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Your Ballet Beautiful Journey – Part 3

Part 3 of Your Ballet Beautiful Journey is here! Get inspired by these incredible BB success stories and keep sharing your stories with us! We always love hearing from our BB community and enjoy celebrating and encouraging each other.

xoxo — The Ballet Beautiful Team

Mathilde Heinrich

I started Ballet Beautiful in January 2011 to complete my ballerina experience already filled with contemporary dance classes for 18 years. I wanted more physical toning in my dance routine, which is why I started to look for a gym method based on dance and with a poetic and creative dimension.

From the beginning of my Ballet Beautiful training I gained muscle and I gained the body that I always wanted and dreamed of.

In September 2014 I started to gain weight due to personal problems and bulimia, and  I stopped Ballet Beautiful. I started doing Ballet Beautiful again in March 2016 after attending the Ballet Beautiful class at Colette in Paris. This session gave me new hopes and motivation to get back to my ballerina body and ever since this session I started my healthy lifestyle again and my Ballet Beautiful workouts. I have almost lost all the weight that I gained thanks to the Ballet Beautiful method that always cheers me up. It’s a fun and happy way to take care of yourself and your beauty. Thanks a lot to Mary Helen for this beautiful gym method that is perfect for ballerinas like me.

Ballet Beautiful has helped me be happy and beautiful and it’s a very important part of my life. Thank you so much everyone at Ballet Beautiful. Sending you love and friendship from Paris.

Kristen Dawes

First I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to Mary Helen and her Ballet Beautiful workouts! I am completely devoted to BB and my morning workout. I joined the Custom Workout about 3 months ago and my body has completely changed. Truly. I’ve always been physically active from pilates, to cross-fit type workouts to running…the list goes on, but I could never achieve the look I wanted with those exercises. BB has given me a tight, fit, feminine body…one that is strong but lithe. I love feeling like a ballerina every morning when I workout. Mary Helen has a wonderful presence and she inspires me to keep going even when I’m tired. With each video I love seeing what she’s wearing and how beautifully her hair is done. The studios she films in are also gorgeous and refined. It’s the simple things.

My favorite workouts are the ideal/full body, which I do 5-6 days a week. Aside from the physical benefits, I have also noticed that my mind feels sharper. I had never danced in my life so doing all of the ballet moves were new to me and I think having to constantly think about what my body was doing and making subtle changes to improve has sharpened my mind and given me a new energy. The best part of all is that being a mom of two younger children, I have the ability to work out at any time no matter if their schedules change or if something comes up. The workout can always fit into my day!

Rachel Martin

At six months postpartum I started doing only one 10 minute postpartum Ballet Beautiful video per day. At nine months I’m now up to an hour (or whatever I can squeeze into baby’s nap time) six days a week. I’ve seen amazing changes already, including a loss of two inches in my hips and stomach! I have lots more energy throughout my day as well. Thanks Ballet Beautiful!

Inside the Custom Workout, April

Hi Beauties!

We are super excited to share our new April workouts with you!

This month both new exercises are performed at the barre. The barre provides a little extra help with balance so that you can push yourself an extra inch to increase the burn. Make sure to check out No Barre, No Problem for ideas on what to do if you don’t have access to a ballet barre and for tips on getting the most out of all your Ballet Beautiful barre workouts.

Barre: Booty Burn provides a high intensity ballet burn for the muscles in your butt, core and thighs. Having the assistance of the barre will help you get a little deeper in your ballet lunge, while working both turned out and in parallel targets the full range of muscles in your butt and legs.

Barre: Booty Burn, Pro Tip– Listen for my cue to bend slightly forward from the waist, this will make the exercises more effective for the butt and thighs while also offering an great challenge for your ballet core. When you are in this position step away from the barre slightly so that you have room to bend forward, keep your core engaged to protect your lower back and only lift your leg as high as you can keeping your hips parallel to the floor.

Barre: Posture & Toning is a fun, dance cardio workout aimed at toning the whole body, while paying special attention to strengthen your ballet posture. Incorporating movements for your lower body while working on toning your arms and back helps to increase the full body burn in order to receive the same results as a dancer in ballet class.

