san-antonio-ballet-left-slider-1By Linda M. Drezdzon

“A Jordy Nelson touchdown can look like ballet as he maneuvers into the end zone. And, new American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland appears in ads modeling Under Armour athletic clothing. Are there more similarities between athletics and ballet than meet the eye?

In the 1960s, Nikolai Makaroff, founder of the Makaroff School of Ballet with his wife, Juanita, was hired by Vince Lombardi to teach ballet to the Green Bay Packers. The goal was to develop coordination skills and fast footwork.

Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon started doing ballet in college to earn some credits, but continues taking classes to strengthen his knees, ankles and feet.

While a football player will probably never take his ballet moves to a stage, the benefits gained in the dance studio will serve him well on the football field.

When my two daughters were younger, one was a three-season athlete and one danced ballet. That meant a lot of time observing gym workouts and studio classes. While our daughters’ passions were very different, we saw many similarities in how each approached her interest, especially when it came to conditioning and dedication.

The athleticism of a ballet dancer is comparable to that of a high performance athlete where whole-body conditioning is key to success, such as in swimming and track. Dance requires endurance and equal parts of strength and flexibility, according to Jeanette Makaroff, director of the Makaroff School of Ballet.”

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Sourced from: Post Crescent