Sass and the City

Ballet Beautiful: My Latest Obsession

Hello all! I know it’s been a little while since I last blogged, but I’ve been transitioning back to school and work after my semester abroad in France. I promise you there are many wonderful posts to come, including this one. Get ready for sassy reviews of the best food, TV, beauty trends and more in DC and Miami.

Ballet BeautifulPhoto via

If you’ve talked to me at some point during the last month, I’ve probably already yakked about Ballet Beautiful. And if you haven’t (that goes for nearly all of you, actually), then here’s your lucky opportunity to get the spiel in all of its glory! Oh, and no, I’m not a Ballet Beautiful spokesperson, but I’m not opposed…

Okay, so Ballet Beautiful is a series of ballet-inspired exercises designed by Mary Helen Bowers, a professional ballerina who danced with the New York City Ballet for a decade. She decided to customize a workout that incorporates targeted exercises and stretches for a ballerina’s classical, elegant, toned build. Ballet Beautiful claims to elongate muscles and tone the whole body, essentially achieving that lean and feminine physique without any bulk.

I know what you’re thinking—what’s so special about some pliés and stretches? Well, Mary Helen Bowers is the woman behind Natalie Portman‘s insane body and incredible ballet skills in Black Swan. Yup—Mary Helen Bowers trained Natalie Portman for that role. She’s also currently the personal trainer of several Victoria’s Secret Angels, including Candice Swanepoel, Doutzen Kroes, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Lily Aldridge. Former Angel Miranda Kerr, Zooey Deschanel, and Erin Heatherton are also huge fans. If that’s not enough proof of Bowers’ magic, consider the fact that she has a studio in SoHo, several DVDs, custom workouts available for streaming, and several profiles in The CutELLE, InStyle and The Wall Street Journal. If you haven’t heard of Ballet Beautiful, you really must be living under a rock.

Ballet BeautifulPhoto via

I began my BB journey a few days before New Year’s Eve and have been doing it one to three times a week. On a good week, I shoot for three times, but stuff happens. I have all four DVDs: Total Body, Body Blast, Cardio Fat Burn, and Sculpt & Burn. My favorites are the first two because they really target the entire body and are easy to follow. The last two are much more advanced with their ballet positions and require some background knowledge or phenomenal motor skills, in my opinion. My only complaint is that her ab exercises require a certain core strength that I just don’t have yet.

I will say that BB has completely changed my attitude towards fitness and exercise. I always wanted to work out but lacked the motivation and dedication. I never played a serious sport or learned how to workout, so I always gave up after a week of some attempt at fitness. But Ballet Beautiful has proved to be the only workout that has ever motivated, de-stressed, and delighted me. I genuinely get upset when I don’t squeeze in a BB workout (which is inexcusable because she offers 15-minute blasts). Thanks to MHB’s positive energy, the serenely white studio walls, and the soothing classical music, the BB workouts de-stress me and bring me to my happy place.

Over time, I’ve noticed that I have become much more flexible and I feel stronger. The workouts seem progressively more natural to me and I get the hang of them even more each time. My posture has also definitely improved. MHB gives tips on how to tailor each workout for beginners, advanced practicers, those with weak wrists, those with weak knees, etc. I highly recommend this workout to anyone seeking to slim down and tone for that ballet beautiful body.

Check out the Ballet Beautiful website here, the Youtube videos here, and the inspiring Instagram here.

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