One morning, when I was trolling the inter-webs for, I don’t know, interesting stuff I guess, I came across this article: Cubicles are Dead. I was immediately intrigued by the title because I currently work in a cubicle by day and I hate it. But I was really surprised by what the article was actually about – An online dance studio business created by former NYCB dancer Mary Helen Bowers called Ballet Beautiful.
Since this article posted back in July of last year, it seems Ballet Beautiful has grown quite a bit, now with a studio in New York, DVD series and even promo items like tote bags and water bottles. But the online classes seem to still be going strong too and that’s the part that interests me most.
Sure, there’s the current trend of barre fitness — everyone waiting that toned, sculpted “ballerina-look,” but that’s actually been around for a long time. And in a sense, I sometimes feel compelled to say to women who want to look like ballet dancers, “why don’t you go take some ballet classes?” Why does it need to be removed from the dance studio setting in order to be cool? But I digress…
My point is that the online “live” classes are an interesting addition to the ballet fitness industry and I’m rather intrigued by just how it works. There’s a skype connection, so I assume that perhaps Ms. Bowers can see her satellite pupils, or can she not? In which case how does this really differ from a DVD of the class? There’s the pleasure of it being off the cuff, slightly different each time and I assume you can ask questions…But you still are on your own and that requires a certain amount of extra discipline, doesn’t it?
I’m also interested in this concept because, try as I might, I have a hard time getting my butt into the ballet studio after work (in my cubicle.) And the main reason for that is Los Angeles rush-hour traffic. Sometimes it takes me so long to get to the studio I usually feel it’s not worth the trip. What should be a two hour outing turns into 3 and a half, and to be honest, I don’t really have that kind of time on most days.
Ballet Beautiful’s Live Online classes could be an interesting solution for me and all the other busy dancers out there who maybe don’t have time to get to a studio. It’s also an interesting and successful business started by yet another brilliant ballet entrepreneur, which leads me to the following questions I pose to you today DIY Dancers:
Are online classes the future of ballet fitness and with innovations like this, and all the Barre type workout classes offered nowadays, is the Ballet Biz in for a big revival? Also, is it just me or does the ballet world seem to be producing a lot of innovative entrepreneurs these days? I know we’re all brilliant, but I’m interested to know what you think…
*photos from the Ballet Beautiful website