> Stress Busters > Busting Stress the Ballerina Way

Busting Stress the Ballerina Way

Hip-hop, street dance, jazz…  All of these could help you sweat the stress out.  But here, we say ballet could top all that.

Swan Lake.  Don Quixote.  The Nutcracker.  These are just three of the classical ballet performances that Filipino audiences have come to love.  Watching ballet has always had a calming effect, and audiences who have seen these ballet performances have walked out of the theater more relaxed.

If audiences get relaxed and destressed by simply watching ballet, how much more for ballerinas who consider ballet as the ultimate stress buster?

Dance Your Stress Away

Watching ballet dancers on stage might lead one to think of the endless exercises, the daily warm-ups, the long, grueling rehearsals, they have to submit themselves to be able to perfect their movements.  Others might think that spending two to three hours of practice a day may be too demanding for the body and too stressful for the mind.

For some ballet aficionados, the long hours of training and longer hours for rehearsals may replace having to go to the gym as it gives them the complete workout they want. “The constant moving of the entire body gives you the best exercise,” says Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, the Philippines’ prima ballerina.

Lisa started dancing ballet when she was around 8 or 9 years old, and since then has created a name for herself both in the country and abroad.  Now, she has been graciously sharing her talent to aspiring ballet dancers by teaching ballet through her own ballet company, Ballet Manila.  She is also known among Filipinos as the “Ballerina of the Masses”, because of her passion and dedication to bringing ballet to the masses.

Even with her expertise in the craft, she still says that a lot of practice and perseverance is what got her to where she is now.  She says that ballet is definitely a great stress buster for her as it gives her the kind of exercise her body needs.  Like any other dance, ballet makes one sweat and helps stretch the muscles.  Stretching flexes the muscles and makes the bones stronger.  While the soothing classical music helps clear the mind off things. “The music is soothing and moving to it is even more soothing,” says Lisa.  Some studies say that classical music not only helps in relaxing the body, it also helps in brain development.

Ballet may even give more benefits to the body compared to running on the treadmill for twenty minutes.  Dancing to really good music also helps stimulate the mind and body to help dancers perform well and feel every move that they do.  This is why ballet dancing is not stressful for the dancers to do regularly as they enjoy the music and the choreography.

Still, some dancers may want to take a side trip to the gym now and then, to enhance their body fitness and to supplement their training.  After all, physical strength is essential to getting through the rigorous demands of ballet on the body.

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