Running and Dancing are wildly different, yet somewhat alike in that heart-pumping satisfaction post-sweat session. Since having my twins, I've learned to accept that I cannot run every day: rarely do I have the help or chance to, especially in the colder months when I can't pop the girls in the double jogger and head out the door. I turned instead to anything I can do in the wee hours that the girls are still dozing. I switch it up between HIIT workouts, Pilates, yoga, barre and my favorite: ballet.
After a long run or challenging dance class, I feel happy, refreshed and energized. I've come to appreciate ballet again after too long a hiatus; not only is is physically demanding but mentally as well. Remembering combinations and repeating those steps to a teacher walking around scrutinizing each individual is more of a challenge than tying on running shoes and heading out the door, zoning out to music or podcasts.
The good thing about dancing too is the way it stretches and elongates the limbs and muscles which is a good counter to a runner's typically tight muscles. Flexibility is an asset in life, and learning correct body placement and posture is key to your health, especially as you age. Another great thing about ballet, particularly adult ballet? It is open to all ages and body shapes. I love heading into an adult ballet class and lining up next to someone brand new just as much as an individual who looks like she may used to be/is a professional dancer. When there's a true love of dance, it shows, no matter the level of experience. I like to remind anyone lamenting that they are embarrassed that everyone is looking at their own self in the mirror, and thinking of too many things to be scrutinizing fellow class-goers. The only person scrutinizing you is the teacher, and that's a good thing. Attention means corrections, and corrections mean you'll only get better.
If you're curious about trying ballet, take an adult beginner class! Chances are you'll see women in sweats, women in tights and skirts, women in yoga pants and socks; there's little judgment there. I've found that it is a welcoming community, one that will embrace you. Seek online resources if a studio option isn't available to you, or if you'd like to get comfortable first. "Easy Ballet Class" and "Beginner Ballet Barre" or any other similar search term on YouTube with result in a plethora of classes and mini-classes for you to choose from. Start off in socks or purchase inexpensive ballet slippers and give it a go!
You body will thank you.
Another perk? Ballet fitness clothes are on trend now. Leg warmers are back, and I couldn't be happier. Grab some leg-flattering thigh-highs or cozy slouchy leg warmers to keep those muscles warm as you move. Cross over ballet wrap tops and gauzy skirts? Yes, please. I may not be gracing the stage anytime soon, but there's nothing quite like dancing around in a tutu. If you have a mirror, music and a tutu, you'll have fun. That's a promise!
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