When considering taking up ballet as a form of exercise, sometimes taking classes is not an option. Perhaps no adult ballet classes are offered in the area where you live, or your schedule simply cannot commit to specified class times. Whatever the reason, there is still the option of using ballet as a workout in the comfort of your own home by means of ballet workout DVDs.
The aim of such DVDs is not to train you in ballet technique, rather, to use certain features of ballet and dance in general to provide a fun, yet physically beneficial product. Most of such products on the market are affiliated with dance companies or choreographers, who tailor these workouts specifically for people with no technical training. Moreover, most feature established professional dancers demonstrating the exercises.
My personal favorite of such products are the New York City Ballet Workout DVD's. Although an established and world renowned ballet company produces these videos, the workouts are easy to follow, even for people with no background in dance, without being over-simplified, as some other DVDs tend to do. That way, the practitioner is busy thinking on the sequence and form of the steps, and not on the fact that they are actually exercising. This is a good form of distraction for those who dislike the repetivity of gym exercise, as you do not focus on what you feel, because your mind is too busy thinking on what your body should be doing in the first place.
There are two existing DVD's produced by New York City Ballet, Workout 1 and 2. Workout 1 introduces several ballet exercises, 17 to be exact. These exercises range from warm-up exercises, to footwork, abdominal exercises, and stretches. although there are no Barre exercises, as is usual in Ballet classes, this is made up for in their floor barre exercises, which is essentially doing barre work on the floor. It is arguable that floor barre achieves better muscular results that regular barre work as one is working more against the weight of their own body than when standing up.
The second Workout DVD is similar to the first in structure, but a little more faced paced than the first. It contains new exercises and combinations, as well as a glossary of ballet terminology. It is recommended to start with the first DVD, and move unto the second after you feel confident enough with the first DVD. You could then possibly alternate between the two choosing what pace would be most suitable for that particular day.
Both products are professional, user friendly, and the DVD's are easy to navigate. Good music accompanies both DVDs, which is a lovely change from the generic music that some dance workout DVDs use.
Weather you choose to join a Ballet class or workout at home, a workout DVD is always a good product to have at hand, perhaps for the days when you cannot make it to class or as additional training.
Valentina, dancer, fitness enthusiast and long term ballet practitioner. I believe that dance is an art form that can be enjoyed by anyone, and therefore encourage people to practice dance for different reasons.