That’s on pointe! Adult ballet classes are the hot new fitness trend

Cardio, schmardio. For the ultimate body and mind workout, some harried adults are pirouetting back in time — and signing themselves up for ballet class.

Whether it’s curious first-timers looking to raise the barre fitness-wise, or one-time ballerinas looking to step back into pointe shoes for nostalgic purposes, Diana Byer, founder and director of the New York Theatre Ballet School, said that demand for lessons has gone through the roof.

“It’s definitely popular right now,” Byer told The Post. “The [adult] classes have tripled in size. In fact, we added two classes the past few weeks, because it’s gotten too crowded.”

Blame balletcore, if you want, the aesthetic that’s gone wildly viral on social media, where influencers and celebrities like Hailey Bieber, Sydney Sweeney and Bella Hadid have been reaching for their tights and leg warmers, incorporating the gear into everyday outfits.

New York Theatre Ballet’s class sizes have doubled.
Alexis Branagan/New York Theatre Ballet

Sydney Sweeney dressed in a pink tutu in front of a darker pink backdrop.
Celebrities like Sydney Sweeney have jumped on board the balletcore trend.
Sydney Sweeney / Instagram

Bella Hadid walking wearing legwarmers.
Bella Hadid has been spotted embracing ballet-style clothing.

Or, maybe, ballet is just a really good workout.

Natalie Stanford, who started classes in rural Iowa late last year, was inspired after seeing other women online sharing their back-to-ballet stories and decided to sign up.

“It was definitely nerve racking going into my first class, [but] I wanted to start a new hobby and really push my body physically,” Stanford, who did ballet for a short time as a young child, said.

The 22-year-old, who attends group classes and has a private instructor, says she loves how she feels physically after a class.

 “It’s the perfect combination of insane hard work and strength but also elegance,” she added.

Woman standing at barre with one leg raised.
Karlista Maroney stepped back up to the barre after taking a break after high school.
Karlista Maroney

Others reported that while ballet class wasn’t a new experience, it was “healing” to chassé back after years away.

“I stepped [back] onto that dance floor and felt immediately myself,” Karlista Maroney, who recently donned her leotard at the barre again, told The Post. “It felt like I was immediately connected with my identity and who I am.”

The 24-year-old Floridian had danced growing up, but stopped during her final years of high school to focus on studying and later, full time work. When the stress of her job started to overwhelm her about six months ago, the marketing professional decided to dip a pointed toe back into things, inspired by influencers she follows on social media doing the same thing.

Hailey Bieber wearing white leotard and pink sweater tied around waist.
Hailey Bieber has been spotted rocking a leotard in balletcore fashion.
GC Images

“I was really struggling with my mental health and it was getting to the point that I needed an outlet to put my energy that was healthy,” Maroney, who now takes three classes a week at her local studio, explained.

“The night before, I remember, I was so nervous,” she admitted. “But [the class had] a different energy as an adult — something about it felt very ritualistic for me and kind of like falling back into stuff.”

“It’s become this known method of self expression, exercise, adaptation, all wrapped in one and so you’re seeing this wave of adult ballet dancers coming to class for the first time,” Maroney said.

“Wrapped into one” is what ballet is all about, according to Byer, who now has 45 adults signing up to each class instead of 15-20 a year ago.

“You get strength, you get aerobics, you get live music [and] you get to be creative. It’s just a perfect form of exercise,” she listed. “[Plus] more streamlined muscles, more grace and better posture.”

“[When] you dance in general, the posture gets so much better [as does] the way you carry yourself and I think even the way you look at the world,” she said. “There’s a certain confidence you get in movement. When you move confidently in a dance class, you move confidently walking down the street.”

Woman in pink with dark brown hair smelling a rose holding pink book.
Gigi, a content creator in Vermont, loves the style and physical element of ballet.
Gigi MW

For ex-ballet dancer Gigi, 23, who preferred to only use her first name, getting back into the studio after three years away was definitely a whole-package endeavor, impacting her in surprising ways.

The Burlington, Vermont-based content creator recalled her first time trying ballet in the fifth grade as negative, being berated for being “too old,” and placed in a class with girls years younger than her.

“The hardest part [about going back] was just getting there,” the born again ballerina admitted. “Now I feel like I’m really reclaiming my original love for ballet that I had as a child [and] carving the relationship that I want with ballet, not putting up with any sort of toxic treatment or teachers.”

Woman wearing pink ballet dress with pointe shoes around neck holding small handheld mirror.
Content creators like Gigi are embracing the balletcore trend.
Gigi GW

Despite all the benefits, however, experts note that there’s a reason the average ballet career doesn’t last forever — repeated movements from some ballet moves, like jumping or pulsing squats, can put serious stress on your joints.

“Overuse injuries are the most common in dancers,” John Hopkins physical therapists Andrea Lasner and Amanda Greene wrote in an online report on the profession. “The majority of these overuse injuries involve an ankle, leg, foot or lower back.”

While your typical hobbyist might not be at risk, Lasner and Greene recommend trying alternative moves if something hurts, and always seeking medical help when injured.

“I was so sore after my first class, I couldn’t believe it,” Gigi remembered. “There’s all of the muscles you forget you even have until you spend five minutes en barre.”

This article was originally posted by The New York Post.

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