Ballet Anatomy: Muscles

Ballet Anatomy: Muscles


The perfect ballet body is a working body. Muscles and limbs that are in tune and are working. You need to have that balance of strength, agility, flexibility and control. You need that really strong, deep foundation in all those deep muscles to accommodate what the classical ballet body needs to be able to do everyday. There’s kind of a multitude of exercises that we’re all taught to help strengthen and maintain these muscle groups. When you’re first, kind of, training them they’re really quite deep inside, and they’re really hard to locate you just keep rehearsing the same movements and the same muscles to fire off in the same ways. It’s actually kind of hard to say how they’ve developed, because they’re always developing. You’ve got to push your body, to an extent, but you’ve got to be able to dance smartly. Every part of you has to be turned on, you have to know about how each muscle can actually help each other work. You’ve got the, kind of, superficial global outer abdominals, but then there’s also the transverse abdominis which is really quite deep, and it kind of corsets your spine. When it’s trained properly, it really, it cinches up and it kind of holds everything internally where it needs to be. The back goes through so much movement, it always needs to be strong, in all directions. That’s where a lot of movement emanates from out of the body. Calves, they need to be able to stabilise and endure in a lot of dancing all at once. Muscle memory is a huge part. The feeling of placement, where the alignment needs to be sometimes you can’t rely on the mirror to see how it should look. You need to know how it should feel. I think it’s just that mindfulness of knowing how your body reacts to certain things, from a kind of self-preservation and a recovery sense. So as to save yourself for what really matters which, at the end of the day, the shows are, kind of, what we’re all here for.

9 Replies to “Ballet Anatomy: Muscles”

  1. This video is beautiful but why did they choose to shoot it in such soft lighting, I wish they had chosen lighting that would really emphasize how muscular the ballet artists are

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