Based between Dubai and Cairo, Egyptian ballet dancer Engy El Shazly decided to take up ballet at the age of 27. Fast forward four years and the dancer has made a name for herself across the region (as well as globally) as the first ever Arab hijabi ballet dancer. MOJEH.com spoke exclusively to Engy to find out why she thinks everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity or religion, should give ballet a go.
1. You’ll get a full-body workout
Professional ballet dancers may seem to float on air with their effortless spins and leaps, but ballet is not as easy as it looks. Ballet works all major muscle groups, providing a well-rounded, full-body workout.
2. It will help improve your posture
By doing regular classes you’ll notice an improvement in both your core strength and posture. Good posture keeps you safe from injuries, ensures your bones are properly aligned, and also helps your nervous system function properly.
3. You’ll become more flexible
Stretching is a big part of ballet, and flexibility is important for overall health and wellbeing. When you stretch, your muscles are elongated and bulk is reduced so your body can become properly aligned and balanced.
4. It’s a great way to lose weight
Since ballet targets the largest muscle groups in the body (such as the glutes, thighs and quads) you burn more calories. It will also help you build mean muscle mass and increase your metabolic rate, so you burn calories at rest as well as during the workout.
5. It’s suitable for all ages and abilities
Nearly all movements in a ballet class can be adjusted to make them easier or more challenging. This opens each class up to people of all ages and skill levels while allowing each client to train at their own pace.