Barre: Posture & Toning, Pro Tip– You can always add a set of 1 or 2 pound wrist weights for increased caloric burn and increase the toning through your arms, back and center. Pay close attention to keeping your neck long and shoulders pressed down, especially when using weights, so that you don’t build tension or add strain to your neck and shoulders.

Take a peek and get started today!

Have a Beautiful Workout!
xoxoMary Helen

Ballet Beautiful Buzz #9

Wear: Bright colors

When the weather warms up we get inspired to wear bright colors! Move over black, brown and grey – it is time for some vibrant colors now. We have been obsessed with our newest pink and fuschia Ballet Beautiful leotard shades because they are exactly the type of bold fun colors we have been waiting for. We’ve loved wearing our Cut-Out Stretch Cami Leotard in Crimson, Garnet and Orchid, as well as our Mesh Trimmed Halter Leotard in Violet and Garnet. Both these leotards look so cute with a skirt or high waisted jeans for an instant ballerina inspired street style look!

Watch: The Dancer

We really enjoyed watching this documentary about Sergei Polunin, an incredible dancer who became the British Royal Ballet School’s youngest ever principal. At the peak of his success, aged 25,  he walked away from all of it and saw his talent as more of a burden than a gift. This documentary provides a complex inside look at his life and how he made dance go viral. Many of you might have seen him in the Take Me To Church YouTube video that went viral. Get to know him better in this captivating documentary.

Make: Spring dishes

Now that Spring has finally sprung we are so excited to cook with the season’s freshest produce. Food always tastes better when the ingredients are in season, so we are picking out some exciting Spring recipes to try. Some of our favorite Spring fruits and vegetables are: artichokes, apricots, asparagus, arugula, carrots, fennel, peas and strawberries.

Listen: Maggie Rogers 

We are currently obsessed with this incredible Folk Pop Singer, Maggie Rogers. She recently released her first EP Now That the Light is Fading and we have been listening to it on repeat ever since. It’s a catchy combination of synthy folk-pop tunes with beautiful lyrics. Check out the amazing reaction Pharrell has when he hears her music for the first time here.

 

Ballet Beautiful Around the Web

Hello Ballet Beauties! We have a new roundup of some of the gorgeous Ballet Beautiful pictures we have seen around the web. We always love seeing your snaps so please tag us or use the #BalletBeautiful hashtag so we can see how you #TrainLikeABallerina! Please keep sharing them with us!

Huge thanks to @fromflora, @hermit_on_the_hill_homestead , @kalenaranoa, @caratandroses and @albanelyroque!

Here is a list of the Ballet Beautiful pieces featured above:

– Crimson Satin Street Shoes

Custom Workout

– Classic Leotard

Ballet Beautiful Water Bottle

BB Ballerina Crew Neck Tee

Spring BB Challenge!

Fun news! It is time for our Spring Ballet Beautiful Health Challenge! It can be hard to get back into the workout groove after a long cold winter, so we are kicking Spring off with a Full Body workout challenge. This challenge will help us feel toned and strong just in time for the Summer.

Just like the other BB Challenges, it will consist of completing the workouts every day and we will help keep each other motivated. Share your workouts with us and how you are doing by using the hashtag: #BBChallenge. We will also be sharing our updates with all of you on our social media channels so please follow along with us!

Here are the details:

We will be starting the challenge on Monday, April 24 and it will be ending on Sunday, April 30.

All the workouts we will be following are available in the Custom Workout. If you are not a member of the Custom Workout, this is a great time to join to get started on achieving your fitness goals! *Use code SpringCW17 for 60% off your first month. Offer valid until May 15.

It is very easy to do these workouts no matter where you are. The only equipment you will be needing is a mat and some space. It is also always helpful to have a towel with you and some water.

Please join us as we #TrainLikeABallerina! We can’t wait to get started!

Click here to download a PDF & print.

