I have a secret! Or rather I had a secret until I wrote this. A week ago I went to my first adult ballet class (and today I went to my second).
If you’ve read My Hip Journey So Far you’ll know that ballet, like riding, was one of the activities I enjoyed before my Perthes diagnosis at the age of 7 put a stop to all of that.
It has been over 5 years since I picked up riding again and a few weeks ago I saw a Facebook post advertising adult ballet classes. I have never been afraid to try something new or try to fulfill the dreams of sad 7 year old Poppy so I thought I’d give it a go!
I LOVE it! I got the self conscious wobbles when I first arrived and looked at the slim and toned or “normal person” bodies compared to my muscly thighs and swimmer’s shoulders but there was so much diversity in the class (women, men, all ages, different nationalities etc.) that I put that part of my brain back in it’s box! After one session I was completely hooked; Claire (the fantastic teacher) wasn’t patronising, there was no faffing about, we cracked on with a lot of content and I left feeling strong and powerful (just need to work on the grace I think!)
So enough about me, here’s why I think you should give ballet a try.
You discover your feet! Us riders spend our lives with our heels down or stomping about in wellies – with ballet you will discover that your feet move down as well as up and it IS possible to point your toes!
It is good for your core. In ballet, your core is so important because that is where the strength and stability comes from. The stronger the core, the stronger the rider too (or just general person!)
It straightens you up. You have to tilt your pelvis and tuck your bum underneath you in ballet, something us riders also need to do!
Your hip will move! Every single thing we have done in ballet so far has involved hip movement so if you’re doing it right, you’ll definitely strengthen your hip muscles and increase your flexibility. You can’t sit on a horse without flexible hips, I should know! I’m pretty sure there is nothing better than a plié to prepare you for a fat cob!
And for those wondering, my new hip survived, it continues to impress me as we go into our second year together.
Go on, try something new.. or rather something old for lots of us!