A lot of people have shown an interest in taking ballet lessons as they have realized the many benefits. These include an increase in flexibility, better balance, improved posture, and tightening of muscles that are otherwise hard to tone (such as the inner thighs). Adults who are especially hoping to gain the long muscular legs of a ballerina through ballet lessons often explore the idea of using a ballet DVD instead of taking traditional ballet lessons. After all, with this terrible economy, few have the extra income necessary to pay for ballet lessons, which tend to be on the expensive side. And then, there’s the difficulty involved in scheduling and being able to attend ballet lessons that occur once or twice a week. It’s easier to pop in a ballet DVD and you’ll get all the same benefits, right?
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Ballet DVDs can provide a pretty good workout and help one improve their ballet technique-but only for somebody who has already taken proper ballet lessons and has a good grasp on what, exactly constitutes good ballet technique. If you have taken at least a year of ballet lessons and are able to handle the basic skills of ballet technique, such as the five positions, barre work, pirouettes and basic leaps and jumps, then you are ready for a ballet DVD. In fact, if you have taken enough ballet lessons to achieve this level of ballet technique, you may find a ballet DVD to be a helpful supplement to your ballet lessons. A good ballet DVD will allow an experienced dancer practice his or her skills if he or she is unable to attend ballet lessons more than once a week. It also gives the dancer an opportunity to increase flexibility and strength. The flexibility and strength gained while working with the ballet DVD might enable such a dancer to begin learning more difficult skills during his or her ballet lessons.
I cannot, however, emphasize enough the importance of the ballet DVD being a supplement instead of it taking the place of traditional ballet lessons. Even worse is using a ballet DVD as your ballet technique instructor. A ballet DVD cannot provide the guidance and feedback that a professional teacher would, since it does not have the human capability to properly identify a dancer’s mistakes and cannot give the individual attention necessary to correct these mistakes. This can only be done during ballet lessons, not while practicing with a ballet DVD in your basement.
Now, some people might be thinking that my advice is all very well, except that they have no intention to be a great ballerina-they only want to get ballerina legs. Why put in the time and effort to improve ballet technique through ballet lessons when you could use a ballet DVD whenever you want and get your body just as tone (for a fraction of the price)? Well, if a ballet DVD replaces traditional ballet lessons, then you will not learn how to apply the rules of ballet technique correctly, nor will you have someone to fix your ballet technique mistakes. Which means you will be doing all those strengthening ballet technique exercises wrong and not reaping the benefits of stronger muscles. You will also be putting yourself at risk for injury. There are dozens of mistakes you can make in a ballet technique that lead to injuries, but in ballet lessons there is an instructor present to catch these mistakes before you are injured. This is not the case with a ballet DVD. Nobody will be there to warn you that the way you’re holding your feet is putting strain on your knees that will lead to joint problems.
Ballet lessons are a wonderful way to learn a beautiful art and tone your body. Once you have a good grasp on the basic skills of ballet technique, you can supplement your training with a ballet DVD. Until then, don’t waste your time-if the only way you can work out is by using a DVD, you should get a traditional aerobics DVD and skip the ballet DVD.