18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Excellent for everyone, not just dancers,
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This review is from: NYC Ballet Workout: Fifty Stretches And Exercises Anyone Can Do For A Strong, Graceful, And Sculpted Body (Paperback)
My only experience of dance of any kind is modern dancing classes in Grade 1 and 2, so I was slightly hesitant about ordering this book. The worries were unnecessary, as the exercises contained in this book are suitable for everyone, even those with no experience of ballet whatsoever. I was actually quite impressed that the NYC ballet managed to compile so many exercises that ordinary people could do. There are typical ballet exercises, of course, like plies and tendus, and it takes a little time to keep your balance, but after a couple of weeks I found myself doing the whole routine without the aid of a wall or chair. The exercises themselves are not excessively difficult (if you can't raise you leg chest high, just raise it knee or waist high, you will still see a wonderful effect) and the book includes step by step illustrations which are fantastic. And there are LOADS of exercises, so you'll never be bored, and you can mix and match as much as you like, depending on how much time you have or how energetic you're feeling. You'll also find a wealth of really wonderful stretches that will benefit you no matter which sport discipline you are involved in. I didn't see much improvement in my upper body after using this book for a few weeks, but I did see a considerable difference in the shape of my legs and behind, I was so impressed that the "droopy effect" had disappeared after about a month of using this book regularly :)
Don't be discouraged if it takes really long to do all the exercises in the book the first few times - it took me over an hour to do a sequence of exercises which were suggested as a 30 minute workout! It's just a matter of learning the technique and what to actually do with your body parts; after a week or so I didn't need to glance down at the book in the middle of an exercise to see what to do next, and the time it took me to do it in was greatly reduced.
A while after buying this book, I also bought the NYC ballet workout DVD. I was glad to see that the exercises on the DVD were done just as I had been doing with the instructions of the book, so I think the book explains the movements really clearly, and you'll be ok working out with the book even if you don't have the DVD. Also the book contains more exercises than the DVD does, so if you feel you haven't done enough with the DVD, you can add something extra from the book.
Overall, a very pleasant workout for dancers and non-dancers, and though I like doing many different workout books and DVDs because I get bored easily, I always return to the NYC ballet workout with pleasure.