Austin may be known for its wicked-good music scene and smokehouses, but it’s also home to a thriving dance community. Ballet Austin and the Butler Center For Dance & Fitness have spearheaded the education of thousands of students and professionals. However, you don’t have to be a prima ballerina to enroll in these classes. The Butler Center For Dance & Fitness offers multiple adult ballet classes, geared for students 18+ who want to explore the art form in a pressure-free zone. Designed specifically with the mature body in mind, adult ballet is a great form of alternative exercise that has many physical, mental, and emotional benefits.

Still not convinced? Consider these 10 benefits of adult ballet…

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It promotes cardiovascular health

Yes, ballet is heart healthy! The progression of movements and combinations will get your blood flowing and build your stamina. Not a fan of the treadmill? The good news is, after all the kicks, jumps, and turns you do in ballet class, you won’t need to step foot on another elliptical machine ever again.

It improves your posture and flexibility

Through the support of the barre, or the long wooden railing that lines the studio wall, you will learn proper alignment of the back, hips, and knees. Gentle stretching of the hamstrings, calves, and quadriceps will also increase your flexibility and range of motion. If you work in front of a computer or sit at a desk all day, these mild exercises will alleviate stiffness and help you to stand a little taller.

You’ll gain core strength

Want ripped abs? Take a steady diet of ballet classes. Even so, one ballet class a week can help you gain greater core strength. Ballet technique engages your abdominals, gluteals, and thigh muscles. You’ll be planking with ease in your pink tights in no time.

You’ll become less of a klutz

Ballet requires coordination and self-control. If you have a habit of tripping over your own two feet, adult ballet is a great place to learn some grace and poise. Please don’t be too hard on yourself though—everyone makes mistakes in adult ballet class.

You get a little culture

Unlike sports that consist of strictly mechanical exercises, ballet applies movement to music, allowing for a wonderful mind-body connection. In an increasingly technologically obsessed society, classical ballet, in particular, exposes students to an era of refinement; for once, the studio is filled with students dancing to piano and violin, not twerking to Beyoncé. (That’s what Hip Hop is for.)

It jogs your brain

Forget Suduko—ballet is like a beautiful puzzle. You’ll learn to piece steps together and carry out combinations in a matter of seconds (though adult ballet teachers are a lot more patient and forgiving than professional training programs). Though every ballet class is structured the same way, each class can vary in how the steps are performed i.e. counts, tempo etc. Regardless, ballet technique is always stimulating.

You meet new people

Adult ballet is a great place to meet others who share your passion for dance. Sometimes, students form friendships that last for years. If you find yourself in a social rut, taking class with other likeminded individuals could be just what you need.

It’s inexpensive

Adult ballet classes don’t cost nearly as much as a professional training program. Adult students can purchase class cards, or discount cards, making the process convenient and affordable.

It’s recreational

You can leave the tutu at home! Adult ballet does not require you to perform, pursue a professional career, or even be any good at it. So shake that self-conscious monkey off your back. All adult students are welcome, regardless of age or ability.

It will boost your confidence

Ballet is not just for little girls anymore. Grown-ups across the country are taking advantage of the education available to them to explore this amazing art form. As you regularly attend class and do your best, you will notice a positive increase in your self-esteem and outlook.

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