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Watch: Get fit with The Royal Ballet's new exercise video series

A new YouTube series covers some of the basics of ballet, presented by The Royal Ballet's Tara-Brigitte Bhavnani.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

5 October 2017 at 2.21pm | 50 Comments

Have you ever wanted to improve your fitness through dance but have no idea where to begin?

A new free-to-watch YouTube series from The Royal Ballet allows avid fans and newcomers alike from around the world to improve their fitness through dance-based exercises.

Royal Ballet Fit will see a new episode released each Thursday via the Royal Opera House YouTube channel and is presented by Company First Artist Tara-Brigitte Bhavnani. The first episode was released as part of World Ballet Day 2017.

'I guarantee if you can bring these exercises and tips into your daily life, you'll feel better about yourself, you'll stand taller and you're going to feel more confident', says Tara.

The first video explores posture exercises:

The second video explores exercises at the barre:

The third video shows techniques used in the centre of the rehearsal room, without the support of the barre:

Receive notifications about future clips like this but subscribing to the Royal Opera House YouTube channel:

The initial series is a pilot, so we'd love to hear your thoughts about the episodes.

What are your thoughts about the style and format? Do you feel they're pitched correctly in terms of difficulty?
Let us know by commenting below or via YouTube.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

5 October 2017 at 2.21pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged Ballet fit, barrecore, exercise, fitness, Tara-Brigitte Bhavnani, wellness, YouTube

This article has 50 comments

  1. Angela Davies responded on 8 October 2017 at 10:15am Reply

    Fabulous !!
    It should be on TV also
    (get everyone up of the sofa)

  2. Ninfa Morgan responded on 8 October 2017 at 12:35pm Reply

    Thank you for bringing us these series. I would like improve my fitness through dance and learn exercises at the barre and centre.

  3. Ninfa Morgan responded on 8 October 2017 at 1:28pm Reply

    I did the exercises of the first video. The style and format are clear and well organized. In my opinion they are pitched correctly in terms of difficulty. The exercises on the floor help me to improve my standing up position.

  4. Sharoan Cohen responded on 8 October 2017 at 1:54pm Reply

    Thank you

  5. Martino Imperatori responded on 8 October 2017 at 8:35pm Reply

    Great video - great idea - congrats !!!

  6. Ann Soll responded on 8 October 2017 at 9:26pm Reply

    Excellent instruction. I look forward to future episodes of Royal Ballet Fit.

  7. Jennifer Du Randt responded on 8 October 2017 at 10:08pm Reply

    Amazing! Thank you so much for bringing to us a way of excersing that we can do within our own home without spending hundreds of our hard earned money on gym memberships, or classes that I will never really go to. I really struggle to do any excerise as I am really self concious so hate going to classes and the gym. Also I used to do ballet (at the sweet age of 3) and then much later on modern dance so I love being able to go back to exercises I used to do.

  8. Meg responded on 9 October 2017 at 6:30am Reply

    A couple of points: could the dancer not wear black? Very difficult to see what's happening. Could the camera film the dancer's side which is being corrected? Could you use a dancer who doesn't have sway-back legs? I thought the heels had to be touching while in first position.
    Looking forward to more videos.

  9. Sue Syndica-Drummond responded on 9 October 2017 at 9:11am Reply

    Excellent presentation!

  10. Jane responded on 9 October 2017 at 8:44pm Reply

    What a brilliant idea, these exercises are achievable for most and so clearly explained that I was inspired to have a go immediately. More please. Music is lovely too.

  11. Georgina White responded on 9 October 2017 at 8:54pm Reply

    Really enjoyed this. Felt achievable for someone who needs to improve their core. Can’t wait for episode two.

  12. Deborah Kinney-Soltis responded on 10 October 2017 at 1:37am Reply

    Fantastic! Pink would be nice, though.

  13. Pilates instructor responded on 10 October 2017 at 1:15pm Reply

    As a Pilates teacher (and former ballet dancer). I would prefer to see the exercises demonstrated in neutral spine - this student is exercising with a posterior pelvic tilt, flattening out the natural lumbar curve. This is common in ballet dancers but I think it would be more beneficial to demonstrate in neutral and for viewers to learn and exercise in neutral.

