I was recently invited to take a ballet bootcamp class at Sweaty Betty with Sleek Technique as part of a #GETFIT4FREE campaign. Sleek Technique is a portable, online fitness program incorporating ballet techniques and strength-conditioning exercises, the same exercises professional ballerinas use. I was hesitant at first because I’m not this long, lean dancer-type, but what better way to get into ballerina shape than to do what ballerinas do? Read more about my experience after the jump.
Despite my name, I’m not the most graceful person. I trip, I fall, and I feel like I have two left feet. My dance style of choice is (attempting to do) the Beyonce booty shake or the five-second bar jive (you know, when you hear your favorite song at the bar and you dance for five seconds and then you go back to holding your drink). The founders of Sleek Technique, Victoria Marr and Flik Swan, are much more graceful than I am. They don’t walk, they float, and watching them made me immediately stand up straighter. They also have SICK bodies! (Note: none of these photos have been retouched)
Victoria and Flik are great instructors: energetic, encouraging, expressive, and they know how to direct your body so that your form is correct. The class is a combination of dance, core-strengthening calisthenics, and body-lengthening movements. You need a bit of rhythm but no previous dance experience is necessary. The class is fast-paced enough that you also get a cardio workout. I definitely broke a sweat, and was pleasantly surprised I did; I expected to do pliés and walk on my tippy-toes for an hour. There were definitely pliés involved, lots of them, and with the ladies’ instruction they burned.
It’s always surprising to me how much we can do with just our body weight. It makes me grateful for what my body does on a daily basis without any further thought. It also reminds me that it’s not always about how much weight you carry, but what you do with it. It takes much more effort to hold my body weight in a plié squat for ten seconds than it does for me to walk my body home with twenty pounds of groceries. Also, holding is always harder than moving, in exercise and in life.
This was a really special event that I’m honored to have been a part of. Flik and Victoria don’t normally teach in the US, but because of the internet their clientele and reach are global. I’ve already signed up for this Saturday’s Sleek Technique class via Live Stream and look forward to sharing my experience with you next week.
Thanks to Sweaty Betty for hosting in their in-house studio. It’s dangerous every time I make my way down to their SoHo boutique. I always leave with something in hand!
If you’d like to take this class at home, visit Sweaty Betty for more information.
Sign up for more Sleek Technique classes HERE.
Source: Sweaty Betty Instagram (photo 1), LGC (photos 2-7)