Thursday 29 August 2013

You Saw WHO at the Dance Studio?

It is early morning in Ontario, Canada.  Outside the dance studio a few tight clad patrons trickle in and out the doors.   Then a blue, 15 passenger van pulls up to the doors and unloads a group of women in sweat pants and tank tops.  It's a team of swimmers from Synchro Swim Ontario, who, in lieu of a morning swim are hitting the ballet barres to build core stability, flexibility, balance (especially when upside down in a pool), mental focus and endurance through ballet exercise.  

They aren't the only recognizable athletes that have been seen frequenting the dance studio.  NHL goalie, Ray Emery, who suffered from a debilitating condition, faced a premature retirement from the sport he loved.  So he took up ballet.  In less than a year he was back on the ice.  This year he made NHL history by becoming the first goalie to ever start a season with 10 straight wins.  In April of this year, he won the William M. Jennings Trophy given to the goaltender that gave up the fewest goals in the season, along with teammate Corey Crawford and in September led his team to victory in the Stanley Cup finals by defeating the Boston Bruins.  

Who can forget the graceful leaps, turns and catches of Pittsburgh Wide Receiver Lynn Swann? The results of his ballet studio classes were evident on the football field and left us all as breathless as if we had attended the ballet.  Swann’s contemporary Herschel Walker, known more for leaving permanent shoulder pad imprints in the chests of those who tried to oppose him than for his grace and beauty, also was a ballet student.  Both took ballet as part of their strength and cardio regimen.

Others who have seen at the ballet barre:

  • Willie Gault, former NFL Superbowl victor and Olympian was considered one of the fastest players in the NFL.
  • Evander Holyfield used ballet exercise to increase his flexibility which he felt leveled the boxing ring when fighting a taller, heavier competitor.  Who’s going to argue with that?
  • South African bantamweight boxer Arnold Taylor, who finished his boxing career with 41 wins, 8 losses, 1 draw and 17 wins by knockout, was also a ballet student. 

It is no secret that athletes are always looking for ways to build strength, flexibility, balance and physical stability and the flexibility that ballet barre exercise provides for adaptation makes it a win, no matter what sport you are training for.

No matter what your size, gender, hobby or occupation, ballet exercise is just plain good for you and we have a barre that will meet all of your training needs.   Contact us today for quality barres.

Thursday 15 August 2013

Celebrity Inspiration to Step Up to the Barre

If the refined bodies of professional dancers haven’t convinced you to do a ballet barre workout, maybe high praise from some well-toned celebrities will do the trick. “Women have long coveted sinewy arms, high and tight derrières, lean legs and a regal posture,” the New York Times writes. “Now, in search of this shape, many of them are ditching yoga and Pilates and lining up at the ballet barre.”

Women like Drew Barrymore, who says The Bar Method “just knocks your butt off,” or Kelly Osbourne who gushes, “It’s incredible to start getting muscles in places on my body that I never knew I could get...I really do love my body now.”

Madonna, known for her biceps as well as performing talents, does another barre-related workout called barre3, which combines yoga, Pilates, and ballet barre. Kelly Ripa does Physique 57, a combination of barre work and ballet choreography with Pilates-style poses and isometrics. Kelly raves that the classes have "transformed my body in ways I never thought possible. I'm a short person, but I'm becoming longer and leaner. The class works your glutes, your abs, and your obliques. It's all about building muscle, then stretching it out."

While it may seem like a ladies trend, guys can of course transform their bodies with barre workouts as well, like actor Ryan Gosling, who has reportedly taken ballet classes to complement his other workouts, and Mike Piazza, a retired Major League Baseball catcher who trained with the Miami City Ballet.

With a portable Boss Ballet Barre, you can do these raved-about routines in the privacy of your own home without having to commute or adhere to a gym’s schedule. Plus, you’ll save money paying for class or membership fees. Bring the gym to you, and watch in awe as your arms start to look a bit more like Madonna’s or Mr. Gosling's.

(Contact us)

Friday 2 August 2013

The Ballet Barre is Not Just For Ballet

It seems that ballet barre exercise is not just for the young and fit anymore.  The exercises so frequently associated with ballet are finally being recognized as an option for people of all ages, including those who may not be participating in the spring dance recital-senior citizens.

Barre exercise classes for seniors are filling up all over the country as instructors recognize the benefits for those who may not be willing to try Pilates or Yoga and who like the idea of having an exercise support for balance and reference.
Pilates works smaller muscles that realign and stabilize the core, while barre exercise is a more comprehensive muscle workout.  It uses body weight to isolate muscles.  Yoga focuses on the spiritual, physical, and mental but the main interest of most seniors is strengthening and stretching to provide power, grace and stamina overall.  They also benefit from the low impact exercise that is easy on the joints because it doesn’t involve any jumping or bouncing.
Why are so many seniors choosing this form of exercise?  Many took ballet as children so stepping back into the studio atmosphere brings back fond memories of childhood friendships and the thrill of dance recitals.  Others  wished they had taken ballet as children and are thrilled to have the opportunity to pursue a dream, even if on a slightly smaller scale.  Still others do it simply for the camaraderie, but all do it because it is a simple and complete form of exercise that will keep them healthy, alert, and moving.
Barre exercise has much to offer to the senior looking to develop or maintain balance, muscle strength and confidence.  Balance and strength are a constant concern as the loss of either is a major reason why many are forced out of their homes and into a supervised living environment.  The improved circulation also helps in the maintenance of mental alertness.  It's a simple, effective form of exercise that does not involve a lot of costly, space eating equipment.  It can be done with a large or small group.  It is simple but challenging enough to increase circulation and strengthen muscle without causing joint pain.  It's just a great option for those seniors who believe that you're as young as you feel and for those who just want to feel a little bit younger.

For information on where to purchase a ballet barre, contact us today.