After that first lesson, it was obvious to me that my amount of leg strength just was not going to cut it. I decided the best way to build up my leg strength would be by doing plies and releves at home. I did them repetitively, every night after finishing my school work. I won’t lie, it was tedious. However, I knew that if I wanted to improve at ballet ( meaning be able to do anything at all) then I would have to get stronger legs. At this point I was too overwhelmed to even think about doing anything with my arms. I figured that my first priority was actually being able to stand there without feeling like I was tipping over and I figured strengthening my legs would help greatly. Once I had that part down I could begin to worry about making it look ballet-ish.
So while this did help me get stronger legs, and eventually find my balance (at least while on both feet and flat), there was still much room left for improvement.
Another thing I had to work on was my core. That has never been a strong area of mine ( well, lets be honest: my whole body had never been my strong point) and I knew that in order to be able to get better I needed to work on that also.
Let me tell you something though: it worked! Thanks to my repetitive plies, my legs became stronger and more defined. For the first time in my life my butt actually protrudes past my back and/or thighs! I actually Stopped being ashamed of my skinny, underdeveloped calves.
Whenever I hear anyone ask what exercise will make one’s butt look nice, i always hear “squats”. Screw that, in my experience ( having tried both) they do Not Compare to what plies and grand plies can do for you. I didn’t start ballet to get a nice butt (honestly, i had given up on ever having a nice behind), but the tightening, lifting and shaping that occurs naturally from ballet is awesome!