Many moons ago, I remember taking ballet as a little girl. It was fun, but like most childhood hobbies do, it evolved into tap class, then later jazz. By high school, I had traded in my dance shoes for a spot on the water polo team, and before I knew it, I was out in the real world with no real hobbies being pursued.
It wasn’t until I watched a ballet performance as an adult that I found a new appreciation for this beautiful art form.
Located right in the heart of South Beach, Miami City Ballet is a cultural gem that feels almost hidden in plain sight. Besides serving as the main headquarters for the city’s acclaimed ballet company, the building is also home to Miami City Ballet School, which is dedicated to training the next generation of pros. What’s even cooler is that you don’t have to be an aspiring professional to get in on the action here: they offer classes for beginners — yes, even adult ones — and it’s a really amazing workout.
I recently had a chance to catch up with Kris Kramer, a former professional ballerina who is now an instructor for Miami City Ballet School’s Community Division, where she gave me a sampling of her Ballet 101 class, a seven-week workshop that teaches adult learners all the basics of ballet.
“There’s always an opportunity for someone to learn ballet,” said Kramer. “If we’re starting in our twenties, maybe we aren’t going to become a professional dancer, and that’s okay. There are so many other things you can get out of practicing ballet.
“Ballet is a full-body workout,” she added. “I often joke with my students that a ballet class is really an abs class because your core is working the whole time. Even during some of the most basic positions, your whole body is going to be engaged.”
Check out the video to learn some of the basic — but extremely effective — exercises taught in Kramer’s Ballet 101 Workshop.