Led by Margot Martin, The Ballet Burn incorporates pure ballet mechanics into its sessions.

Health & Fitness

Class Review: The Ballet Burn

Does this hour-long experience live up to its name?

The Class: Ballet Burn, rooted in the basic ballet principles, is the closest you’ll come to a bona fide ballet class in town. From terminology to form, pure ballet mechanics are implemented throughout the hour-long class, which flits back and forth between toning and cardio. I caught nods to yoga and Pilates as well.

The Appeal: You understand that you’re dancing with a classically trained ballerina, and the class mimics an actual ballet class. So for people like me who were ballet dropouts in the kindergarten era, you can embrace your inner-ballerina for 60 minutes. Also, the moves tapped into muscle groups I had yet to discover.

The Instructor: Margot Martin, who has been training since age 8, was a founding member of the Carolina Ballet. Now, she’s back in her hometown and running The Ballet Burn.

Who’s There: I went to a 9:30 a.m. class, so the group was small but dedicated. It was apparent that the ladies were regulars, as Martin’s established rapport was familiar and friendly with each of them.

How It Went: There were definitely moves I couldn’t do. I felt like I missed the rhythm train during several of the combinations. I like to also attribute that to my rusty knowledge of ballet terminology. But once I knew my first position from my passé, my movements became more fluid. I really liked that there were ways to modify in this class. Even with miscellaneous modifications, I got my heart rate up, I sweat, and some moves were so challenging on my muscles that I couldn’t finish every rep. I like when that happens. You don’t want to go into a class, feeling like I’ve outperformed the class. You want to feel challenged and eager to do better the next time.

The Aftermath: Toward the end of class, we completed an arm routine without any weights. Boy, did it burn. It was in those moments when I felt as if my arms would flop off that I chuckled to myself, “Ballet Burn is the perfect name for this class.”

Loved: I loved that I got to experience an hour in the life of a ballerina. Martin knows what she is was talking about, and it was fun seeing her pull out her ballerina tricks. I also appreciated the opportunity to feel graceful while trying something new. Since the class bounced back and forth between cardio and strength, focusing on a different muscle group with each song, it made the workout zip by.

Difficulty Level: Like I said, there are ways to modify the movements to match your fitness level. Whether doing everything full out or low impact, you will walk away feeling your muscles work. There are definitely things that I could see take a while to master, but that is the case with most group fitness classes that are unfamiliar. I embrace challenges like that and relish in delight when I finally master a move I’ve been working on for several weeks or months.

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