With people of all age groups now taking to the floor to learn this classic dance style, it’s becoming an increasingly popular way to stay fit and socialise. Ballet involves learning a variety of steps with French names and incorporating them into a dance routine to music. But it does a lot more for you than just familiarising yourself with another language. 10 Top Health Benefits of Ballet explains how it can benefit your mind, body and soul, so go ahead and reach for those ballet shoes!
1. It makes your muscles longer and leaner.
The great thing about ballet is the way in which it sculpts and tones your body. All the stretching involved gives the muscles a good workout, building up longer muscles as opposed to thicker ones.
2. Helps develop excellent balance and coordination skills.
One of the most obvious abilities you can build from ballet is how to hold your body upright – maintaining a straight spine. As it involves many spins and turns with frequent use of both the arms and legs, good balance is essential.
3. Ballet helps to improve posture.
We all know that it’s bad to slouch in our chairs at work! Ballet can help with this due to its different disciplined positions. Good posture benefits the bones, muscles and our inner organs. In fact, according to research in the American Journal of Physiology, good posture is linked to less heart problems – all the more to get dancing.
4. It’s good for your immune system.
Ballet is a particularly effective dance style for slowing down and calming our immune systems, which are often always on-the-go. This means that the process of ageing is slowed down; which in turn helps us look more youthful by the day!
5. It improves mental health and psychological mood.
The great thing about dancing is that it is almost always done to music. Both exercise and listening to music is found to be very satisfying and a positive mood booster. Because of the organised structure of dancing in time to music, ballet can be effective in improving the symptoms of neurodegenerative and cognitive disorders.
6. Increases your strength.
Ballet is not all about pointy feet -it also involves nimble leaps and bounds into the air which requires a good amount of plyometric (jumping) strength, particularly in the calf muscles.
7. It boosts your self-confidence.
Just like taking to the stage in acting or singing, ballet is a performing art which helps increase your confidence. But you don’t have to feature in a Swan Lake performance to feel these benefits -just practising a few moves in front of your fellow classmates, teacher, or even your friends can help.
8. Helps you get slimmer and benefits by carrying a healthy weight.
Ballet is a dance which involves rehearsing positions at the barre as well as on the main floor. Over time, this helps to develop and strengthen our back and trunk muscles thereby toning your way to a flatter tummy in the process!
9. Ballet dancers possess differences in brain structure which are linked to positive advantages.
Now this one is interesting, research undertaken by Imperial College London in 2013 found that ballet dancers are less prone to dizziness from balancing organs inside the inner ear linked to the part of the brain called the cerebellum.
10. Ballet boosts your memory.
In fact, research has found that it can help prevent you from developing dementia in later life. Another reason to step on the dance floor and start pointing those toes and practicing those leaps!
So there you have it, 10 main reasons why you might want to try ballet. There is a lot more to ballet than you might have first thought! Believe it or not martial arts actor Jean-Claude Van Damme practiced ballet for years and became famous for his helicopter-style jump kicks and splits. Chinese superstar Michelle Yeoh, also had a background in ballet and was able to perform many of her own stunts in many daring and challenging roles. If you do give ballet a go, we’d love to hear your story!