...last week. What is normally a teen/adult beginning Ballet class w/ an emphasis on fitness that I teach on Wednesday evenings, got a make over as a Balletone: Sole Synthesis class.
What is Balletone?
It is a fitness program that uses dance-conditioning methods of ballet training, as well as principles from pilates and yoga to build strength, flexibility, core strength and cardiovascular conditioning.
Here's a video snippet with the owner of Balletone, Shannon Fable.
So that's a little of what it is. How is it different from some of the formats or movement methods that it incorporates?
Balletone is done in the center of the room, no barre exercises, where as a traditional ballet class would employ both. In ballet training there is a great deal more verbal explanation, demonstration of a combo, execution of the combo by students, then back to more explanations and demos. Stopping and starting. Because many aspects of ballet technique can be somewhat challenging and precise, time is needed to adequately explain. That's not necessarily a negative, at least I don't see it that way. Its just a reality, one that has to be weighted against what one's goals are.
Balletone utilizes many of the foundations of ballet; maintaining proper alignment while executing plies, tendus, lifting the leg front, side or back (arabesque) in a turned out position, passes and lunges. As well as engaging multiple muscle groups in a sustained, lengthening manor, coupled with full range arm movements. All while staying in constant motion. That's why it great for seasoned dancers too!
Balletone is off the mat. It is started from a standing position. Barefoot training and awareness is an important aspect of the Balletone program, regardless of which format (Sole Synthesis, Standing Flow, etc.). Keeping control of the core, while sustaining the recruitment of engaged muscles through movements is a key concept in pilates. This key concept shines in Balletone!
I've taken just enough yoga to know that it is no joke when it comes to strength, control, flexibility, physical and mental endurance! I'm falling madly in love with it! There seems to be an endless supply of challenges gracefully and politely waiting for me to peel back the layers of. While at the same time providing me with an opportunity for introspective thought in both body and mind, and a chance to replenish. Whew, yoga and I just had a moment...
In the Balletone: Sole Synthesis format, the yoga-inspired movement sequences provide a shift in movement and intensity, but not a rest. An important opportunity is provided to stretch and further internalise to prepare for the next set of challenges.
You are constantly moving at a low-impact, mid-range intensity (hills and valleys of exertion) throughout a Balletone workout. Mid-range cardio is a cardio intensity level often overlooked.Think something between a brisk walk and a Zumba class. Invigorating as well as challenging.
What kind of footwear does one wear for Balletone? None!
Interested? If you are in the Chico, Ca. area come check out my Wednesday 6:30pm Ballet-Fit class (perhaps soon to be Balletone exclusively) at Kinetics Academy of Dance.
Thanks for reading.
Enjoy the dance that is life!