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Strength Training and Ballet Dancers

In ballet, we’re all looking for that edge, what sets us apart from the next dancer. Some are born with fortunate genetics such as natural flexibility or a lean physique. For the rest of us who are not lucky enough to have these natural abilities, we must identify our weaknesses. Ballet technique alone is not going to save you.


Once you have identified your weaknesses, you can begin to address the problem.

Sometimes the answers can be found in ballet class. It’s true, there is no substitution for a good class, but there are other means to improving your weaknesses. Cardiovascular fitness, Pilates, and Strength Training…yes, Strength Training…are just a few of the methods that dancers are exploring these days to get the most out of their careers.


Strength Training was seen as taboo in the ballet world up until now. Older instructors will warn against it, saying that it will create short, bulky muscles. What some fail to recognize is that we as dancers have evolved, and the demands being put on our bodies are getting harder. Most ballet companies these days are also performing Contemporary works which can take a toll on the body if it is not properly conditioned.


Simple exercises can help tone and even out the muscle imbalances that dancers have from being too turned-out. If we work on strengthening the muscles in a parallel position, we can take some of the stress off the adductors, making for more efficient use of the leg in the turned-out positions.


I will touch on specific weaknesses and injuries in future blogs. Keep reading, and you can be on your way to a better ballet body. Remember; don’t try anything on your own without a proper assessment from a trainer specializing in dancers.


-Nikol Klein

Certified Personal Trainer

Professional Ballet Dancer