Sport And Ballet


More boys are being encouraged to take up ballet. The Royal Academy of Dance have said that only 1.8% of exam candidates are boys. The plan is to encourage many more boys to take up ballet at the same time as more girls are encouraged to play sport traditionally played by boys.

Cricket And Ballet

The initial idea is to run a pilot scheme between Marylebone Cricket Club and the Royal Academy of Dance. Under this plan, known as plan B, boys from the cricket club will be encouraged to take up ballet whilst girls from the ballet school will be encouraged to play cricket. £30,000 has been set aside to pay for the scheme. But this debate has also highlighted the fitness and health benefits of dance and ballet in particular.

Ballet And Fitness

Ballet has long been known to help develop fitness for sports people. It combines cardiovascular, muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility. It also helps improve power, speed, agility, balance and coordination. This would explain why the actor Jean Claude Van Damme told Men’s Health how ballet was the hardest workout he ever did.

Rio Ferdinand, former England and Manchester United footballer has also often been quoted on the benefits of ballet for footballers. On this subject an article published in 2004, discussed the benefits of footballers doing ballet. Greater agility, better body awareness, decreased risk of groin injuries, flexibility in ankles and feet and better range of motion in the hips. You can also add to the list better pelvic positioning and decrease in the risk of groin injury.

Ballet is also a weight bearing activity, in this way it helps improve bone density and helps hold back degenerative bone disease.

Ballet Exercises

Ballet exercises boost muscle strength from the muscles in your feet to your calves and glutes. The classical ballet moves including rising up on the balls of your feet, turning out the leg at the hip and conducting high leg extensions to the front, side and back are all great for muscle strength.

There are some gaps however. If you relied solely on ballet exercises there would be areas in your muscle development that would not be covered. Ballet dancers are not always strong in their arms, hamstrings and quads so in some ways if you rely solely on ballet there could be strength imbalances. In this sense ballet alone won’t deliver it all so you would also need to consider upper torso, core and upper strength work.




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