Ballet in the Whole

One topic I am very passionate about is Ballet. Ballet has many types of styles inside of it, including Story Ballets, Classical Ballets, Neo-classical Ballets and Contemporary Ballets. One of the highest levels of Ballet is being a principal dancer of a professional Ballet company. Some of the best ballet schools and companies are the Royal Ballet, Joffrey Academy of Dance, American Ballet Theatre, The Juilliard School and Paris Opéra Ballet School. One interesting fact is that the first professional ballet dancers were De Lafontaine or Mademoiselle De Lafontaine. All in all Ballet has a lot of variety and is a very old concept.

My view on Ballet is that it is a traditionally a very classical art that has turn into more of a sport. Throughout the years ballet has become more athletic. In the beginning ballet was mainly for the royal and was used for parties and celebrations. Currently ballet has loads of variety. One day a dancer could be performing a contemporary ballet and the next day performing a classical ballet. One of the main reasons why ballet has become more athletic is that wearing pointe shoes has become more popular for female dancers. These shoes are used to put the dancer on the top of their toes, they are a satin shoe with a hard toe and a hard shank. In conclusion ballet went from a traditional dance for Royals to a athletic performance technique.


Ballet is for the NFL

Most people say dance is “stupid”. Some dancers like me say it takes commitment and strength. And it’s true.   It takes no less commitment than football, baseball or basketball. The truth is, the people who say dancing is stupid, easy, and pointless can’t dance. And why they can’t dance? Because it’s too hard for them! However, some NFL players can say that dance means something because they take classes themselves. No joke, players in the NFL take ballet or other dance classes to strengthen their calf and thigh muscles!

Don’t believe me? Well, an interview was done for Sports Illustrated  about the secrets to NFL players staying in shape and preparing for games. It all started in the 1970’s when a wide receiver Lynn Swan announced that he had taken  yoga and ballet classes to prepare for his games. Ever since then, NFL coaches have pushed players into taking ballet classes for strength. I don’t blame them! As a dancer myself, I have been dancing for 11 of the 14 years of my life and I have a good amount of calf muscle and arm strength as well.

Dance is stupid you say? Well your favorite NFL teams take it to improve and do some of the same exercises that I do. Try standing on the balls of your feet without holding onto anything for 2 minutes straight! That is what strengthens their Achilles tendon. Bahtmahs, (high kicks)? Try doing those for an entire 3 minutes. That helps the kickers of the team and also strengthens hip muscles. Pleaes, (kind of like squats but harder)? Yeah, they do those too. And they aren’t easy!

Dance and yoga are both hard. No way in any shape or form are they simple. Even senior tailback DeAngelo Williams, a training junkie who gained 1,948 yards and scored 22 touchdowns last year said “I would rather do sprints and up-downs than that yoga,” . That says something! The whole team from the University of Memphis has to take yoga and ballet classes for flexibility and agility. They even admit, “Women can do a lot of things men can’t do,”. So think twice before saying dance or yoga are for sissies… Because you don’t really get it until you try it like many NFL stars have.

~Ariana Pepper