Getting a dancer's body

May 23, 2011 2:54:56 PM PDT
Dancers usually have beautiful bodies and ballerinas in particular are known for being lean and long.

It's a look that we saw on the big screen in "Black Swan" starring Natalie Portman.

So how can you get that look if you're not a dancer?

Well, you don't need to have studied on point to get similar lines. We're seeing lots of classes pop up that either use ballet inspired moves or the ballet barre for workouts.

Figure 4 is very much like a ballet class. The name comes from a stretch in which the legs look like the number 4. It's a new class offered at Pure Yoga.

Kate Albarelli was a professional ballerina and she likes what ballet does for the body.

"Whenver I danced I always felt more pulled up, my back felt stronger, my core felt stronger," she said.

So this class calls on lots of ballet moves. Many students even wear ballet shoes, but you don't need any dancing experience. You just have to want to look like a dancer.

There's no barre in the Ballet Beautiful class created by Mary Helen Bowers. She too was a professional ballerina and even helped train Portman for Black Swan.

She says her class is only ballet inspired.

"What I'm doing is targeting ballet muscles," she said.

If you can't make it to class in SoHo, you can stream her videos.

A third of Alexandra Perez's class is done at the barre, but students aren't really doing ballet moves.

"This is a combination of barre and plyometrics," Perez said.

Her class at The Bari Studio is all about props. The barre, a ball, resistance bands and, unlike many teachers, Alexandra was first a management consultant. During her time on the road, she'd try out lots of exercise classes and ended up created what she calls the Bari class.


Pure Yoga

Ballet Beautiful

The Bari Studio

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