Your Ballet Beautiful Journey – Part 2

Part 2 of Your Ballet Beautiful Journey is here! Sit back and be inspired by these next four BB success stories and keep sharing your stories with us! We always love hearing from our BB community and enjoy celebrating and encouraging each other.

xoxo — The Ballet Beautiful Team

Marielle Srebro

I’ve struggled with weight issues and fad dieting my entire life. I’ve tried nearly every wacky idea out there in the name of shedding the pounds. Unfortunately, I also developed eating disorders that lasted from all of high school until midway through college. Fast forward to summer of 2012 when I bought a copy of Ballet Beautiful: Transform Your Body and Gain the Strength, Grace, and Focus of a Ballet Dancer. I already owned the original Ballet Beautiful DVD bundle that I bought a couple of months prior but I hadn’t tried them yet.

I was surprised how much the book spoke to me. Mary Helen’s writing was able to change my negative mentality about what I thought health looked like. I didn’t feel like I was reading the words of a fitness guru that I couldn’t relate to. Reading about her vulnerabilities and mistakes was comforting in a way. Ultimately, I felt the book was like reading a letter from a close friend that wanted to lend me a helping hand.

She helped me let go of my self defeating perfectionism. She taught me how to see self care as an essential part of self love. The concept of forgiving myself and instantly moving on after mistakes lifted so much weight from my shoulders.

My all or nothing mentality allowed my fear of failure to prevail every time I tried to lose weight. Even that end goal shifted because of Mary Helen. No longer was I obsessed with what the scale said as a measure of progress. The goal became about being consistent in the day to day of exercise and eating as a means of nurturing myself with foods that made me feel well and energized. When I relinquished the power numbers had over my health, that’s when I started to see drastic changes unlike any I had ever had before.

The weight gradually came off. I lost at least 20 pounds and was able to keep them off for the next 2 years. Before Ballet Beautiful, I had a conviction that I would never be happy or love myself until I looked a certain way and my numerous failures at controlling my weight left me desperate and self loathing. No diet or fitness program had contributed so greatly to my emotional, mental, and physical well being as Ballet Beautiful has.

Thank you, Mary Helen! You have changed so many lives for the better and I’m so grateful to have found you.

Laurie-Ellen Price

I’m a 43 year old mother of one. I was a professional ballet dancer in my teens, but suffered hip damage in a car accident and had to stop. I didn’t think I’d ever do ballet again, but two years ago I battled some health problems and when I was in the hospital I promised myself that when I got better I would try. Around that time I came across a few videos of Mary Helen for Ballet Beautiful on Pinterest, and when I was well enough I began trying out the exercises. After a year, I was able to arabesque and plié with as much delight as I used to! 🙂

Ballet Beautiful was a god-send for me – a reintroduction to what I loved – and ballet was no longer a lost dream to me. I am very thankful to the BB group, and continue to be a “stay at home ballerina.” ♡

Elaine Berrill

I discovered Ballet Beautiful 14 months ago. I had returned to ballet class after a long break and was really interested in finding an approach to fitness that would help strengthen my ‘ballet muscles’ too.

I started with the Ballet Beautiful book and the 60 minute Classic Workout and I loved it immediately. The exercises were challenging but I found Mary Helen’s manner really calming and reassuring and I started to feel stronger and more toned almost immediately, definitely within 2-3 weeks.

I progressed to using the custom/streaming workouts as well to add more variety and for the past 14 months I have attended ballet class twice per week and worked out at home with Ballet Beautiful another 3-4 times per week.

I enjoy it so much that it’s easy to stay consistent and it’s so much easier than using a gym or exercising out of the house as I have very young children.

By combining Ballet Beautiful, ballet class and a healthy diet I have lost 35 pounds and dropped 2 dress sizes which is a result I didn’t even think was possible when I started working out. I am very grateful to Mary Helen and Ballet Beautiful, finding you has been truly life changing for me.

Ruthann Jagge

I live in a very rural area and while I love a great yoga, barre, or pilates class, the travel-time to attend one for me is often ridiculous: 1-2 hours one way from my ranch. I used to try and do this on a regular basis but the stress from heavy traffic stopped making sense after a while.

