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Reasons to Take Ballet as an Adult

by James Porterson 3 years ago in athletics

Ballet isn't just for little girls in pink tutus. When you take ballet as an adult, you'll tone every muscle in your body.

As adults, we are always in search of the perfect workout. Our image of this is being at the gym, focusing on lifting weights and doing endless cardio workouts. The one thing we may not have considered is ballet. You may think it’s too late in life, but there are significant reasons to take ballet as an adult that will sculpt your body and get you out of the gym every day.

Improve posture.

Anyone can learn ballet. You might not end up on stage in your town’s version of The Nutcracker, but the benefits you will get from adult ballet classes are astronomical. Let’s begin with posture and spine pain. Sitting at a desk all day can cause slouching, which can then cause problems and pain with your neck and back. One of the first things ballet students work on is posture. You’ve never seen a slouchy ballerina. Dreams of a little girl in pink tights might be what’s stopping you from taking ballet lessons, but if you do an online search for an adult beginner ballet class, you’ll only be required to show up in ballet shoes. The rest of the outfit is up to you, but wear something stretchy and comfortable.

Improve balance.


When you first start ballet in a beginners’ class, you might feel awkward, but so does everyone else. Think about the reason for being there and how much you will gain from being at ballet school. You will greatly improve your balance, as ballet teachers train you to use your core to find balance in ways you never thought possible. Soon you will be trading in those ballet slippers for pointe shoes, but real ballet is’t just reserved for professional dancers. You will learn more than how to dance, you will gain more than the weight you will lose, you will change your body and your mind with beginners’ ballet. Improved balance can help you in daily life. It makes you more agile and more nimble.

Increase core strength.

Taking adult ballet classes strengthens your core more than doing 100 crunches a day at the gym. In order to hold the positions, your core must be strong, and ballet teachers will push you harder than your personal trainer. As a result, ballet students are disciplined, grounded, and focused in the studio, on stage, and in life. The hardest part is getting up the nerve to start ballet, but if you can find a good ballet school that offers beginner's ballet, you’ve already fought half the battle. Ballet lessons in a beginner's class will start slow and help you work your way up to increasing your core strength, finding your balance, and increasing your stamina. In the process, you will actually learn ballet, and who, among us women doesn’t secretly have ballerina dreams?

Build muscle.

Real ballet builds real muscle, and the results are beautifully sculpted bodies that look different from everyone else. One only has to look at ballet dancers to understand. The muscle that they develop is sleek, and oh so strong. When you think of ballet, you may think of little girls in pink tights and ballet slippers. It may all seem fragile compared to lifting weights in the gym, but take the strongest body builder and put them in an adult beginner ballet class wearing pointe shoes, and you’ll see the strength it takes to perform ballet. You will build muscle throughout your body, but not bulky muscle. You will build pretty ballerina muscle without lifting a single weight.

Elongate muscle.

Along with building muscle, adult ballet classes will help you elongate muscle. There is a difference between how short and long muscle looks. Short muscle tends to look bulky while long muscles are more sleek, like that which you see on ballerinas, professional dancers, or gymnasts. Those who start ballet as little girls, develop their muscles from a young age, and muscle has memory, so they are able to keep that muscle throughout adulthood. As an adult beginner, you can elongate your muscles in ballet school and by practicing at home. Adult ballet students come from all walks of life and at different levels of fitness. This is what a beginner's class is for. Ballet teachers will help you reach your goals, which might be different than everyone else.


Ballet lessons are great for toning muscles. The difference between building and toning is that toning tightens up muscles and reduces body fat, while building breaks down the muscle, allowing it to grow back with more mass. Both are important to your health and to the shape of your body, and real ballet will give improve both. When you first learn ballet, you will be sore from using muscles you don’t regularly use, but over time, ballet dancers’ bodies adapt and the soreness isn’t as bad. If you’ve ever had ballerina dreams as a kid, but never got to put on those pink tights and ballet slippers, this is your chance. It’s never too late to start beginner's ballet. All ballet dancers started somewhere, and they didn’t just jump right into pointe shoes. Everyone has worked their way up from ballet shoes and that first beginner class, and so can you.

Gain strength.

With all this talk of building and toning muscle with ballet lessons, let’s not forget the strength you will gain. As a beginner, you will be amazed at how much stronger you are in every day life if you take ballet as an adult. Carrying in the groceries or lifting your child up onto the bed will be so much easier. Ballet teachers will train every muscle in your body, and those muscles work together like a symphony. Ballet students don’t just have strong calfs or biceps, they have a strong body, and when all the muscles are strong, the body has that much more strength. As an adult beginner you will learn ballet, but walk away with so much more. By sticking with your adult ballet classes, you will make gains faster than everyone else at the gym.

Build confidence.

Starting a new fitness routine is one of the best ways to boost your confidence. Have you seen the way a ballerina walks? Head held high, and long graceful strides. Ballet dancers and professional dancers have an air of confidence about them that starts in ballet school. Ballerina dreams are not just about wearing pink tights, ballet slippers, or pointe shoes, their dreams are about real ballet. The kind of ballet that changes them from the inside out. From that little girl in ballet shoes who just walked in to start ballet in a beginner's class, to an adult with poise and confidence in everything she does, a true ballerina is sound in body and mind. If you’re thinking about joining a beginner's ballet class, take the plunge. Slip on those ballet shoes and watch how it changes your life.

Gain flexibility.

When you first enter your beginner's ballet class, you might feel stiff as your ballet teachers ask you to stretch. It may not occur to you how important flexibility is, but the saying goes that you are only as young as your spine is flexible. This is a big reason to enroll in adult ballet classes and start ballet at a reputable ballet school. As an adult beginner, take it slow, and never push beyond your limits when stretching. In the beginner's class, all the ballet students will be at different levels. Remember, it’s not a competition. Real ballet is about your own personal journey and transformation. Forget about everyone else and focus on what you can do. Dancing is good for you soul, even ballet; so relax your body and hold the stretches. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you will progress.

Calm your mind.

When taking ballet lessons, your mind benefits as much as your body, if not more. Forget about the other ballet dancers in the room, the pointe shoes, and your tutu. Focus on your breath, your muscles, and your movement. Like yoga and meditation, ballet can calm your mind, clearing away negative thoughts. Drift off into your ballerina dreams that you had as a little girl, a happy place with positive energy. As you learn ballet, you will learn to clear your thoughts and to be in the moment, something many people have a hard time doing in life. Being in the moment helps you not fret about the past or to be anxious about the future. This is your time in the now. Make that time count and the rest will follow.

Build new connections.

When you enroll in a ballet class, you meet new people, like-minded people. This network of new connections can enrich your life. As you learn ballet, you will also learn from the other ballet dancers at your school. Learn their dreams, ambitions, and how they live life. People feed off one another, and if you are around those with positive energy, it can only bring positive things to your life. These new connections can last a lifetime, and far beyond the iconic pink tights and ballet shoes. Professional dancers know all too well how important a network can be. Surround yourself with people with whom you aspire to be. As you can see, it’s never too late, especially if you take ballet as an adult. There is far more to be gained by taking that first step, or, rather, that first pirouette.


James Porterson

Former obese teen turned nutritionist. Enjoys writing about staying active and proper nutrition.

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