So you (think you) can dance? Well that’s great, because I’m absolutely shocking at it.
Ok, ok so I can make movements that look like dance. But what it really is is a jumbled mess of arms and legs moving wildly about in an attempt to stay in time with the music.
Despite this I’ve always fantasised about ballet. It must be something about the romance of wearing smooth pointe slippers and waltzing about in soft, demure leotards and impossibly feminine tulle skirts. As a girl I always thought ballerinas were the epitome of female beauty. When my hips and breasts made their unwelcome debut around the age of 12, my prima ballet fantasies died along with my childhood.
Nine years later I decided to take an adult ballet class to satisfy my unfulfilled dream. I was terribly inflexible; but I was determined to overcome it as I wanted a ballerina body. More to the point, I wanted to FEEL beautiful. Intuitively I knew ballet would help.
But try as I could, I simply couldn’t do it. Even the basic moves were hard to co-ordinate. So I mostly stuck to the barre and watched everyone else put it all together.
Soon after I discovered Bikram yoga. Whilst I initially found the breathing and heat a challenge, it was far easier than ballet and I became hooked. But as much as I loved yoga (adding Iyengar, Ashtanga and Hatha in the mix too) ballet always remained at the back of my mind.
About 12 months ago I became aware of the yoga-ballet-pilates phenomenon sweeping Australia and the world. A fusion of stretching, core strengthening and classical dancing, brands like Barre Body, Cardio Barre and Xtend Barre claim that with the right dedication (and diet) you too, can have a Margot Fontaine body.
Now I’ve since come to understand (and accept) that I will never be a size 6 (US 0) and that no amount of diet and exercise will change this. I’m not a fan of
starving myself fad dieting either, just eating mindfully and exercising well. But when I did the adult ballet course all those years ago, I remember seeing a shift in body fat composition. Granted I was not doing any other exercise at the time, but I did see a marked change in the shape of my legs, arms and abdomen.
A few months ago I came across Jessica Smith TV. Jessica is an online fitness trainer with some fantastic (free) cardio ballet class I can actually keep up with! Perhaps it’s all of those years persisting with yoga, but there is something about Jessica’s (30 min) classes that make dancing fun and easy. Perhaps it’s her energy, perhaps the yoga has helped neuroplasticity, I’m not sure.
After just 4 sessions (2 weeks) I started to see a shift in the visceral fat that no amount of running has helped me achieve. My legs and core are stronger (which helps with my running). Plus it’s a nice change from hill runs and stair sprints.
Of course exercising over and over again with the same video can get very boring, so I intend to purchase and download her full program here.
I’ll leave you here now with my red face and awkward plies.
So until next time, believe in wellness and believe in you.
*No, I am not an affiliate marketer of Jessica SmithTV – just someone who loves her program and is seeing real results.