Gym vs Ballet

Found via We heart it

I’ve been trying very hard to go to the gym these last couple of weeks.

It’s torture.

It’s not that I am lazy or anything like that. Far from it. I used to take dance classes 3-4 times a week. I did Classical Ballet for 15 years, Jazz for 7, and Street (you know, Hip Hop, Locking, Popping, that kind of stuff) for almost 3 years. I LOVE dancing. It’s vigorous cardio but also beautiful, fun, and you actually learn things. At some point I remember training close to 18 hours a week, which seems like a lot now (to me at least), but at the time, it was nothing.

Well, eventually I had to stop due to back issues (blame the computer!) and swapped to a milder version of exercise, which is gym.

Oh my God, It’s so unbelievably BORING, I can’t even begin to describe it. Everything is bad. The music, the silly exercises, the repetitions. There’s no inspiration, there’s no creativity. There’s just suffering and the urgency to get it over with as quickly as possible.

3 hours used to fly by when I was dancing. 20 minutes on the treadmill lasts forever!

I miss dancing so much. Especially Ballet. My happiest childhood memory was my first Ballet class. I was 8. It was love at first sight and for the next 15 years, I never missed a class.

Found via Cold as ice cream, still as sweet (nice name!)
Image by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt
Found via We heart it
Found via Pinterest
Mary Helen Bowers of Ballet Beautiful (the choreographer who trained Natalie Portman for Black Swan) photographed by Suzy Allman.
Found via Pinterest
Image found via Glitter for Brunch

To be perfectly honest, I was never a particularly good ballerina. Pointe shoes (and pointework in general) was a challenge. Pirouettes, even worse. But I loved it everyday. It was amazing to discover the things I could do with my body and the ways to test it and take it to extremes. Unfortunately, I can’t do any of that anymore, and at the gym, the only thing that gets tested is my patience.

If you really love the gym, or if you’re a personal trainer who works at a gym, I apologize if I hurt your feelings. Please don’t take it personally, it’s just my opinion. I know a lot of people who love it and I totally respect that.

However, if you’re healthy, don’t have back issues and want an alternative to the treadmill, what are you waiting for? Put on your red shoes and dance! You will not regret this. Dance brings much beauty and joy to life.

The black swan, found via Pinterest

Have a beautiful week.

15 thoughts on “Gym vs Ballet

  1. You really are an inspiration, whose example ought to be followed by everyone, which to be honest will never happen, and that’s what I guess makes people like you and me (hopefully!) so unique. Hooray for the intelligentsia and people with true wisdom(unlike most south africans-afrikaners). It’s nice to see someone with such a fresh view on all that is cultural and beautiful, keep it up! I live in South Africa and back here the interesting and beautiful issues and subjects that you’re blogging about will never even come to mind, never mind ballet, people here do not care about such things, sometimes I really think I should immigrate.PS: Gym really does suck, doesn’t it?

  2. Compreendo perfeitamente. Fiz ballett, em criança, durante 6 anos e sinto exactamente o mesmo em relação aos ginásios. É como ir a um bom restaurante ou ir ao MacDonalds. Não tem nada a ver.

  3. What did you think of Black Swan, do you think, with your backround in ballet, that it was a realistic portrayal of life as a ballerina, or do you think it was just made to coax the non lovers of ballet into actually watching a ballet movie, do you have a favourite ballet, and why, my favourite is Swan Lake(Agree/disagree)and then lastly, I have to ask, do you have any inclination towards classical music, and if you do, who or whom is your most listened to(favourite) composer

  4. Hi Lindy!
    OMG, I didn’t even know what Zumba was! I had to google it. :)
    Sounds like fun though, but I’m not sure it exists in Portugal. Will look into it. Might give it a try.
    How are you in amazing Italy?

  5. Exatamente, Paulinha! Você disse tudo.
    Eu fico tão entediada, mas tão entediada, que nem consigo disfarçar.
    Você já experimentou yoga? Eu gosto. Depois da dança, é com certeza a melhor opção.

  6. Hi Charlie,
    I loved Swan Lake (the movie). I thought it was a very realistic portrait of life as a ballerina. The obsession with being perfect and the competition is very real (minus the hallucinations, of course).
    I have many favorite ballets and love classical music. I’ll make a post about it at some point. :)

  7. Eu fiz Yoga durante 4 anos e adorei! Depois fiquei grávida e continuei a fazer até aos 5 meses. Foi óptimo.
    Tenho vontade de voltar, mas tem de ser com um bom professor. A minha era óptima, mas agora dá aulas na linha de Cascais e já não me dá tanto jeito.

  8. Joana, dear, eu entendo perfeitamente o que você descreve neste post e me sinto completamente à vontade para dizer: larga essa academia. :-) Já fiz isso e foi uma das melhores coisas da vida: dizer um sonoro ‘não’ a qualquer gym. Nunca dancei tanto quanto você, minha experiência com a dança resume-se a menos de dois anos de jazz, já adulta; mas depois de dançar foi impossível frequentar uma academia por muito tempo. Resolvi meu problema com a yoga e não são poucas as vezes em que os movimentos entre as posturas me lembram da dança. Wanna have a go?


  9. You are so right! I go to the gym with good intentions but after 10mins on the crosstrainer I am going stir-crazy! I thought pilates would be better but that is just an hour of clock-watching! Maybe I need to find a good dance class.
    Gorgeous collection of

  10. Hello Joana! It’s the 1st time that I see you website, and I loved it, ’cause I like that kind of illustrations and so.
    About this part of dancing or gym, I had ballet classes when I was younger, then because of back problems, I had to quit, and start swimming. Then I was tired and started gym. It misses so creativity… Then I started Yoga, to het a full filled zen spirit at work! But again, I was missing dancing… Then I decided to start from zero. I went to contemporary dance, and my teacher gives us exercices at the beginning of stretching and Pilate, wich means it was no harm to my back! You should try to find something like that. Or else you’ll regreat… :-)

    P.S. – Now I just miss a little yoga, ’cause at work it really helps to be calm ahahaha!

    I dont’ know where do you live, but it’s a pleasure to invite you to our class to try out for a day, it’s beginning this month (Cascais)

  11. Se estás a pensar yoga, penso que irás pelo mesmo caminho que eu lol. Mas é uma boa opção, mas se gostas de dançar irás perceber que vai faltar um pouco de certos movimentos… ;)

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