09.06.14 | Ballerina Body

A day in the life of Carine Roitfield starts: ‘7:30 A.M. My ballet teacher arrives. I am already in my ballet clothes. Nude or khaki-colored. The best I have found are cashmere by Rick Owens. Tank top. Leggings. Cardigan. Layers to take off as you sweat.’ As I read her morning routine in Harper’s Bazaar, I thought to myself how incredibly chic

There’s a history of chic women with lithe limbs favoring ballet as their means of fitness. Audrey Hepburn wanted to be a ballerina before anything else. My years of Alvin Ailey training haven’t amassed to much skill but the experience instilled in me a deep appreciation for dance. More specifically, I have a deep appreciation for dancer’s bodies—their effortless grace, their posture, the comfort in their own skin, all the things we aspire to.

For toned arms and legs, a cinched waist and enviable posture: dance, dance, dance. Women are obsessed with Ballet Barre classes for a reason: the results are magnificent. I’ve been dedicating 2 nights a week to Physique 57 here in NYC (they have DVDs and online classes too). For a little more movement and cardio, I take Zumba at Alvin Ailey.

But there’s more to this than the physical results, it’s the romantic, old school, approach to fitness that I love. There’s something so wonderful about getting ready for my ballet workouts. Instead of lacing on sneakers and zipping on a hoodie, I slide into a spaghetti strap Capezio leotard, black leggings, and soft leather ballet shoes.

I feel that I’m learning the discipline of a dancer as I push myself through my second set of pliés. I feel all my muscles lift and lengthen as I go through each movement. I become more aware of my body.

Instead of sweating on the treadmill, try one of these workouts in the comfort of your home, layered cashmere optional:

 Ballet Bootcamp

Ballet Barre Warmup 

Physique57 At Home