Originally Posted by MisssMarie
Posted via Mobile Device
Yep. You learn to balance on 2 legs and balance on 1 leg. You learn to use your gluteous maximus in the same way that you horse uses his hindquarters to push forward. You strengthen and stretch the muscles in your ankles so that you can relax your heels down. You strengthen your thighs so that you can mount more easily. Most important re: the subject of this thread, you burn more calories exercising your legs than working on any other part of your body.
You can teach yourself the very basics and use your kitchen counter as your "barre." Since you're NOT learning to dance it will be okay if you rest your weight on the counter edge. Dancers practice with it as if they are dancing with a partner and they just rest their hand on the barre, so it's a little different for them.
The site is a good start. I like the links that explain terminology: Basic Ballet Exercises | LIVESTRONG.COM
A few pointers:
1) You point your foot with your big toe pointing just like you point at something with your index finger. You slightly curl the other toes. It's VERY surprising what muscles you use to do this. Flexing your feet uses many unused muscles in your foot, too.
2) Demi-plie is bending at the knee, back straight, as deep as possible with your feet remaining in contact with the floor. A GRAND-PLIE takes you all the way down.
3) Proper position is imagining a thread holding your back as upright as possible. You don't want to pull in your stomach muscles bc this is counterproductive. You must relax any part of your body that is not working. It's strength through flexability.
4) ANY ballet exercises where you balance on one foot will strengthen your butt and upper legs and improve the way you sit in a chair and the way that you walk. Also, it will protect your back.
Check it out. I took ballet, tap and acrobatics when I was little. Had to quit after a few years, but I missed it so much that I paid for 2 years of it after high school.