Get Fit RVA: Whitney learns ballet

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Whitney Harris’ Get Fit RVA segment continued with the Richmond Ballet.

Whitney said it was quite a challenge for her and she found out the dancers are not only graceful but also very strong.

“Well, ballet is pretty hard, it’s pretty demanding, and your first class, it’ll be a challenge but I think you’ll do well,” said Trevor Davis, a dancer with the Richmond Ballet.

They started by rolling out their calf muscles and stretching.

“Class isn’t a warm-up per se,” Davis said. “You need to warm yourself up for the class.”

Before they could start dancing, they used resistance bands and lifted 15 weights.

Then came pushups, and glute and core strengthening exercises.

“One of the things that dancers really need to be careful about is balancing the level of strength with the level of flexibility you have because if you’re too strong but you’re not flexible, you obviously can’t create the movements that we need to, But if you’re too flexible but not strong enough to control it, you also are not protecting your body,” said Maggie Small, who’s also a dancer at the Richmond Ballet.

When the music came on, Whitney tried her best to follow along, but she wasn’t so light on her toes.

“How do you think I did?” Whitney asked Valerie Tellmann-Henning, who’s been a dancer with the Richmond Ballet for 16 years.

“You were fabulous,” Tellmann-Henning responded. “I was watching from the side. I enjoyed your participation with the portabra because it’s a lot to coordinate with the arms and legs. But you executed the leg movements quite nicely. We may need to work a little bit on the feet but that will come in time.”

Dancers tend to retire after the age of 30 and some push into their 40s, but it is very rare. They work eight hours a day, 40 plus hours a week.

Whitney says ballet is a lot harder than people think.

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