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Most Helpful Favorable Review
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
posted by Anonymous on November 22, 2012Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
7 out of 13 people found this review helpful.
Not as good as classical ballet
posted by Anonymous on January 1, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 1, 2013
Not as good as classical ballet
The first thing that needs to be mentioned about Ballet Beautiful is that these are not actual ballet exercises. If you look at the cover of the corresponding DVD, you'll notice it says "ballet-inspired workout," not "ballet workout." There's nothing wrong with that, but if you're looking for the kinds of exercises that have French names and follow traditional rules of ballet technique such as always turning the feet out and pointing the toes, that's not really what this is. To decide whether this program is right for you, you need to consider what you want to get out of it. Let's look at how these exercises are similar to and different from classical ballet. In classical ballet, dancers keep the muscles in their butts tight whenever posible, and only loosen them as needed to lift their legs. This frequent tightening and loosening of the muscles is what enables a really good dancer to keep her butt looking toned. What Mary Helen has done is create a series exercises that mimic the motions of a dancer's buttocks outside a dance context. She has done the same for other muscle groups important to a dancer. She has exercises for your abs that are done lying on the floor. The problem with this is, these exercises are only strengthening the muscles needed for good posture, not providing you with an opportunity to train yourself in the habit of actually using them for good posture, as you would be able to do if you were standing up, which is the way classical ballet exercise are done. Another disadvantage of lying on the floor is that it negates the need to think about what you are doing with your whole body; you can just sprawl out whatever body parts aren't directly involved in the exercise. The advantage of Mary Helen's method is that it is less technically demanding than classical ballet and requires less physical coordination, and it does still improve muscular strength, which alone can go a long way toward helping someone look and feel better. However, I suspect many people looking for ballet-related exercises are specifically looking for a program that can help them develop skills such as good balance, coordination, and gracefulness, and most Ballet Beautiful exercises don't even give you the opportunity to attempt such things, let alone actually become good at them. Another issue with her methods is that, because they only focus on one part of the body at time, they are an incredibly inefficient way to exercise. Classical ballet exercises usually involve working all of these muscles at the same time, so if you know how to do them correctly, you can accomplish in 15 minutes what Mary Helen accomplishes in an hour, not to mention improve your posture, balance, and coordination in a way this program won't help you with at all. These exercises aren't bad, exactly, but anyone with a background in classical ballet will be frustrated by their inefficiency and lack of artistry, and if you don't know ballet, you should call local dance studios and ask about classes for adults (they do exist). Classical ballet technique is not beyond the reach of amateurs and it is more effective than the exercises taught by Ballet Beautiful.
7 out of 13 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 5, 2012
Posted November 20, 2012
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