I have a workout studio in a separate building here but most DVD workouts really get boring after a while! I also cannot “live stream” because of our rural location. Using the Ballet Beautiful DVD’s has not only motivated me, it’s helped me to center and ground what could be considered a bit of an “isolated lifestyle” through movement and a small amount of self-learned grace!

The workouts are more than just something I look forward to doing several times a week, I actually feel the energy of a “class” with the excellent instruction and the way they break things down! They truly help me stay flexible and healthier at 62, even though I do them alone because I “feel” like a ballerina and walk just a bit taller after each session!

The workouts are very effective and I can tailor them as needed, and anyone who thinks Swan Arms is easy hasn’t tried it! 🙂

I truly appreciate the fact that DVD’s are offered, I’d be lost otherwise, and will look forward to owning and enjoying more to come!

I would recommend this workout to so many women! As opposed to so many other more invasive forms of working out at any age: it’s truly everything your body, heart, and soul can benefit from!

No Slippers, No Problem!

Ballet Shoes or Slippers are one of the most important pieces in a ballet dancer’s wardrobe. They allow dancers to glide their feet across the floor and work through each muscle of the foot to gain strength and dexterity.  The small suede sole provides just enough friction to perform some of the more difficult moves like jumps and turns without your feet sliding out from under you.

Ballet slippers come in many different styles, materials and colors. Slippers can be made out of soft leather, satin or canvas. The sole of the shoe can be full or split and is most often made out of a thin, flexible piece of suede and they are secured to your foot with either elastic or ribbons. The style you choose to wear is up to personal preference.

For your Ballet Beautiful workout we recommend wearing slippers, especially for our ballet-based cardio work, but if you don’t have slippers don’t worry there are plenty of other options.

Possible Ballet Slipper substitutions:

Bare feet– For standing cardio work in bare feet a smooth floor, like hardwood, is best so that your foot can glide easily.

Socks– They can be a little slippery for standing work, so socks with grips or pulling the sock off your heel can help.

Small towel– If you’re working in bare feet place a small towel under the toes of your working foot to help you glide your foot across the floor.

Trainer Tip: When working out on carpet we recommend slippers or socks and if you have an uneven surface try doing your standing cardio work on your mat also with socks or slippers for added protection for your feet.

Pro Tip: Fitting ballet shoes is slightly different from your normal street shoe. Your ballet slippers should be snug, and you do not want extra room in the toes. With your slippers on stand tall and make sure that your toes are flat, and your shoe is not so tight that your toes crunch.

Slip on a pair of Ballet Beautiful slippers! Enjoy fun colors and styles, plus a drawstring to ensure the best fit on your foot.

Bonus Workout

We are so excited and inspired by the amazing responses we’ve received from our Ballet Beauties sharing their success stories. In the spirit of sharing and success we are sharing a bonus workout for our Custom Workout subscribers! This workout was designed as a special gift for you; we hope it inspires you and brings you closer to achieving your Ballet Beautiful goals!

We have put together this Full Body workout to target the muscles in your legs and butt while also increasing the burn with some amazing standing cardio work.  The combination of our toning exercises to sculpt lean muscles along with ballet-based cardio help to speed up the metabolism and caloric burn all day long.


Bonus Workout
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1)   Classic Bridge – Bridge is a Ballet Beauty cult favorite and a great way to start a workout! This Classic Bridge workout targets the muscles in the butt, hamstrings, inner and outer thighs while activating the entire core to help support movement.

2)   Ab Blast Interval – Now that our abs and core are activated from our Classic Bridge; Ab Blast Interval is an excellent way to focus on toning the upper and lower abs, while incorporating work for the legs. This workout is also a great way to transition into cardio work by getting the heart rate up and the body moving in a bigger range of motion.

3)   Prima Series: Center Toning with Weights – We love how challenging this workout is, true fitness meets ballet!  Center Toning with Weights kicks up our toning exercises targeting the muscles in the legs, waist and butt with the added difficulty of balance and light weights. With or without light weights around the ankles, you’re sure to feel an intense burn in your standing and working legs.

