"The Pretty Way to Work Out"
June 14, 2012

Former NYCB dancer Mary Helen Bowers trained Natalie Portman to stand, walk and all-around look like a ballerina for her role in “Black Swan.” Since then, Bowers has launched a ballet-inspired fitness program called “Ballet Beautiful,” offering private training, plus online live classes, DVDs and now the just-released “Ballet Beautiful” book, complete with a foreward by the devoted Portman. The regimen promises to lengthen, strengthen, tone and improve the “poise” of its clients.


This sounds like a great way for dancers to condition or stay in shape during the off-season, but I’m curious, as with other ballet workout programs, how well this will work for non-dancers. The photos show professional ballerinas demonstrating exercises, and the cover of the book even features Bowers in her pointe shoes! Civilians, if I can call them that, will have trouble acheiving that kind of ballet look no matter how many books they read and interactive workout classes they attend. The private training sessions with Bowers might come closer to doing the trick, since she’ll be there to give live corrections, but if you’re going to go that far, why not just attend a true and actual ballet class?


What do you think of the ballet workout craze?

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