Natalie’s ballet journey
Updated: Dec 28, 2017
I started dancing at the age of three but my real loves were tap and modern so I never actually did any ballet.
I had a painful final last trimester during my first pregnancy and a lot of pelvic and hip pain after the birth which resulted in a specialist physiotherapy consultation and finding out that I have a hypermobile pelvis. I needed 20 sessions of physio to develop a strong core and become pain free again, and my second pregnancy was less painful throughout.
However, after my second child, I was in so much pain that I could not walk at all. I had a newborn and a toddler to care for and was having to crawl up the stairs on my hands and knees. It was a stressful time but as soon as I was able to start physio again, my muscles started behaving again and I was pain-free after six months. I was told that if I were to remain pain free as I got older, I had to commit to running, swimming and pilates every week. I took some artistic licence with this and decided that Ballet Body (Sarah’s local class) looked every bit as strengthening as pilates.
Not only have I not been disappointed but it has far exceeded my expectations.
The lessons are satisfyingly hard work and take real concentration and focus to engage the right muscles for each exercise. The class definitely feels like a ballet class, although it is not a traditional ballet class; the language and the deportment is all balletic but the lack of high impact makes it accessible to anyone. Sarah's own strength and tone are great motivators and it feels like an hour's investment in your body that your body would (if it could) thank you for; more so than any other class I have been to.
“It was a stressful time but as soon as I was able to start physio again, my muscles started behaving again."
The first term was exhausting but putting in so much effort really kept me on the straight and narrow in terms of diet and exercise for the rest of the week. My core became much stronger, my posture was much improved and I lost a stone in the first term alone.
My friends regularly commented on my changing body shape as the weight fell off and two of them have now come along to class. Sarah is welcoming of any body shape, pre-existing injury or fitness level, watches each dancer carefully in the class and is a real expert. It was not at all uncommon to find her making the same careful points as my specialist physio had.
I am now pregnant with my third child and I have complete faith in Sarah's expertise to keep me strong and mobile. I am hoping that by building a strong core at Ballet Body, I will prevent the pain I suffered later in pregnancy and after the birth. Pregnancies aside, this is destined to be my class of choice for the future.
Sarah’s launch of Breaking Ballet now means that everyone (not just the people who live locally to Sarah) will be able to benefit from this ballet inspired exercise. The way the programme works means that people who are time poor will still be able to take part and tailor the programme accordingly.