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PRESS: "At The Border Between Art and Sport"

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

Ballet is synonym with grace and elegance as well as work and determination. It is a sport and an art at the same time. In order to play on the world’s biggest scenes, one needs (lots of) years or practice but, also, a little bit (or more) of talent. Can one still do ballet if they are already adults and have no experience in the field except for curiosity and desire?

This sport has become well liked in the last couple of years, not only due to ballet performances that enchant all our senses, but also because, in combination with fitness, it has become a very popular physical activity among adults who learn ballet for their own pleasure to strengthen their body and relax their mind.


Most people associate ballet with a demanding dance style, with a difficult physical activity and believe that it is too late to start it as an adult” [...]

Ballet for adults is an activity that works both the body and the mind. Physical exercise helps toning and strengthening the muscles, and thus, facilitates a correct body posture.

“In addition to that, classical music has multiple benefits for our brains” [...] “Mozart’s music is capable of activating 99 to 100% of our cerebral cortex.”


Therefore, nowadays, independently of age, one can practice ballet in studios designed for amateurs, where one can study for their own pleasure rather than for performing on the scene, [...]


Anyone, independently of age, experience, mobility, or physical shape, can participate. However, we recommend that those who have never practiced ballet should start with training on the mat, followed by Port de Bras workouts, full body BalleTonic, Flexibility and Cardio Barre. This should be done for at least two months with at least two sessions per week, for a start.


But if you are an adult and you don't have any experience in this field, only curiosity and desire, can you still do ballet?

These training activities are taken by people who did ballet as children or not as well as professional ballet dancers and performance athletes, adds the trainer. [...] Today, Ballet Fitness translates into personal training courses, small group classes, as well as boot camps in the mountains or at the seaside.

“Ballet dancing is challenging and yes, one needs to start early if they want to achieve performance. However, Ballet Fitness is something else; it is a program conceived for anyone who loves ballet and wants to enjoy all its benefits.” [...]



WHAT ARE IT'S BENEFITS?


„Aside from toning one’s body and improving body posture, ballet improves one’s balance, body coordination, and mobility, and it increases physical endurance. Additionally, it increases awareness of body movement which is essential for achieving body and mind balance.“



Ballet is recommended to everyone, not only to those seeking muscle toning or losing weight, says Poka Ingrid Karola, founder of BalleTonic.

„These represent only two of the numerous effects ballet has on one’s body, psyche, and mental health. Nonetheless, ballet dancers are recognized worldwide for their posture, and their harmonious and toned body.“


Ballet brings elegance, distinction, security, a harmonious body, refinement, a correct balanced posture which contributes to the enhancement of self-esteem.



„Ballet can be practiced as an art but also as a way for self-expression, as a form of physical meditation or for performance. Ballet is a form of classical art; it is a classic dance. In comparison, fitness is a recent sport, adds Ingrid.“

Ballet-fitness combines the grace and sensibility of ballet with the force and the vigor of fitness.


Ingrid started practicing ballet when she was five years old, and after her first class, she knew she wanted to be a ballet dancer and dance all over the world. “A small child with a big dream”.

During her secondary school, her parents signed her up at the “Octavian Stroia College of Choreography, in Cluj-Napoca. During high school, I was invited by the great ballet master, Vasile Solomon, to dance as part of the Ballet Ensemble of The National Romanian Opera from Cluj-Napoca, where I danced for seven years and became a professional”.


Swan Lake Tour in China 2015 - The ballet ensemble of Operei Naționale Cluj-Napoca: picture taken during training; Choreography: Vasile Solomon; Choreo Assistant: Anca Opriș - Ex-prima ballerina of ONRC



Carmen - Music: Georges Bizet - Ballet Ensemble of ONRC


In 2019, after an audition in Lisbon, Portugal, she was hired as a professional dancer by the German Company, TUI Cruises Entertainment – Mein Schiff. After ten months at sea, she was promoted as directing coach. In her role, she created several shows that were later played on the scene of the Mein Schiff Theatre.


“During the pandemic, I was stuck on a cruise ship at sea for 50 days. That’s when I understood the importance of physical activity and its impact on our psychological and mental health. As such, I offered to teach free ballet-fitness courses to those who are also stuck with me on the cruise ship”.



When she returned to Cluj-Napoca, she took a course on personal training and then she created BalleTonic. She says that she wants to bring the ballet of the international scenes into the dance studio, into the fitness gyms where this type of physical activity and her knowledge as a professional ballet dancer can be accessible to everyone.




“I believe, inside every little girl or woman, lives a ballerina waiting to be discovered”


Ballet Fitness represents a fusion between classical ballet and the physical exercises specific to fitness, but with a focus on ballet movements [...].


Ballet Fitness has gained a lot of popularity over the last two to three years in Romania, under different shapes, inspired by the concept of barre body, which has become very popular at international level over the last ten years.

“The programme I developed, based on my previous experience, is organic and it constantly develops. Thus, there is no risk of getting bored by repeating the same movements, class after class and your body and mind will always be challenged.”

[...]


Ballet inspired trainings have several benefits among adults, such as facilitating graceful movements (classical ballet, cardio ballet); increasing physical endurance (Bosu Barre, Bosu Body Sculpting), flexibility (Fit & Flexible workout) and balance (Ballet FitBall workout); deep muscle toning; improving body posture (Ballet upper Body, Barre Ballet), and burning calories (one session of Burn Fat Ballet can burn up to 1000 calories).



EVEN MORE IMPORTANT:
THERE IS NO AGE LIMIT!


[...] People over the age of 50 can attend ballet classes. “I am following European Ballet Schools that offer classes for seniors. It is possible that ballet might a key element for achieving wellbeing at advanced ages”, adds the trainer. [...]


„The difference between the ballet practiced by children and adults is the level of performance that can be achieved” says Poka Karola Ingrid. One usually starts practicing ballet at an early age because muscles and bones are still developing and thus, it is easy to mold them.




BALLET HISTORY IN ROMANIA

Classical ballet appeared in Romania in the early 1910 – 1925, when the first forms of ballet education – studios and private ballet schools – were established. The first local ballet company was founded in Bucharest in 1924 by the Polish-origin ballet dancer, Anton Romanovski, three years after the institutionalization of the Romanian National Opera of Bucharest, says Poka Ingrid Karola.


“The first ballet teacher of the Bucharest Company was Floria Capsali, one of the most famous Romanian ballet dancer and choreographer”. In 1949, the foundations of the state choreographic education were officially laid. On the other side, the ballet-fitness recently appeared in Romania, being, by comparison, a new training style even for the rest of the world.

She concludes that “many former professional ballet dancers start practicing and teaching ballet-fitness. Those who choose this type of training come to love it”.



Article published in The Romanian Magazine: "După Afaceri Premium" - Supplement edited by Ziarul Financiar -

Nr.136 October 2021


The original article can be found here or here - page 26

Translation made by our BT. student: Dr. Mioara Cristea





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