  14. kate perry responded on 10 October 2017 at 2:39pm Reply

    Well taught and well described. Perfect for the beginner, but anyone can benefit from going back to basics! Looking forward to more of these.

  15. Harriet Lennox responded on 10 October 2017 at 6:05pm Reply

    Looks great. Can I suggest another set of videos by men for men?

  16. Mark Barrett responded on 10 October 2017 at 7:09pm Reply

    Excellent - look forward to more of these videos being published

  17. Merilyn Bartley responded on 10 October 2017 at 9:27pm Reply

    These are great exercises that will help with posture and toning but nothing in this session will improve ‘fitness’. Is there an element of cardio to come?

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 11 October 2017 at 1:17pm

      Hi Merilyn,

      This is the first of three videos and is intended to serve as a warm up before the second two videos are released. Glad you like the exercises; let us know what you think when the next two are released later this week and the following week.

      Many thanks,


  18. Jennifer Barker responded on 13 October 2017 at 8:23am Reply

    This is amazing - Thank you - I can already feel the benefit of doing these excercises - I am 71 and so need to develop core strength and balance - I hope these sessions continue.

  19. Less intro - edit for a quicker pace to fit in more exercises

  20. Elena Knight responded on 17 October 2017 at 8:23pm Reply

    Really nice and clear and long-awaited ballet based workout from the Royal Opera House! Would be nice to see a full workout along with the short explainer videos. Thank you!

  21. jan responded on 17 October 2017 at 8:47pm Reply

    Engaging and nicely explained and demonstrated so, yes, I shall be watching more. But what about breathing, should I breathe in or out on performing the exercise? (Really enjoyed the music as well, makes the session feel like a ballet class.)

  22. Marian Pesaran responded on 17 October 2017 at 9:07pm Reply

    These are great warm-up exercises as it is very good to learn proper stability and squaring of the core before making larger movements. I do a lot of yoga and have learned that proper posture is essential in order to reap the full benefits of exercise. Slow, controlled movements are more intense. I look forward to the next two videos. Thanks for making and sharing this exercise series.

  23. Gloria Johnson responded on 17 October 2017 at 10:46pm Reply

    I am a Pilates instructor and loved the exercises, the music and the grace in the execution.

  24. Nicky responded on 18 October 2017 at 7:59am Reply

    I agree that you need to show the dancer without skirt etc to have a clear picture of the movement and again up-down angle with camera to see the subtle change of movement . Could be really clever and show the muscle structure you're working on in pictures like 4D so people really can see what their working on ?
    Good basic start .

  25. Sue Dwiar responded on 18 October 2017 at 9:15am Reply

    A great idea and thank you but it does not (unless I missed it?) say anything about considering your age or individual fitness. It's good a lady of 71 is doing them but I wonder if she has maybe done some dance and or Pilates before? Otherwise it could be a bit of a shock to the system!!

  26. Catherine responded on 18 October 2017 at 9:23am Reply

    Perfect pace & difficult excercises to get right. Speed is not the answer Aimee. Thank you RBS. What is the teacher's name? You should have introduced yourself a bit more thoroughly.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 18 October 2017 at 10:58am

      Glad you're enjoying the series, Catherine.

      The series is presented by Royal Ballet First Artist Tara-Brigitte Bhavnani.



  27. Christine Nuttall responded on 20 October 2017 at 11:44pm Reply

    Liked these videos. Interesting that we do very similar exercises in our yoga class. Slow and controlled is the key. Very welcome innovation by RB thank you.

  28. Sylvia Golden responded on 21 October 2017 at 8:35pm Reply

    Ms. Bhavnani is a wonderful presenter, and I love the variety of the workouts. The exercises make for a perfect break during a day spent at the computer. They make me want to straighten up and aim for the presenters' poise. In doing so, I feel better. Thank you, Royal Ballet, for the videos.

  29. Ken Young responded on 27 October 2017 at 12:16pm Reply

    Lovely and useful video, presented so calmly and peacefully. The exercises are excellent and the focus on strenthening and using the core and have a direct usefulness in Tai Chi, singing and just plain breathing.

