 'Strong & Sexy Swan Arms', this video, title aside, is surprisingly effective. Created by dancer-turned-celebrity trainer, Mary Helen Bowers, the 15 minute workout is enough to leave your arms aching and give you a newfound respect for the graceful swans you see on stage.

Do you have a favourite ballet fitness video?
Add yours in the comments below.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

4 January 2017 at 5.07pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged Ballet, exercise, fitness, videos, YouTube

This article has 19 comments

  1. Dana responded on 5 January 2017 at 12:13am Reply

    I like Sleek Technique from the Royal Ballet trained dancers Flik Swan and Victoria Marr

    Their barre workout makes me feel like a ballerina!

    • Thank you so much Dana. Victoria and I are so happy you love our ballet workouts and it's lovely to hear how good they make you feel! Flik x

  2. Georgina responded on 5 January 2017 at 10:02am Reply

    Great feature - I'll definitely be trying some of these! I'd recommend Scottish Ballet's series for a gentle workout, and Jessica Smith has a huge range of barre-inspired videos.

  3. Alina responded on 5 January 2017 at 12:06pm Reply

    Thank you for great article ! Ballet is the best way to exercise. My favourite ballet workout videos are Ballet Conditioning by Elise Gulan and Ballet Workout by Melissa Lowe

  4. francesca responded on 5 January 2017 at 12:09pm Reply

    that's great thank you!!!

  5. Holly Armitage responded on 5 January 2017 at 1:47pm Reply

    I cannot recommend Lazy Dancer Tips enough, Allessia Lugoboni is a fantastic teacher and her videos are a great way to keep fit between classes or when you can't make class.

  6. I cannot recommend Sleek Technique's online classes highly enough! It was through them that I discovered the joy of ballet dancing and certainly wouldn't be taking dance school lessons now if it wasn't for Flik and Victoria. Incredible dancers & incredible classes.

    • SO much credit to you for your hard work Michael. You put the work in with Sleek and the results are there to see! See you online soon, flik x

  7. We've just released a Full Ballerina body workout too on our Sleek Technique which is our most popular ever! January blues beaten! Flik and Victoria

  8. Melody responded on 5 January 2017 at 5:40pm Reply

    Kathryn Morgan has a bunch of Barre and center classes either beginner or focus on strengthen your core

  9. Linda responded on 5 January 2017 at 8:50pm Reply

    I love the Lazy Dancer Tips. She is not lazy; those workouts kick butt. Nice kitties too.

  10. Lucy Braga responded on 5 January 2017 at 9:27pm Reply

    I love Sleek Technique ever since I danced at their Ballet Bootcamp class at the top of the Gherkin for charity- and their videos are fantastic!

  11. I get inspired when I watch Alex d'Orsay Sbarra Floor Barre. I am an adult ballet dancer and I am just starting my own workshop program where I will do some videos. I really love the support that dancers give to one another- let's keep going and growing together.

  12. lisa young responded on 6 January 2017 at 2:42pm Reply

    thank you so much for these videos

  13. Bruce responded on 8 January 2017 at 9:52pm Reply

    So hard to watch the NYCB Workout now with all the exercises being completed by the late (and glorious) Albert Evans who died far, FAR too soon. RIP Albert.

  14. Vicky responded on 15 March 2017 at 10:40pm Reply

    I like Lazy Dancer and Ballet24

  15. Milena Borden responded on 22 October 2017 at 4:01pm Reply

    Great idea! I have been doing Alicia now and then and now added the NYB to my dilettanti ballet routine fabulous compositions well explained and accessibly done.

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