7 Reasons Guys Should Take Ballet
Ballet isn’t just for women. Men can benefit from class as well. With its focus on building stamina and strength, ballet makes a great cross-training activity for guys looking to up their game, or try something new. Still not convinced? Consider 7 reasons guys should get over themselves and get into the studio.
1. You will turn into Stretch Armstrong.
Is your back stiff from your office job? Are you unable to touch your toes when you bend over? Ballet can grease your joints and increase your range of motion. Don’t panic—you’re not expected to lift your leg over your head or anything, but simple, mild stretches at the barre can give your body the wake-up call that it desperately needs.
2. You will become more agile.
Some are clumsier than others. Thankfully, ballet improves balance and motor function. NFL coaches have even been famously known to make their players take a ballet class. Laugh all you want, Twinkle Toes, but ballet class is your best friend if you want to stop tripping over your own two feet.
3. You will build upper body strength.
Behind all the graceful arm movements and gestures of chivalry that you see onstage lies some serious upper body strength. And don’t think you’ll get off easy in the classroom either—male students are required to do push-ups and learn partnering skills. So, the next time you’re tempted to call a male dancer a wimp, you try lifting a grown woman over your head with one hand.
4. You will gain insane core strength.
It may look like dancers just flutter around in tutus, but nothing could be farther from reality. Ballet technique is highly challenging, engaging the abdominals and gluteal muscles with every step. In conjunction with basic ballet technique, males student are required to undergo intense conditioning; sit-ups, push-ups, planks, and lunges all come with the territory.
5. You don’t have to wear tights.
For the love of Baryshnikov, throw on some shorts or sweat pants and quit whining, bro. Adult ballet class of all places does not expect you to wear tights. The typical male dress code consists of a solid colored t-shirt and athletic shorts. In fact, you could head to basketball practice after class and your buddies wouldn’t notice the difference.
6. You might have a shot at going pro.
If you’re a strapping young lad between the ages of 16 and 21 that desires to dance with the American Ballet Theatre, chances are, you just might be able to. Okay, okay. It’s definitely not a snap to get into a major company like that, but professional schools are always looking for exceptional male talent. You might even be able to score a scholarship. Regardless, colleges and smaller regional companies also have performance opportunities.
7. You will become a better dancer/athlete.
With its many athletic and artistic benefits, ballet can lay the foundation for other pursuits. Students who are classically trained have gone on to be successful jazz, contemporary, and hip-hop dancers. Even a brief stint in the studio can improve your reflexes, problem-solving skills, and make you a more versatile athlete.