Tag Archives: ballet

Swan Lake Like You’re Never Seen It Before

Incredible Chinese performers in Swan Lake. Her balance is incredible.

Spectacular.

Dance of the Snowflakes

From the Nutcracker, featuring the Bolshoi Ballet

I Love Ballet

Center Stage and its pale shadow of a sequel were playing all weekend on the Oxygen network.

It reminded me how much I love ballet.

Here is the perfect Natalia Makarova as the dying swan.

My Favorite Ballet Workouts

ballet dancer’s legs

Longing for a lean dancer’s body with strong, beautiful legs?

Me, too.

Here are my favorite workouts that incorporate ballet techniques.

Muscle Ballet Workout with Stephanie HermanMuscle Ballet
Starring Stephanie Herman

This is my absolute favorite ballet workout. I have it on VHS. I hope my tape never wears out.

Stephanie Herman has a very pleasant style and gives clear instructions. I have her whole line of dance-inspired workouts.

For more on Stephanie Herman, visit her Web site. You can explore her other workouts or take an in-person class.

New York City Ballet WorkoutNYC Ballet Workout:
Fifty Stretches And Exercises Anyone Can Do For A Strong, Graceful, And Sculpted Body (Paperback)

I prefer the book over the DVD because I like to work at my own pace.

I like the way they teach you to build your own workouts to suit your needs and to prepare you for other activities, such as tennis or golf.

The Ballet Workout with Melissa LoweBallet Workout
Starring Melissa Lowe

This is the first ballet workout I ever bought. It’s from the late 1980s as you can tell by the costumes.

Even though the makeup and clothes are a little outdated, the workout remains timeless. I love workouts that are full-on classic ballet, not just inspired by ballet moves.

Hot Bod FusionHot Bod Fusion:
The Ultimate Yoga, Pilates, and Ballet Workout for Sculpting Your Best Body (Paperback)

This book has sections on ballet, yoga and pilates techniques.

You can mix and match, so you don’t get bored with one workout. It doesn’t hurt that the models are gorgeous.

Balocity with Deanna McBreartyBalocity: Cardio with a Classic Twist
Starring Deanne McBrearty

This is my most recent purchase. I haven’t tried it yet. But I have watched it all the way through and I can tell I’m going to love it.

Deanna McBreary was featured in the NYC ballet workout book.
Visit her Web site for more information.

Ballet Class for Beginners with David HowardBallet Class: For Beginners

This is not designed as a workout. This is an actual beginner’s ballet class led by ballet master David Howard.

Such a treasure.

What are your favorite workouts?

My Favorite Ballet Movies

Center Stage

When I was a kid, I studied ballet at a local dance school and performed in many recitals. I loved the graceful moves, the strict rules, the French names for everything and the beautiful costumes.

Trophies lined my shelves, I had pictures of myself en pointe, and somewhere there exists home movies of my solo routines.

Even as an adult, no matter what city I live in, I always find a place to take a ballet class now and then. I long for the perfect dancer’s body. I must own every ballet workout video on the market.

There are certain movies about ballet that I enjoy watching every time they are on television.

Here are scenes from my favorite movies about ballet in hopes that they will inspire you to watch them, too.

The Turning Point
The ultimate ballet movie with the best acting and most realistic dancing. Starring Anne Bancroft, Shirley MacLaine, and Leslie Browne with Mikhail Baryshnikov in a supporting role. Nominated for 11 Oscars.
(The music doesn’t match the footage. I recommend you mute it.)

Center Stage
A group of students study at a prestigious New York ballet academy and vie for spots in its elite company. This movie was not going to win any acting awards, but the dance sequences are fun, the cast is charming, and it’s a good behind-the-scenes look at the hard work and commitment that goes into a career in dance.

Billy Elliot
Set during the Miner’s Strike of 1980’s England, a poor, young boy wants to study dance instead of take boxing lessons. Needless to say, his hard-as-nails Dad and brother do not understand. Jamie Bell should have won as Oscar. In this sequence, Billy expresses his anger and frustration through dance. It’s pure genious.

The Company
Neve Campbell worked her butt off, quite literally, to get this movie made. Unfortunately, it was nearly ruined by director Robert Altman. There is absolutely no plot but the dance sequences are beautiful. Here is Neve Campbell performing on an outdoor stage during a storm.

What are your favorite dance movies?