I’ve always had a passion for ballet. It’s so beautiful to watch… the movement, the costumes and the music – it takes my breath away! I’m embarrassed to say I’m one of those criers in the audience. As a sport – it’s one of the most challenging workouts, as I would feel that I’ve worked muscles I never thought I had!
I joined Elancé in Term 1 of 2015, enrolled in their Elementary Level 1 class. Although I had studied ballet in primary school, high school and as a young adult – I hadn’t practised for over 10 years. I wanted to return to the art, learning the foundations. In Term 2, I was lucky to fall pregnant – as I was in my late 30’s, I was deemed a “high risk” pregnancy. Worried, I consulted with my teacher Kate, who advised that Ballet is one of the gentlest sports and could be adjusted for my condition so I could continue on my ballet journey. Kate recommended I speak with the school’s principal – Dianne Harrison. When I spoke to Dianne, she told me to take it easy with sautés, port de bras forward, and that I could take balances on flat feet.
As my belly grew, I had to stop wearing tights and leotards – and resorted to pregnancy leggings and t-shirts (oh so comfy!). This saddened me, as I love ballet attire – especially the ballet skirts! But I kept moving, as gentle exercise is so healthy for pregnancies. I wanted to keep attending classes until 35 weeks, just like Dianne did when she was pregnant (she was my inspiration!), but alas the nesting instinct was too strong and I had to stop by Term 4, at 29 weeks (I had just reached EL4 level!) but bubs was arriving within 10 weeks and I was still living in a 1 bedroom/1 bathroom flat! I had to find a bigger home, and devote my Saturdays to that task.
I gave birth to a beautiful son via c-section, so I needed a further 6 to 12 weeks to recover from surgery. I returned to ballet when my son was 3 months old, and I took an easier class level (back to EL2) to transition back gradually. Unfortunately I suffered from back pain from feeding and carrying my son. Interestingly, I hadn’t told my teachers but they would come up to me during class to correct my posture, and they would pick up that my hips and buttocks were not aligned during the simplest of bends. Lesson learnt, you should always tell your teacher if you’re suffering from any injury – so when I finally told Dianne – she gave me great advice on which exercises to take easy. To build up my core muscles again, I saw a physiotherapist at work – who recommended exercises to strengthen my core as well as Reformer Pilates classes. This really complemented my ballet training, and within a week my posture and strength started to return – and I noticed a marked difference in class.
I cherish my 1.5 hours of class per week, it’s a wonderful break from bubs … and the me-time I devote to my passion …
BY ANNE B – ELANCÉ AMBASSADOR