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In a shrewd marketing move, New York City Ballet has jumped on the fitness ‘bandwagon’, with a product that looks set to place ballet alongside aerobics, yoga and pilates, as one of the most popular forms of workout.
The video – containing a series of 50 stretches and exercises used daily by ballet dancers - has brought ballet technique out of the studio and into the nation’s living rooms, aiming to make the enviable ballet dancer physique “available on a broad basis to everyone”.
Judging by its success, since the video and DVD were launched on March 27, the program has no doubt also had considerable health benefits for New York City Ballet’s balance sheet. National TV coverage and a progression of upbeat reviews in Women’s magazines have escalated its popularity.
The 50 exercises on the video have been simplified to accommodate varying levels of fitness. "It's very specifically designed so that it's simple for people who don't know what they are doing," says an empathetic Kate Salmssen, Co-ordinator of the NYCB Workout.
The workout has even been adopted by the New York City Public School system as a physical education alternative in high schools. ‘Instructor Certification Training’ has been introduced for those who want to teach the program in their home states.
The video and DVD have now hit the UK, where a Sunday Times ‘Style’ feature commented, “Ballet has crossed the line from dance to fitness, making it accessible even to those with two left feet and an instinctive dislike of pink tutus and legwarmers.” Holmes Place health clubs in London will be starting ballet-fitness classes this summer, following training from New York City Ballet.
Sun May 13 2001 (6:42:47 PM)