Beautiful Ballet Bodies: New Fitness Studio Puts the Burn into DanceBY Christina Geyer // 01.19.17
When it comes to most things, we follow the doctrine of French fashion editor and former Vogue Paris editor in chief, Carine Roitfeld. In her documentary, Mademoiselle C, Roitfeld is filmed practicing ballet with a private instructor in her Parisian apartment.
“I love ballet,” she says, “Because you can see how beautiful the body is.” If that’s her secret, we’re in.
Hence, our latest obsession with newly opened The Ballet Burn, a boutique fitness studio near the Plaza at Preston Center in Dallas. The Ballet Burn offers beginner and advanced adult classical ballet classes, plus a little something called, yes, The Ballet Burn — a spin on those leg-shaking barre workouts that, unlike most classes advertised as dance inspired, actually uses traditional ballet technique at its core.
Don’t let the word ballet fool you, as this class is a rather intense, though fun, mix of cardio, dance, and toning, all set to contemporary music — from ’90s rap to pop hits. (To honor the recent passing of music icon George Michael, a class was dedicated to his music. Who knew pliés went so well with “Father Figure.”)
The real magic of this class comes by way of its well-trained instructors: Turnout is enforced at all times. Toes must be pointed; legs straightened. Posture and a tight core are always emphasized. And traditional ballet terms and moves are used throughout the hour-long class.
Owner Margot Martin, who attended Ursuline Academy before studying ballet full time at the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, was inspired to start The Ballet Burn after rehabbing from a torn ACL. “The recovery process was long and tedious,” she says. “But it taught me so much about anatomy and the proper uses of particular muscle groups.”
This new knowledge, paired with a yoga certification, taught her how to train in a new way. After dancing professionally for 13 years, she retired and started The Ballet Burn, teaching her method at various dance and ballet studios. The Ballet Burn is her first stand-alone studio, and having been open for less than six months, is already drawing a cult following.
This likely has to do with the way the workout actually changes your body, but also for the friendly vibe at the studio. (No pretentiousness, here.)
Our suggestion? Pair The Ballet Burn with one of the studio’s beginner ballet technique classes. These are truly traditional — socks or ballet shoes suggested — with basics taught at the barre to classical music.
Trust us: It’s not as easy as you might recall those ballet classes of your youth. We now fully understand how professional ballet dancers earn those strong, gracefully lean bodies.