How did you start dancing?
I grew up in the Republic of Georgia where my Mom signed me up for ballet classes at the age of six. It was her dream to dance ever since she was a little girl but she never had the chance, so she wanted to give me every opportunity. I loved it from the first time I stepped my foot into the studio, and it shaped my life in countless ways. I went on to train at the National Ballet Academy of Georgia, which eventually led to a career in New York and amazing experiences on tour all around the world!
What is your favorite dance memory?
I have so many good memories it is hard to pick one! But it was really special when my parents were able to come to America and see me and my husband perform together in Riverdance for the first time at Wolftrap in Washington, D.C. - one of my favorite venues I have ever performed at! They hadn't had the chance to see me on stage in many years, since I was mostly working outside of Georgia, so it was such a good feeling to dance, knowing they were in the audience.
How do you balance taking care of yourself and making time for fitness with being a new mom?
I am very lucky to say that honestly, balancing motherhood and taking care of myself, my fitness, and health, all comes very naturally (along with the help and support of my amazing husband)! I eat healthy and try to get enough sleep - even though sometimes it can be challenging with a baby - both are key for feeling good and energized throughout the day. I set goals for myself and try to do everything I can to achieve them, while allowing flexibility to avoid stressing out. As a new mom, you never know what life (or baby) might throw at you, so you have to just roll with it! ;)
What is your best tip for new moms working on getting back in shape?
The first thing I would say is not to rush into it. Your body has just gone through the most amazing and transformative process, but you need to give it time to heal and recover! As soon as you're ready, be persistent and don't get discouraged if change doesn't come instantly! With the right exercise and a healthy diet, it will happen 100%.
What is your favorite Ballet Beautiful workout move?
I think my favorite would have to be Bridge. It's great for glutes and works your abs at the same time. I also love all the standing exercises because they are full-body workouts and very ballet focused.
What is your top fitness tip?
Consistency and persistence will get you where you want to be!
I have so many it's nearly impossible to choose! But from classical ballets, I really love the second act of Giselle... To me it's the pinnacle of classical ballet - the music is so beautiful and the choreography works so harmoniously with it. From more contemporary works, I love Boris Eifman's Anna Karenina and Pina Bausch's Rite of Spring.
Favorite go-to healthy food?
Anything whole-grain with low to no sugar is a good snack on the go to keep you energized. I also love Greek yoghurt, nuts, and green tea (a great anti-oxidant) - actually I'm obsessed with anything green tea flavor!
What is your favorite indulgence or treat?
Two Brooklyn staples - Van Leeuwen ice cream and Lucali's pizza. They're so worth a cheat!
How do you style your dancewear from the studio to the streets?
I love Ballet Beautiful tights with any dress. The back seam makes any outfit sexy and fun! I also love combining my leotards with a mesh wrap and casual pants or a dressy skirt.
Do you have a favorite app that makes your life easier?
I would have to say Google maps. I remember when I first moved to New York 18 years ago... I can hardly imagine how I was finding my way around this big city without it! It's also especially helpful on tour, exploring new cities.
Something interesting about yourself we wouldn’t expect?
I'm a pretty good baker, which is something people might not expect from a ballerina ;)
When you’re not dancing, we can find you…
Pre-baby you could find me at speakeasy cocktail bars indulging in French-75's and going to all kinds of live music gigs around the city! But now the only place you can surely find me is cuddling up with my sweet little girl, Helen, and I wouldn't change a thing!
"Bowers isn’t known just for the impressive array of celebrities she’s trained — or for sculpting the bodies of Victoria’s Secret models. Her 500,000-plus Instagram followers love her keen sense of aesthetics — which reflect both her personal elegance and that of the art she’s practiced since she was three years old."
- Yahoo Lifestyle
"Bowers famously trained Natalie Portman for Black Swan, and if you look around her Greene Street studio in NYC, you’re apt to spot anyone from Imaan Hammam to Alexa Chung and Miranda Kerr perfecting their balance, strength and flexibility through Bowers’ elegant and at times brutal workouts."
- CR Fashion Book
"Mary Helen Bowers is an industry legend for her incredibly toning, ballet-inspired workout classes"