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The Ballet Burn Unleashes Your Inner Ballerina

By Pamela Sosnowski

Ballet-inspired workouts have become one of the hottest fitness trends in recent years for a good reason: they improve posture, work just about every muscle in the body, and even burn calories. And for those that think the classes are only for trained dancers or people in great shape, Margot Martin, the owner and founder of The Ballet Burn in Dallas, believes otherwise.

"We see a lot of clients who have never had any kind of ballet training and we love it," she said. "From our teachers to our regular members, everyone is extremely supportive and encouraging. Unlike the stereotypical image of ballerinas, we embrace all shapes and sizes knowing that we are all working towards our best selves."

Martin knows first-hand the transformative power of dance because she trained to be a ballerina in her teen years before dancing for 13 seasons with the Carolina Ballet. During her 12th season she tore her left ACL and required surgery. Subsequent injuries forced her to modify her workout sessions at the gym she taught yoga at, taking inspiration from the physical therapy movements she was undergoing at the time. A friend and fitness trainer encouraged her to take what she had learned and turn it into a workout that anyone could do. With that, The Ballet Burn was born in 2010, offering heart-pumping classes that don't require any dance experience.

Members can take the classic session simply called The Ballet Burn, a 60-minute class incorporating ballet, yoga, and cardio; Beginning or Intermediate/Advanced Ballet Technique, two classes that focus on barre and center work; and Restorative Yoga, appropriate for any age and fitness level and meant to stretch and destress the body.

"Ballet is such an elegant, lengthening form of exercise," Martin said. "For members who are looking to lean down and lose weight our Ballet Technique Classes along with our signature workout, The Ballet Burn, are a perfect combination to finding longer, leaner muscles while burning calories and increasing heart rates."

Martin's team of caring instructors has ballet and/or dance training and years of experience performing. They hail from all over the country and many have performed nationally and internationally. Classes are held seven days a week, and first-time clients can enjoy a month of unlimited classes for $110. A referral program enables members to receive a credit on their current membership if a friend joins. The studio also regularly hosts special events and classes such as its choreography workshop that usually sells out quickly.

The reaction to Martin's studio has been nothing but positive. Members rave online about the challenging yet fun workouts, energetic and encouraging instructors, and the judgment-free atmosphere. Many came from traditional gyms where they quickly found themselves bored and burned out with the class offerings until discovering The Ballet Burn. For those that are still apprehensive about giving a class a try, Martin has some final words.

"I think the best advice to those who are new is to simply show up," she said. "Sometimes that's the hardest part. Once you are there for class you will be guided through the experience with care."

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