Yes. That’s the short answer.
Within the dance circle, ballet is regarded as the foundation of dance. Ballet training helps you improve as a dancer in other dance genres. So, how does ballet training benefit athletes of other sports?
Ballet is physically and cognitively challenging. It helps build mental fortitude, cognitive ability and physical strength. Here are some ways ballet training can help athletes gain an advantage over their competitors.
Ballet helps you stay on your toes.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the old adage ‘don’t be caught flat-footed’ and its origins. Ballet helps you stay on your toes. The entire art form is about keeping weight on your toes to allow you to move quickly. Athletes in sports that require increased agility will find great benefit in learning ballet. They will see sharper and faster reactions, helping you stay on top of your competition’s every step.
Ballet helps increase your cognitive ability.
In ballet classes, we are required to learn quickly. At the barre, we move from one step to another consecutively. Dancers need to pick up choreography quickly and accurately. On top of that, we are able to process critique and advice on the spot, and immediately translate them into practice. After being in ballet classes for a while, you will find that you become quicker at picking up anything around you. You’ll see that this quickly becomes helpful on the court, in the field or on the track when you need to switch up plays at the command of your coach.
Ballet helps with body awareness.
When dancing ballet, every position you take is very specific. From how your head tilts to where your feet points. To ensure that your head, hips, shoulders, knees, hands and feet are in the right position requires an immense amount of body awareness. This body awareness is crucial for athletes to achieve the right posture, especially in episodes of fatigue.
Ballet improves your coordination.
You’d have to try ballet to understand this entirely. All your limbs and joints must conform to a certain standard, while you ensure the movements are measured and graceful. Ballet is one of the most demanding sport in terms of coordination.
Ballet instills discipline.
Ballet as a sport requires an immense amount of discipline. From a neat hair bun to properly tied shoes. From how we conduct ourselves at the barre to waiting our turn to go across the floor. All this decorum isn’t about rigidity, but about removing distractions so we can focus on the instruction and our movements.
Ballet is a great cross-training tool.
It might be funny to see massively built NFL players in ballet classes. Some even go as far to say that ballet is too ‘girly’ for them. Truth is, ballet works your body and builds muscles differently from your sport. Ballet is not only a well-balanced sport, in the sense that it requires working your core and all your limbs. It helps build muscles that you never knew you had because of the different positions you need to hold and the control you need to exercise while doing ballet.
Ballet gives you a different kind of strength.
While most sports will help you gain explosive strength or endurance strength. Ballet goes a step further by giving you the strength of control. Every movement and position in ballet is physically demanding. Yet, it needs to be graceful, effortless and light as a feather. That takes an immense amount of strength.
Consider ballet classes as supplementary training for your core sport.
We are starting a new class, Ballet For Teens, suitable for those aged 12 to 17 to explore ballet.
For those aged 18 & over, we offer Ballet for Adults.
See you at the barre!