· And ballet feet ·
I have a pet theory about the benefits of ballet. I believe that my ballet workouts have protected me from developing any serious injuries from 20+ years of running. I didn’t start dancing until I was 18, but I’ve kept it up, more or less, since then. In the meantime, I watched half my boot camp platoon dropped due to stress fractures from running in combat boots. Despite low bone density, I escaped that fate. I’ve also seen fellow, long-time runners develop plantar fasciitis and knee injuries. I’ve suffered nothing more severe than a strained achilles tendon when I took a few weeks off and then jumped back into my running routine.
My cursory internet research reveals that strong calf muscles protect the feet from injury (acting as shock absorbers). I think that the foot strength developed in ballet is also protective. The foot exercises I see prescribed for plantar fasciitis are very much like the motions used in a ballet class.
Professional dancers suffer all sorts of horrific repetitive motion and impact injuries, so there’s a limit to how much of the activity is beneficial. I’m not going pro anytime soon, and I stay far away from pointe shoes. A weekly ballet class, in soft slippers, is an important part of my cross training routine.
Another ballet benefit: the balance to pose in 4-inch heels on river rocks.
Vest, Forever 21 (cut from a consignment jacket). Dress, Roundy Bay (thrifted). Shoes, Seychelles. Sunglasses, Earthbound Trading Co. Earrings, vintage. Bag, SheBoBo.