If you want to be physically and mentally strong, flexible, and confident, one of the best forms of workout you can get is ballet.

This is why Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich have put out a list of reasons why ballet is good for you.

Ahead of World Ballet Day on October 5, the school has detailed why ballet might be better for keeping strong and fit over running on treadmills and lifting weights.


When you think of ballet, you’d be forgiven in thinking that it’s all pink tights, tutus and tiaras. But with the rise in popularity of shows like Strictly Come Dancing and after the success of Billy Elliot, ballet is quickly shaking off its traditional girly image and is being adopted by people from all walks of life – including professional athletes and people well into older life. So what’s the hype? As Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance celebrates World Ballet Day on Thursday 05 October, we take a look at the reasons why ballet is good for you.


The gym may certainly have had a resurgence in recent years, but ballet is a sure fire way to keep fit. Evidence suggests that you can burn around 300-500 calories in a 90 minute class, but importantly, it’s mostly a low-impact activity with intermittent breaks which can be good for those with cardiovascular problems. In particular, ballet targets areas such as feet and ankles, legs, stomach (core) which will improve strength and also muscle definition. Perseverance is key – you won’t be seeing benefits after one week, but continued classes will definitely show improvement.


Alongside strength, flexibility is one of the most associated benefits of ballet. Want to be able to do the splits at your Christmas party? Then ballet is for you! Still not convinced? Ex-England football star Rio Ferdinand cites ballet as having a good effect on his career due to the flexibility, strength and balance you learn and even won a scholarship to Central School of Ballet in his younger years. Ballet is becoming increasingly popular as a supplementary activity to high intensity training such as running due to increasing flexibility in your joints and muscles.

Mental workout

Enough about exercising your body – what about exercising your brain? Ballet involves a high level of concentration and also learning series of steps and movements which can help improve muscle memory and co-ordination. It can be a way of de-stressing after work or a long day and although it isn’t a team activity, going to a regular class and interacting with others can make it a social event.

Dr Emma Redding, Head of Dance Science at Trinity Laban, furthers “Regular participation in ballet can not only improve flexibility and strength, enhance posture and body awareness but it has potential to improve psychological well-being and provides an opportunity to engage with one’s artistic self.”

Older people dancing

A 2016 study showed that dancing can be an effective alternative to NHS programmes for older people. This is echoed by programmes such as Dance For Parkinson’s, which offers classes for people suffering from the disease, friends and carers. Research into the English National Ballet’s (ENB) dance and Parkinson’s programme concluded that dance not only offered health benefits but encouraged feelings of inclusion and positive social interaction. Trinity Laban is also engaged in research into the positive health benefits of dance among older adults.

Confidence/having fun!

Perhaps most importantly, ballet is a fun activity for people of all ages which can build confidence levels. Remember ballet is traditionally performed on stage, so you will quickly learn how to express your and perform your movements as if you were putting on a show for a sold-out audience!