4)   Curtsy Cardio – Now that we have focused on shaping long lean muscles it’s time to move!  Try not to obsess over your foot work and remember that the most important thing is to keep moving to keep your heart rate up. As you continue to practice this workout you will grow more comfortable with the choreography.  Remember to work through a full range of motion in the legs by fully bending and straightening your knees.  Keep the stomach engaged and reach as low to the ground as possible before standing up tall.

5)   Hip Stretch – When it comes to shaping a Ballet Beautiful body, stretching is just as important as toning. After focusing on tightening and toning we stretch to lengthen out our muscles. It might seem slow, but you’ll be amazed at how much stretching can help speed up your results.

Abbreviated schedule (if you’re limited on time)

1)   Classic Bridge or Ab Blast Interval

2)   Prima Series: Center Toning with Weights

3)   Hip Stretch

Not a Customer Workout subscriber, check it out here!

The Dancer in all of us

 

Ballet dancers are some of the strongest athletes on the planet, spending hours every day working to perfect their technique and craft, but you don’t have to be a dancer to train like one. Ballet Beautiful speaks to the Dancer in all of us; a powerful combination of grace, passion and strength.

Ballet Beautiful exists at the intersection of fitness and dance, combining core aspects of both into a ballet inspired workout that anyone can do. Ballet muscles used in a dancer’s daily training are targeted and strengthened, sculpting a physique infused with both power and grace.

While Ballet Beautiful is inspired heavily by ballet, I created the program to share my love of dance, along with health and fitness, with others.  Dance experience is not required – this program is a workout, not a dance class and everyone is invited! Ballet Beautiful exercises work deep in the muscles, changing the shape of the physique from the inside out. Abdominal work, thousands of butt and lengthening leg exercises along with Swan Arms®, Barre exercises and both high and low impact dance cardio are key features of the program. Below are a few of my favorite workouts and an introduction of how to use the Ballet Beautiful program if you are just getting started. What are your favorite BB workouts?

Wishing you a beautiful workout!

Xoxo Mary Helen

Experience Ballet Beautiful Online!

Custom Workout Subscription – 2 new workouts/mo, tailor made workout programs and unlimited access to our exclusive online streaming library. Use code: SPRINGCW17 for 60% off your first month!
*new subscribers only, will auto-renew at regular price*

Streaming Workouts – Workouts to get you Ballet Beautiful anytime, anywhere!

Private Online Training – Connect with our Classically Trained Master Trainers in NYC for world-class training from any location.

Bestselling DVDs – Available for purchase and also streaming from iTunes

Healthy Wraps!

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We’re always on the lookout for easy and nutritious meals we can whip up ahead of time to make our busy days run smoother! Bringing your lunch from home is a much healthier (not to mention more budget-friendly!) alternative to eating out or ordering in. It’s especially convenient on those days when we have a full plate with work, meetings, appointments, childcare, or workouts; it can be so easy to forget to eat or grab something that’s quick but won’t necessarily make you feel your best.

We’ve come up with three simple wrap sandwiches that are healthy, easy to transport, and a cinch to put together! You can mix and match your favorite fillings and wraps to build your perfect lunch.  We hope these recipes help to keep you full and healthy and make your days a little less stressful!

BLAT on Lettuce Wrap

Ingredients:

– Bacon of your choice (turkey, low-sodium, regular, etc.)

– Tomato

– Avocado

– Boston, butter, or romaine lettuce to wrap

Roasted Veggies and Hummus (Vegan)

Ingredients:

– Roasted eggplant

– Roasted red peppers

– Arugula

– Hummus of your choice

– Whole wheat wrap

Tuna Salad on Collard Greens

Ingredients:

– Tuna salad (we made ours with olive oil, red onions, parsley, lemon juice, celery, and capers)

– Red onion

– Collard greens to wrap

Turkey Cheddar Wrap 

Ingredients:

– Turkey

– Cheddar cheese

– Arugula

– Red onions

– Dijon mustard

– Whole wheat wrap