is yoga the new ballet? yes if you consider the growing number of stylists and models signing up to the discipline known for its core-strengthening and swan-like arms
"I want every client to feel the power of grace, strength, and possibility," states Mary Helen Bowers, the acclaimed ballerina and founder of the Ballet Beautiful method who is famous for instructing actress Natalie Portman through a rigorous training schedule in Black Swan. Indeed, there’s something deliciously appealing about the idea of dancing your way to fitness, not to mention attaining the exquisite beauty and strength that is essential to a ballerina’s form. Now, Bowers has made her popular training routines available online in a series of custom workouts that feature power crunches, inner thigh lifts and her signature Swan Arms sessions which aim to lengthen, tone and improve posture.
The subscriber program came about after many of Bowers' clients – including models Doutzen Kroes, Karen Elson, Lily Aldridge and Erin Heatherton – required routines while on the go. Bowers, a long-limbed beauty who danced for ten years with the New York City Ballet, set about devising highly-targeted sessions that could be customised and accessed instantly online or via her SoHo studio's live streamed classes. On her philosophy Bowers says, "Look at fitness as a way to pamper your body and invest in yourself, it's worth every minute to lead a healthier, happier and more beautiful life"
Of course, ballet has been on fashion’s radar for some time now, what with the editor Carine Roitfeld devoting an issue of her CR Fashion Book to the discipline, and designers such as Giovanni Valentino, Olivier Theyskens and Prabul Gurung recently creating costumes for the New York City Ballet. Suffice to say, the current preoccupation is a graceful pursuit, en pointe.
Image above, clockwise from top left: Hoop Ballet photograph by Greg Lotus, 2010, available from 1stdibs.com; principal dancer Maria Kochetkova captured by model Caroline de Maigret; acclaimed ballerina Mary Helen Bowers performing her popular Ballet Beautiful workout in New York City; icons in love, American ballerina Gelsey Kirkland with the legendary Mikhail Baryshnikov in rehearsals for Hamlet Connotations in the 70s captured by Mary Swope; Bowers, in her studio, believes every client should feel, “the power of grace, strength, and possibility.”