  30. Caroline Lowton responded on 29 October 2017 at 5:02pm Reply

    I'm loving this series, please keep them going - I'm in my 60s so any exercises for stiff knees, backs and general mobility would be helpful!

  31. Sam thomas responded on 31 October 2017 at 8:43pm Reply

    Great series - as an adult learner and new to ballet - these are a great addition to my weekly class.

  32. maria theresa albano responded on 31 October 2017 at 11:20pm Reply

    its great feeling watching the videos, looking forward to seeing more and doing them all again at home! great initiative!

  33. Kej responded on 1 November 2017 at 2:01am Reply

    Loving these core and posture exercises. Makes me feel graceful and tall and I am sure a necessity for my Flamenco dance classes.Thank you so much Royal Ballet

  34. Gill Escott responded on 1 November 2017 at 12:37pm Reply

    Great series. I will be sharing with my elders ballet class(all aged over 55)-thank you

  35. Jennifer Barker responded on 9 November 2017 at 2:56pm Reply

    These exercises are making a real difference to my life - thank you so much. I am 71 but am getting better each time and feeling stronger.

  36. Irana Aidonopoulou responded on 24 November 2017 at 10:15am Reply

    Excellent exercises!! Thank you for posting them! There is knowledge on teaching children and teenagers. With the Silver Swans, the road to ballet opens for the ''over 55''. What about the 40-45 years old lady or man, who without any prior experience in ballet, wants to start practicing ballet?

  37. Elaine Falconer responded on 23 December 2017 at 2:38pm Reply

    Love these hope there will be more. A DVD would be lovely. Subtle hint.

  38. Jane Mortimer responded on 31 December 2017 at 11:14am Reply

    These are the only formal excercises I've ever enjoyed repeating daily. The music, introduction and pitch (difficulty) are perfect. Listening to the instruction and pianist give a real feeling of inclusion and personal teaching. More please!

  39. Daphne Twiesselmann responded on 1 January 2018 at 8:39pm Reply

    This is a brilliant idea and quite well put together. Easy to follow in real time, the pace is good to learn to recognise what muscles are working. The exercises are fantastic for my posture and to relieve back pain.

    I would love it if Tara-Brigitte could tell us a bit more about which muscles are called into action with each exercise and why exercising them is important for or what move/step the exercise is working towards (out of curiosity).

  40. Deborah Arnold responded on 2 January 2018 at 3:37pm Reply

    I have really enjoyed the first 2 episodes already feeling it is helping with easing my back pain! Thank you Royal Ballet

  41. Amala responded on 3 January 2018 at 7:33am Reply

    Very nice and very achievable form of excercises...very well presented too. Will definitely follow them.

  42. Wendy Carey responded on 25 December 2018 at 11:33pm Reply

    I have just discovered these Royal Ballet Fit clips and love them.Are there more we can subscribe to. Wendy from New Zealand

  43. Sharon Keogg responded on 4 January 2019 at 4:38pm Reply

    I really enjoyed these Fit clips and it's a great idea. The best thing about them though is Tara - what a fantastic teacher. She is warm and natural her approach and although she is a beautiful dancer and has many years to go yet I hope she is feeling confident in the knowledge that she has another successful career awaiting her.

  44. Rachel responded on 5 January 2019 at 8:59am Reply

    I really enjoyed these but even though I'm not very fit, they are too slow and stop-start for me. A final video with all the exercises and no instructions would be good.

  45. I like the concept, I already teach a class just like this. A combination of Pilates and basic ballet. We use a continuous sound track that’s got higher energy and don’t stop moving at all. Keeping the ballet basics there but also increasing the heart rate for the cardio element to increase fitness levels. Lovely clear presenting :) might be nice to have a ‘Normal’ person taking part too - to show it’s a genuinely accessible exercise choice?

  46. Ursula james responded on 5 January 2019 at 8:23pm Reply

    We can use this when we need to dance.

  47. Nikiya responded on 10 January 2019 at 6:29pm Reply

    Great series! Thanks! It would be good to have a reminder script and the accompanying music so as to practice the exercises every day!

  48. Clare Todd responded on 14 January 2019 at 8:19am Reply

    Great idea, but we need more - a weekly update would be a great idea.

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