5 ways Ballet can improve your balance

5 ways Ballet can improve your balance

Ballet is a type of performance dance that originated during the Italian Renaissance in the fifteenth century and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. It has since become a widespread and highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary. Ballet has been influential globally and has defined the foundational techniques which are used in many other dance genres and cultures.

Ballet is a style of dance that requires good technique and by nature of dancing ballet steps your balance is always challenged. Ballet provides opportunity to challenge your balance and improve your strength. Plié, tendus, retiré’s and arabesque’s all work to develop strength and challenge balance.

So can you improve your balance with ballet? The answer is yes! Xpress-Yourself Dance highlights 5 ways which ballet can improve your balance.

5 ways ballet can improve your balance

In this blog we highlight 5 ways Ballet can improve your balance.

Improves muscle strength

Ballet can improve your muscle strength. Every plié, tendu and retiré work the main main muscle groups, the legs, back and core. All muscles which are incrementally important in keeping us strong and steady. In addition we also strengthen our arm muscles as well as neck and foot muscles which also help us to maintain our balance.

Every time you bend, stretch, lift, jump and twist you build your muscle thus making them stronger. Improving muscle strength and function can help you absorb the forces that impact the joints, muscles that work well may protect joints from excessive wear and tear. Regular exercise promotes good muscle function and may, over time, prevent osteoarthritis.

Repeated use of the same muscles will increase strength more quickly. Each time we use a muscle, it heals and rebuilds to become stronger so even one class a week will benefit your muscles and make you stronger. 

Improves coordination

Ballet exercises usually require a bit of multitasking. Moving arms through a port de bras whilst lifting or bending legs for example. It can be tricky at first but the more you do this, the easier it will become and your brain and body will become more coordinated over time. Working your cognitive functions to coordinate your body with music, will benefit your coordination in other areas of your life. When you work to improve your coordination you also improve your awareness of your extremities’ therefore improve your reaction time should you experience a fall and move your body accordingly to protect yourself from sustaining a major injury.

The fact is, coordination is something we need to practice so if you haven’t got it, keep trying. It will improve with every class.

Improves Posture

Ballet is probably THE best form of exercise for improving and maintaining your posture. Every single exercise in a ballet class requires you to hold a strong posture and it’s at the core of every position and move. Whilst dancing you should hold your core/abs strong and back straight whilst breathing through the exercises. Lifting the arms through the various positions allows you to create space in the spine. At the same time you are strengthening the supporting back muscles and releasing tension from the build up of bad positions (such as sitting at a desk). 

Good posture can reduce your risk of injury and also help you to maintain flexibility and good range of motion. Inflexible muscles that decrease range of motion (how far a joint can move in any direction). For example, overly tight, shortened hip muscles tug your upper body forward and disrupt your posture. Overly tight chest muscles can pull your shoulders forward.

Muscle strength affects balance in a number of ways. The “core muscles” of the back, side, pelvis, and buttocks form a sturdy central link between your upper and lower body. Weak core muscles encourage slumping, which tips your body forward and thus off balance. Strong lower leg muscles also help keep you steady when standing.

Core strength is at the core (excuse the pun) of balance and adult ballet is great for core strength. Posture control, leg lifts, turns, back movements and floor work are all great for improving core strength, which in turn, helps us become better at balancing. A win, win!


Ballet is a weight-bearing exercise, it helps bones to grow healthy and increase in strength. Ballet for adults, in conjunction with a healthy diet can increase bone strength and prevent bone loss in old age. Additionally, because ballet strengthens muscles, bones are well supported and chance of injury is reduced.

Improve Balance

Whether at the barre or in the centre, ballet exercises require balance. Every time we use our balance, we improve it. We do this by strengthening the muscles required to balance and hold our positions. At the same time, our brain sends messages to multiple muscles at the same time to hold, correct or compensate. The more we do this, the faster we learn and the better we get at it. 

Ballet often requires to stand on one leg when dancing an arabesque or retire for example. When standing on one leg you are strengthening the ankle of the supporting leg. Strong ankles can prevent injuries.

As we get older our balance will deteriorate however we can slow the process of deterioration, improve strength and balance and reduce the risk of future falls by being active. and challenging our balance.

Challenging our balance can help to:

  • Avoid injury
  • Increase strength and stability
  • Improve overall structural integration (different parts of the body working together for the common goal)
  • Improve neuromuscular connection (communication between the muscles and the brain)
  • Develop mental stability
  • Improve our ability to focus
  • Bring about a sense of accomplishment

In April we introduced Ballet dancing to Dance of the Knights from the ballet Romeo and Juliet. So why Ballet? Ballet is fundamental in most dance technique, it can improve posture, strength and flexibility all the ideals for a Keep Dancing routine. Those Ron de jambe’s, tendu’s and arabesque’s are all great for challenging balance.

So whilst Ballet is a beautiful dance form it is also a form of dance that definitely helps to challenge our balance and encourage healthy ageing.

This blog, 5 ways Ballet can improve your balance highlights how Ballet can be good for balance in many ways!

Click here for further information about Falls Prevention.

5 ways Ballet can improve your balance.
Keep Dancing Quinton at Quinton Methodist Church – 5 ways ballet can improve your balance

Keep Dancing classes run across Birmingham, Solihull, Walsall and Sandwell and are dance classes suitable for those over 50. Whether you’re a beginner. have danced before or haven’t danced in a while Keep Dancing is the perfect dance class for you. You will learn dances from around the world (including ballet) with no partner required. You can book your Keep Dancing class here

If you enjoyed reading 5 ways Ballet can improve your balance why not read our 5 benefits of cha cha

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