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.