Melanie Sykes Ballet Freed London

Gain Grace & Strength: Ballet

Ballet has been increasing in popularity over the last few years, with classes for adults and ballet-inspired workouts springing up all over the country. If you want to get involved, you can go down the “inspired” route or go for traditional ballet study, for which age doesn’t have to stand in your way.

If you want to actually dance with the English National Ballet, you might have left it a bit late to start (I’m assuming that you are over 7 or 8 years of age here), but adults can make astonishing progress, even going en pointe after a couple of years.

Hitting The Barre

Melanie Sykes Barreworkds

Some great classes take the barre as the starting point for their workouts.

At a barre class you can expect small, challenging movement that will get your muscles shaking with exhaustion before long! Designed to tone and lengthen your muscles, most workouts will cater for your whole body with abs getting just as much attention as legs and arms, and plenty of stretches. Some classes incorporate Pilates movements, others weave in some poses you’ll know from yoga.

Where go to:

Barrecore: London/Bristol/Manchester Leeds

Heartcore: London

Barreworks: Richmond

The Barre: Newcastle

Ballet Inspired Workout

Melanie Sykes Ballet Body Sculpture

Most of ballet inspired workouts start with the barre, but one that takes more of a dance-based angle is the impressive Ballet Body Sculpture, which uses techniques from classical ballet, Pilates, stretching and Neuro Linguistic Programming and offers classes online as well as in various studios in London and Zurich.

Ballet Body Sculpture: London/Zurich/Online

Classical Ballet For Adults

Melanie Sykes English National Ballet

This is the real deal and the quickest way to live out your childhood fantasies of being a prima ballerina! Even the simplest beginners classes are fantastic fun as well as being challenging and graceful at the same time. With dedication and practice you can learn to become a good dancer faster than you might think – if you consider that it is completely normal to do 30 – 60 minutes of yoga or Pilates most days and make substantial progress, then you can see how regular ballet practice can bring real proficiency.

If you are in London, the it goes without saying that the classes offered by the English National Ballet should be your first stop – with beginners, intermediate and advanced classes for adults, they also offer Balletfit and contemporary dance classes. How can you resist those beautiful surroundings?

Inspire yourself by watching their rehearsal videos on the English National Ballet Youtube channel.

English National Ballet: London

Dance City: Newcastle

Academy of Northern Ballet: Leeds

Manchester Dance Classes: Manchester

Getting The Look

Melanie Sykes Repetto

Whether you need some proper kit for your classes, or you just fancy some ballet-inspired style, there is no end of soft, drapey “off duty ballerina” looks and stylish leotards to choose from – ballet kit has moved on from those scratchy primary school leotards of the 70’s and 80’s!

Repetto – the ultimate destination for stunning ballet gear and stylish ballet-inspired street wear, in recent years they have expanded their range to include a beautifully made activewear collection.

Bloch – one of the big names in dance gear, they have also extended their line to cater for workout gear and a barre range. This is where to get affordable fantastic ballet shoes and leotards.

Capezio – another one of the best known names in dance, they have a huge range of ballet shoes and accessories to get you kitted out for your first class.

Freed of London – when the time comes, you might want a pair of hand made pointe shoes, and these are the people to provide them. See how their shoes are made here.