Ballet Beautiful is the workout that made me become this fit goddess now standing before you.
*Pause for laughing*
You see ladies, Barre was my first fitness addiction. The first class to create those happiness endorphins that keep you coming back to the studio week after week. It also gave me a glimpse of what seriously toned pins and bum can look like (and it’s nice).
Why did I decide to try barre? Because I discovered Mary Helen Bowers, founder of Ballet Beautiful.
I wanted to be just like her. Gracious swan arms, perfect posture standing on her tippy toes, amazing strength flowing through those grand jetes (posh for jumps) and general awesomeness, tutus et all.
It did vaguely cross my mind it would be tough to fast track my bum to New York Ballet Company form. Still.
So you can technically say that Ballet Beautiful is the reason why I’m writing this post, why I’ve discovered a passion for movement and rediscovered my love of writing. BOOM.
Ballet Beautiful is the brainchild of Mary Helen Bowers, former ballerina and mum of 2. She joined the New York City Ballet aged 16 where she danced for a decade. After training Natalie Portman for that role in Black Swan her workout reached stardom. Oh, and her moves are also behind those Victoria Secret bodies, so no big deal.
I have been doing her online workouts for years and it’s my go to routine when I can’t leave the house for a class. But I’d been dreaming of taking one of her classes in New York… Which is where I blissfully found myself (to-ta-lly on my own) recently. So Ballet Beautiful was at the top of my bucket list!
This an account of a dream come true.
The Dreamy Studio
You walk into an intimate small flat on a first floor of a residential area in the Upper East Side. It’s small but perfectly formed. Light shines through the large windows and there are tutus and ballet slippers everywhere. Romance fills the air.
The workout area fits 6 and all the mats are already laid out with their own Ballet Beautiful water bottle at the top. Details, details. Perfect to unleash your inner ballerina. The hostess was a dear and went along with all my photo requests – I was determined to come out with zillions of pics since the studio was perfect Insta material!
People watching is one of my favourite sports, specially when I’m travelling. I tend to quickly make up stereotypes and stories in my head. Very politically incorrect, often unfair and so much fun. I was in for a treat with the other ladies taking the class with me that morning.
Lady number 1 was the full Ballet Beautiful babe. Wearing head to toe ballet gear (with pieces from Ballet Beautiful’s own range), she was a power player. Glamorous black leotard, tiny black ballet skirt and red ballet slippers – matching her perfectly red lips. She looked awesome and mastered her moves perfectly. She was also terribly serious and I felt like giving her a little squeeze just to see what would happen.
Behind curtain number 2 there’s the super skinny lady (clearly missed the #StrongNotSkinny memo) who thinks leg warmers are the epitome of cool. She seems more worried about checking her face in the mirror and texting whoever she’s meeting next than in the actual workout. Brings weird diet drink to sip while she moves. Does not wait until workout is over, things to do, people to see.
Finally there’s lady number 3, who complained that after 3 workouts in a row she’s hurting all over. She also laughed occasionally. Finally someone normal.
Then there was obviously me, a total outsider who doesn’t know the routines, is clearly underdressed and who laughs when it burns.
Our teacher Lucy was totally amazing. As she walked into the studio she was all grace and poise. The workout was pure Ballet Beautiful – lots of pulses, leg lifts, bridges and more pulses . Just as I expected and Lucy did not disappoint. Something about her tone made me drift into Mary Helen Bowers videos with the difference that I was actually there, IRL. And that BURN – definitely, very real.
Loved , loved, loved. The studio, the workout, the teacher – even the people. Great if you’re looking to come out with toned pins and bum. Just don’t expect to sweat like a pig, if that’s what you’re after. But then, that’s not very ballerina like, is it?
Curious about what else I was up to in my New York adventures? Check out My New York Fitness Diary – And 3 Must Try Workouts.
Going to New York? Try one of her workouts live at the Upper East Side or Soho studios. Or go online and pick from one of their many workouts.
Travelling to Lisbon? Spot on in the old city centre, hit Ballerina Body for your burn fix.
Still not sure if barre is for you? Find out How Barre Changed My Life And the 4 Things I Love About It. Then decide.
Now, no excuses. Let the burn begin.